Focus on the Family

Key Facts: The Need to Protect Parental Rights

Why do we support parental rights? Here's a quick overview based on academic data, as well as our nation’s Judeo-Christian and legal traditions.

by Candi Cushman

At Focus on the Family, we believe that children are a cherished gift from the Lord—and that parents are the ones primarily responsible for guiding and preparing them for a life of service to God and to humanity. Parents have a God-ordained right and responsibility to determine what is best for their children.

In the majority of cases, parents and legal guardians are the ones who are closest emotionally, mentally and spiritually to their children and the most in tune with their needs. Given their intimate knowledge of their children, they should have the protected ability to direct and give guidance concerning their children's educational experience.

This includes the ability to determine when, how and if their children are introduced to controversial sexual topics—as well as other educational philosophies that may conflict with families' deeply held Judeo-Christian values and principles.

Protecting parents' rights in education also protects a self-governing society by safeguarding against an intrusive government school system that could eventually infringe on religious freedom.

We also recognize that these rights have limits, and we would never condone the abuse of any child—whether verbal, physical, sexual or emotional—or parental neglect.

We believe these principles are rooted in legal history, social science data and Judeo-Christian traditions.

Judeo-Christian Tradition

Scriptures, such as these, remind us of parents' spiritual responsibility to guide and protect their children:

Legal History

Social Science Data

Research has shown that parents are one of the most influential factors in a child's academic success. Read more.