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United States Supreme Court: Parents have a Fundamental Constitutional right to Rear their Children

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keep you hands off the kids !

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Assemblyman Robert Auth (39) spent some time in Trenton on Thursday with parents concerned about Trenton-Murphy/Platkin mandates and directives. “In his concurring opinion in Troxel, Justice Thomas summarized an important aspect of this Court’s precedential opinion in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925), writing that “parents have a fundamental constitutional right to rear their children, including the right to determine who shall educate and socialize them.”

Pierce v. Society of Sisters is a landmark United States Supreme Court case that was decided in 1925. This case dealt with the issue of educational freedom and parental rights, specifically regarding the state of Oregon’s attempt to regulate private and parochial (religious) schools.

Here’s a summary of the case and its significance:

Background: In 1922, the state of Oregon passed a law called the Compulsory Education Act, which required all children between the ages of 8 and 16 to attend public schools. This law effectively banned private and parochial schools, as it made it illegal for parents to send their children to these alternative educational institutions. The state’s rationale for this law was to promote a standardized education system and prevent the alleged divisive influence of private and religious schools.

The Legal Challenge: The Society of Sisters, an organization of Roman Catholic nuns who operated a parochial school in Oregon, challenged the constitutionality of the Compulsory Education Act. They argued that the law violated their rights as private educators and the rights of parents to choose the type of education they wanted for their children.

Supreme Court Decision: In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Society of Sisters. The Court held that the Compulsory Education Act violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, which guarantees certain fundamental rights. The Court recognized that parents have the right to direct the education and upbringing of their children and that this right is protected under the Constitution.

Justice James Clark McReynolds, writing for the Court, stated that the law unreasonably interfered with the liberty of parents to make choices regarding the education of their children. The Court emphasized the importance of diversity in educational options and the role of private and parochial schools in providing that diversity.

Significance: Pierce v. Society of Sisters is a significant case in the history of American education and constitutional law for several reasons:

  1. Protection of Parental Rights: The decision affirmed the fundamental right of parents to choose the type of education that best aligns with their values and beliefs, as long as it meets reasonable educational standards.
  2. Preservation of Educational Freedom: The ruling recognized the importance of diversity in education and upheld the rights of private and religious schools to exist and operate.
  3. Limitation on State Power: The case established a limit on the power of states to dictate the educational choices of parents and children.
  4. Precedent for Future Cases: Pierce v. Society of Sisters has been cited in subsequent cases that deal with educational freedom and parental rights.

In summary, Pierce v. Society of Sisters is a landmark Supreme Court case that affirmed the rights of parents and private educators to provide alternative educational options to public schools and established an important precedent for the protection of parental rights in education.


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2 thoughts on “United States Supreme Court: Parents have a Fundamental Constitutional right to Rear their Children

  1. The WRETCHED describes it this way:

    “National right-wing groups try to push parental rights in NJ schools”

    1. “Pushing” Parental Rights…

      How dare these parents want to steal child rearing responsibilities from the state!

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