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Parental Rights Org Outs Its True Beliefs and Affiliations - It Admits Parents’ Rights Are Not, and Should Not be  Absolute.                                        Glad to See the Truth Is Now Out There, From the Horse’s Mouth.

                                                     By: Attorney Deborah G. Stevenson


                                                                       April 30, 2020


The Executive Director of, Michael Ramey, just issued its statement about Harvard Magazine’s article, touting Harvard Professor Elizabeth Bartholet’s writings and her support of a “presumptive ban on homeschooling”.  


You can find that article here:


While purportedly criticizing Bartholet, Ramey finally put in black and white the true beliefs of his organization - that parents  are not given, and should not be given, “total authority” over their children.  

This is not surprising to NHELD.  NHELD has known about the seemingly hidden beliefs of this organization for years, and has warned parents about it repeatedly.  


Further into his writing, purportedly critical of Bartholet, Ramey also admits the close affiliation has with HSLDA.  


This also is not surprising to NHELD.  NHELD has known about that for years, as well, and also has warned parents about it repeatedly.


What is new is the outright admission by that the rights of parents, are, and should be limited:


“Parents are not given ‘total authority’ over their children….Absolute rights?  In the second instance of misrepresenting us and our allies, Bartholet claims ‘a central tenet of this [pro-family] lobby is that parents have absolute rights that prevent the state from intervening to try to safeguard the child’s right to education and protection’ (emphasis added). Based on its immediate context in the article, this charge is being leveled at Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and its allies, which again include Parental  At no point have we put forth the view that parental rights are absolute….parental rights are not absolute…Parental rights are fundamental and that requires a high legal standard the state must get before interference can take place…Rather, fundamental rights - such as parental rights, our freedom of religion, and our freedom of speech - can be limited…but only when absolutely necessary to protect the rights of someone else….No, we do not hold that parents have ‘total authority’, nor that their rights are ‘absolute’.”  


And, of course, at the end of the article, asks for your donations.


Did you get that, though?  “Parents are not given total authority over their children”; “At no point have we put forth the view that parental rights are absolute”.  The truth comes out, finally, by admission.


Here are some facts to add to the mix. is the brainchild of its original founder, Michael Farris.

Michael Farris founded HSLDA. purports to “preserve parental rights”.

How does it do that? 


It was founded primarily to do that through adoption of a “Parental Rights Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution.


The U.S. Constitution limits the power of the federal government by granting to the federal government only certain specific powers “enumerated” and fixed in the Constitution.  The federal government does not have any direct power enumerated in the Constitution to regulate the rights of parents or children. Yet, by adopting a Parental Rights Amendment, the federal government would have the direct power, thus enumerated in the Constitution, to regulate the rights of parents and children.


Michael Farris originally came up with the idea of amending the Constitution, and established, to further that goal.


The amendment proposed by Farris and that group, essentially enshrines in the Constitution that new power granted to the federal government over the rights of parents and children.


In explaining the need for a Parental Rights Amendment to the Constitution, Michael Farris wrote an article, which is posted on the website.  In that article, Farris explains, his apparently truthful belief, now also admitted by


“Parental rights should not be absolute”, and “We certainly do not want to return to the language of the Massachusetts Bill of Rights of 1780 [that said] ‘Parents should have the right to make all decisions for their children’…”


Farris then added, this question, “Have we chosen the correct method of limitation on this right?”


So, you can see that Michael Farris, HSLDA, and, all have one thing in common, and it’s not about protecting the freedom of parents to instruct their own children.  It’s all about how to place the best limits on that freedom, i.e., “the correct method of limitation on this right”.


NHELD is glad that finally has admitted their heretofore mostly hidden belief that the rights of parents should be limited, by the government, and that means by government regulation.  The only question they have is about the best way to have the government regulate parental rights.


This is what, and their affiliates, are complaining about regarding Elizabeth Bartholet and her supporters at Harvard and beyond - which way is the best way to regulate the rights of parents.


They don’t believe Bartholet’s way is the best way to regulate the rights of parents.  They believe their way is the best way to regulate the rights of parents.  Could that, also, be why HSLDA wants “a seat at the table”?


In any case, NHELD is not surprised by this new revelation. We are pleased by the truth being exposed.  

We are sure, however, that many parents and supporters of these groups probably are surprised.


Indeed, they should be outraged that this true belief was not so openly admitted long before now.  

At least the truth is there for all to see now. For that, we are grateful.


NHELD, as always, believes that the Constitution does not, and should not, grant power to the federal government to take away, or limit, our rights, particularly the rights of parents.  


We now know, by their own admission, that, and its affiliates, believe the rights of parents should be limited, by the government.  It’s just a matter of how to limit them.


NHELD encourages all parents do their own research, think critically about these facts, and make up your own mind as to how you will protect your own rights.

                             Permission is granted to share this article in its entirety.

Attorney Stevenson is the founder of National Home Education Legal Defense, LLC. (NHELD)

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