Adding Parents Rights to the U.S. Constitution - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 130 Old 01-25-2007, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Have you heard about HSLDA wanting to do this? www.hslda.org

If you just look at their perspective on parent's rights, I think it's a really good thing.

Just wanted to let others know.

Besides HSing being protected, it would protect families from other things, like forced third-party visitation (grandparents "rights") which is really important to me.
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#2 of 130 Old 01-25-2007, 10:31 AM
 
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How does HSLDA propose to draft such an amendment? I had to dig through a lot of rhetoric about how gay marriage is threatening us (in light of truly serious but ignored threats like global warming, I don't see how gay marriage can be called a "threat"--or what it has to do with parental rights), and how the government is going to mandate the teaching of religious tolerance, to find these two proposals by Mike Farris:

Section 1. The God-given right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right which may not be abridged by the United States or any state.

Section 2. The balancing test applicable to other fundamental rights may be used to balance a claim of parental rights provided that the government establishes its interest by proper evidence in each case.

I agree that it gets complicated if the government starts telling people they can't raise their children with their own beliefs, but I am always concerned and suspicious about HSLDA legislation because of their extreme-right bias.


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Originally Posted by Love View Post
Have you heard about HSLDA wanting to do this? www.hslda.org

If you just look at their perspective on parent's rights, I think it's a really good thing.

Just wanted to let others know.

Besides HSing being protected, it would protect families from other things, like forced third-party visitation (grandparents "rights") which is really important to me.
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#3 of 130 Old 01-25-2007, 10:56 AM
 
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Terrifying right-wing, fundamentalist Christian agenda.
As much as I support home-schoolers, I would fight tooth and claw to keep that out of our constitution. I don't want to live in a Christian theocracy, thank you very much.
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#4 of 130 Old 01-25-2007, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Asherah,

Just honestly trying to understand... what do you see as negative about the words:

"Section 1. The God-given right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right which may not be abridged by the United States or any state.

Section 2. The balancing test applicable to other fundamental rights may be used to balance a claim of parental rights provided that the government establishes its interest by proper evidence in each case."

being added to the Constitution?

Is it because it mentions God? I mean, God is already mentioned in the Constitution as it is, so I really don't see what is bad about parental rights. I *want* parental rights. I want my children to assured the right to HS their own children. I don't want a court to be able to over-ride my decisions as a fit parent just because they don't agree, whether it's HS, HB, vax, third-party visitaion, or whatever. I would think an AP parent would really understand that.

Just because HSLDA might be seen negatively in other areas, I don't think it negates the good they are doing for parents and familes here.

I also don't see what putting parental rights in the Const. has to do wth a theocracy. It gives parents rights to raise their own children, no matter their religion.

Sorry, I just don't understand your views.
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#5 of 130 Old 01-25-2007, 06:29 PM
 
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HSLDA has no intention of adding any protections from governmental interference in my family. In fact, they work to undermine it.

The Supreme Court ruled against permissive grandparent rights in 2000.

http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/news/aa060500d.htm
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#6 of 130 Old 01-25-2007, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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chfriend,
How do they work to undermind gov't interference in you family?
Just trying to understand...

Thank you for the link.
I know what the USSC did and I am very thankful.
However, it did not solve the whole problem.
You can go to www.parentsrights.org today and read the message board. Parents are still being sued by third parties today in many states. Not that long ago, there was a media circus because a judge told a mom she couldn't move away from the grandmother, because the grandmother had visitation "rights."
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#7 of 130 Old 01-25-2007, 07:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Love View Post
Is it because it mentions God? I mean, God is already mentioned in the Constitution as it is
I'm not a constitutional scholar by any stretch, in fact my knowledge in this area is woefully limited, but my attempts at a search through the full text of the consititution and its ammendments doesn't seem to find the word "god"- can you tell me where god is mentioned?

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#8 of 130 Old 01-25-2007, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yk, I just honesty always thought God was mentioned in there. If he's not, my mistake. I was a good student and went to public school and 2.5 years of college, and apparently never really studied the Const. in all that time.
That isn't really the point of what I am saying though. I was trying to say that parental rights are a good thing, something I thought HSers would be in favor of. But I guess I am alone in thinking this here. So anyway, maybe it is just time for me to bow out on this thread. I didn't really come here to debate it, just to let others know.
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#9 of 130 Old 01-25-2007, 09:02 PM
 
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Love, you cand find a lot in answer to your question on this page:
http://www.homeschoolingislegal.info/

; ) - Lillian
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#10 of 130 Old 01-25-2007, 09:16 PM
 
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Terrifying right-wing, fundamentalist Christian agenda.
As much as I support home-schoolers, I would fight tooth and claw to keep that out of our constitution. I don't want to live in a Christian theocracy, thank you very much.
I must say that I do not understand this response. I do not understand why any parent, whether christian or not, would want to risk losing their rights to decide how their children are raised and educated, etc... It appears to me that this UN treaty could be risky for any parent.

Tina
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#11 of 130 Old 01-25-2007, 09:37 PM
 
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I think the HSLDA and their conservative Christian fellows are coming at the topic of parental rights from a patriarchal outlook in which children are considered the property of their parents (and especially their fathers).

When people with this outlook raise the question of parental rights, they typically frame it in this way: "Whose kids are they, yours or the state's?" Or they might say, "Who knows better about how to raise your kid, you or the state?" In various ways, they frame the question as either the parent or the state having ownership of the child. Almost everyone rejects the idea that the state should "own" children, and so it seems hard to argue with the HSLDA (and their conservative Christian fellows). When they frame the conflict that way, their point of view seems obviously correct.

But if you consider children to be citizens with rights, rather than the property of their parents, then you might frame the question an entirely different way. You might ask, "Do children have any rights that their parents are obliged not to violate?" You might frame the fundamental conflict, not as being about parents' rights vs. the state's rights, but as parents' rights vs. children's rights. When the question is put that way, suddenly the question of whether parents should absolutely be able to raise their kids any way they see fit seems more complicated.

For example:
- Do parents have the right to withhold food as a punishment?
- Do parents have the right to discipline their child with a belt or paddle?
- Do parents have the right to require their children to work for wages that the parents will keep?
- Do parents have the right to prevent their children from accessing information that the parents disagree with?
- Do parents have the right to deny their children medical treatment?
- Do parents have the right to deny girls an education?
- Do parents have the right to send their gay teenagers to a locked psychiatric hospital in order to attempt a forced "conversion"?
- Do parents have the right to sever their children's relationships with others?
- Do parents have the right to marry off their minor children without those children's consent?

When you look at those questions instead of questions like homeschooling, homebirth, etc., doesn't the issue of parental rights start sounding more complicated?

Alexandra 4.11.05 and Colin 2.9.09. Click on my name to visit my homeschooling blog.
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#12 of 130 Old 01-25-2007, 10:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love View Post
Have you heard about HSLDA wanting to do this? www.hslda.org

If you just look at their perspective on parent's rights, I think it's a really good thing.

Just wanted to let others know.

Besides HSing being protected, it would protect families from other things, like forced third-party visitation (grandparents "rights") which is really important to me.
In theory, I understand it. Especially the grandparents part you mentioned. But I think chfriend put that straight.

But also, the more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the society (who said that?). I would NOT support anything that said God in it to be added into our Constitution, personally.

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#13 of 130 Old 01-25-2007, 11:17 PM
 
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But also, the more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the society (who said that?). I would NOT support anything that said God in it to be added into our Constitution, personally.
I'm a bit confused, so bear with me. :P I get lost when it comes to legal things.

First of all, would it be a law??? I thought I understood it to be adding to our RIGHTS not laws. Also I did not ever see that they were trying to add "God" into the constitution. Instead I understood that it would be worded something like: "Parental rights are a FUNDAMENTAL right" such as the right to life, expression, etc...
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#14 of 130 Old 01-25-2007, 11:38 PM
 
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Rivka5,

I see what you are saying about the parents' rights vs. childrens' rights. But I also can see where it all can be taken too far and that is what scares me personally. I already do many things that are against what the government and society in general believes. I home birth in a state where there is no legal protection for midwives, I do not vaccinate, I homeschool, we share a family bed, etc... What concerns me is that the signing of this treaty as I understand it could actually end up risking the lives and health (both mentally, emotionally, and physically) of my children. One of the questions in your list was about refusing medical treatment and this one means a lot to me. I treat MOST things here at home with natural things such as diet, herbs, homeopathics, etc... If my children to ever be diagnosed with cancer, I would NOT allow them to receive chemo or radiation, but instead would treat it naturally also. There have already been cases invovling exactly this, where even the child did not want to endure these dangerous treatments either, but the parents were taken to court and FORCED to FORCE them onto the child. This is an example of the government takeing away teh rights of both parent and child. And this could happen many times over with many other situations if this treaty is signed (I believe).

I have also heard stories such as this one where a 13 year old girl was caught doing drugs and was grounded (not spanked or otherwise harshly punished) and she, with the help of the state, took her parents to court over it and got herself removed from the home and put into foster care.

I also wanted to mention that I am a Christian yet I DO NOT believe that I OWN my children. I also do not know of any other Christians that think that way. I do believe that I know my children best and that NO ONE else can give them what I can give them or knows better what they need or do not need. I have very little trust in our government and absolutley DO NOT want them having any say in how I should raise and care for these children I have been blessed with. Their motives would never be out of LOVE for my child. I do not even believe that they would ever truly be motivated by what is BEST for the child as they might say they are. Look at vaccines, food production, etc... They are primarily motivated by money and power even if it means much harm being done to our children and our world...but that is a WHOLE other subject! :P

Tina
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#15 of 130 Old 01-26-2007, 01:29 PM
 
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I must say that I do not understand this response. I do not understand why any parent, whether christian or not, would want to risk losing their rights to decide how their children are raised and educated, etc... It appears to me that this UN treaty could be risky for any parent.

Tina
Here in the UK we are facing this very thing - and our govt. is usually considered a long way to the left of the USA. ATM the parents responsibilty for education is enshrined in law, and is used a lot as a get out clause when state schooling screws up. They are proposing changes to the law here that will make the LEA (our equivalent of the school board, but unelected) responsible for education.... bringing into line the law with what certain officials do anyway :-( until they screw up etc.. see above.

As we don't have a constitution we don't have many of the protections that you enjoy in the USA. This has its upsides as well, but parents becoming breeders for the purposes if the state (in effect anyway) ?????
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#16 of 130 Old 01-26-2007, 01:36 PM
 
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I think the HSLDA and their conservative Christian fellows are coming at the topic of parental rights from a patriarchal outlook in which children are considered the property of their parents (and especially their fathers).
Whoa. Where do you get that theory from? Property?!!!!
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#17 of 130 Old 01-26-2007, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really hate to see it phrased as "children's rights vs. parent's rights." It is not me vs. my children. I love my children and want what is best for them.

What this amendment will prevent, IMO, is the state saying what they want for my kids is more important than what I know is best for my kids. Examples:
We homeschooled, but not anymore because now my children have a "right" to an "education."
We used to homebirth, but now my babies have the "right" to "medical care."
On and on and on.

In Rivka5's post- some of your examples are abuse, and that is obviously illegal and will stay illegal. HSLDA says they don't want people to have the "right" to do anything with their kids.
This amendent is just about what HSLDA fights for- the true rights to HS, not vax, not force third-party visitation on the family, etc. They just want parent's rights to be fundamental, so we can keep our freedoms as families.

Also, I am a Christian, and I do NOT believe I "own" my children. I have never met a Christian who felt that way. Christians generally believe we are stewards of things, that we don't "own" anything really... everything belongs to God and should be treated as such.

I am sure there will always be differences... My neighbors are glad they have the right to spank their children, I am glad I have the right to keep my abusive parents away from my children, others are glad they have the right to unschool and refuse medical treatment.... We all might see each others as abusive ("How could they spank?!" or "How could they deny their children vaccines?!" or "It should be illegal to unschool!!") but if don't protect parental right as a whole, we may not have them at all, and that goes for us Mothering-types as well.
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I'm a bit confused, so bear with me. :P I get lost when it comes to legal things.

First of all, would it be a law??? I thought I understood it to be adding to our RIGHTS not laws. Also I did not ever see that they were trying to add "God" into the constitution. Instead I understood that it would be worded something like: "Parental rights are a FUNDAMENTAL right" such as the right to life, expression, etc...
See post #4 for the wording. Rights or no rights, people use every word in that constitution to make new laws and use it as law.

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#19 of 130 Old 01-27-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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- Do parents have the right to sever their children's relationships with others?
Absolutely, when the parents feel that said relationships are harmful to the child. There was an article in Parents magazine several months ago about a grandfather who had sexually abused the mother as a child sucessfully suing for "visitation rights." The government had no place in that.

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#20 of 130 Old 01-28-2007, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Absolutely, when the parents feel that said relationships are harmful to the child. There was an article in Parents magazine several months ago about a grandfather who had sexually abused the mother as a child sucessfully suing for "visitation rights." The government had no place in that.
I can't agree enough with this.

Forced third-party visitation can be down right evil.
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#21 of 130 Old 01-28-2007, 05:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Rivka5 View Post

When you look at those questions instead of questions like homeschooling, homebirth, etc., doesn't the issue of parental rights start sounding more complicated?
But if we start losing our rights as parents, don't you see what a slippery slope it is for all our parental rights?

It's not like they are going to ask you what ones you personally want to keep.

Once the gov't starts making these decisions for us, where will they stop?


I don't think the questions you listed are all bad. For instance, yes- parents should be able to decide what info their kids have access to. Do I want my five-year-old to have a "right" to read about Hitler, or my nine-year-old have the "right" to view porn? Amish kids suing their parents because they the "right" to the info on the internet... : I could go on... but it's late.
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#22 of 130 Old 01-28-2007, 02:02 PM
 
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But if we start losing our rights as parents, don't you see what a slippery slope it is for all our parental rights?

It's not like they are going to ask you what ones you personally want to keep.

Once the gov't starts making these decisions for us, where will they stop?
Given your current goverment, I'm not sure that even having these things enshrined in your constitution would help. You might be better off trying to elect a government that has basic respect for it's people. I am exceedingly grateful that I live in Canada - and never more so than during W.'s administration.

I personally would not want the HSLDA to speak for me on any issues, but most especially ones related to the family. They have incredibly UNfriendly agendas towards parents, children and I would venture to say also against any homeschoolers who do not identify as right wing christian fundamentalists.

Karen

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#23 of 130 Old 01-28-2007, 02:10 PM
 
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I don't think Rivka5's list of questions to consider was meant to be all obvious answers (much less all obviously "no" answers)- her point, at least as I took it, was that these are much fuzzier questions, but highly relevant to the question of "parents' rights (or not) to control their children" (and "children's rights to self-determination") and that any given person is likely to see more sides of each of them, and of them as a whole, and should then perhaps see that the question, when looked at from some other points of view, of parents rights (vs. state rights, vs. children's rights), is, as she said, much more complicated.

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#24 of 130 Old 02-02-2007, 03:25 PM
 
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Absolutely, when the parents feel that said relationships are harmful to the child. There was an article in Parents magazine several months ago about a grandfather who had sexually abused the mother as a child sucessfully suying for "visitation rights." The government had no place in that.
This is the exact point! I am in the middle of a 1.5 year legal battle that has cost my husband and me over 60 K at this point and it only keeps going up. We are battling my parents who decided to sue us to see our kids.

We are fit parents and have decided that they are not appropriate role models for our kids and we do not want to have anything to do with them. Hence, they take us to court! This is all supposed to be happening in the best interest of the child, but who knows better of the best interest of their child than his/her own parents, certainly not the state!!

Parental rights are in danger. How can Grandparent Rights (I hate to use that terminology, as I feel they have NO rights, being a GP is a privilege not a right) trump parental rights? Well, so far in my case the GP's have more rights than we do!!
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#25 of 130 Old 02-04-2007, 04:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Mom2-3,

So what are the laws in NY as far as third-parties forcing visitation on parents?

It is such an awful thing, even harder for an AP family, I am sure! I am truly sorry you are going thru that.

If you don't mind saying, what happened? How is it going?

My parents used to threaten to sue us for "rights" to our DC because they hated the way we were raising them. The irony is that my parents were actually extremely abusive in several ways, but they thought DH and I were 'ruining' our children with such awful things as BFing (at a few months old).
I can not explain the fear and dispair I went through as a mother, thinking the courts might tell me to give my DC over to them alone!!! I became a Christian from going thru that ordeal, and God has truly protected my family!

I know that some here don't understand why parent's rights are important.

It is one of those things one may not truly understand the worth of, until it is taken from them.
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#26 of 130 Old 02-05-2007, 03:05 AM
 
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Personally, I am very suspicious of the "parents' rights" movement. I do believe that parents should have more-or-less unchecked authority regarding their kids' education, medical care, discipline (short of abuse), religious practices, and the like, but the "parents' rights" movement seems (in my understanding) to be less about those things and more about specific practices of a certain subculture. HSLDA actively opposes, for example, parents' rights of gay parents. They actively oppose parents' rights of parents who do choose public schools. So, yes, I support parents' rights, but not as interpreted by the organized "parents' rights" movement through organizations like HSLDA.
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#27 of 130 Old 02-05-2007, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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HSLDA actively opposes, for example, parents' rights of gay parents. They actively oppose parents' rights of parents who do choose public schools. So, yes, I support parents' rights, but not as interpreted by the organized "parents' rights" movement through organizations like HSLDA.

This wording of this amendment is for ALL parents.
The amendment would not be anti-gay or anti-public school at all.


(BTW, how do they fight against public school parents?)


I actually know of a gay man in politics who is in favor of parent's rights, like this amendment (and public school is one of his pet causes). I haven't asked, but I think the reason he likes the amendment is because it will recoginize him as a parent and not let his rights be trampled by third-parties, etc, just because he is not in a 'traditional' family.
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#28 of 130 Old 02-05-2007, 03:56 PM
 
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#29 of 130 Old 02-05-2007, 04:54 PM
 
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I do not see anything in the wording that would take AWAY a right from any parent.

I too am wondering how HSLDA fights against the rights of public schooling families. Actually, to the contrary, I have read articles at their site in which they are supporting the rights of parents whose children are public schooled. For example when parents are protesting the teaching of early sex education as well as others.

One other thought, why does it matter WHERE exactly a movement like this one begins? For example, I may not fully agree with a certain person on everything they believe, but if they are calling on people to support a just cause, I would still be a part of it. Why does it matter if HSLDA is the one spear heading this campaign and you disagree with some background stance that they take. This cause is still important to ALL parents, whether christian or not, whether homeschooling or not, whether attachment parenting or not, etc... Supporting this cause does not automatically "connect" anyone with HSLDA, only with this specific cause.

On that note, if more people could put aside their differences and work TOGETHER on things that they CAN agree on, this world would be a much better and peacuful place!

Tina
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#30 of 130 Old 02-05-2007, 06:49 PM
 
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I understand that this amendment isn't necessarily connected to HSLDA, but I'm concerned about the implications of it regarding things like protection from child abuse, and the fact that it's HSLDA-backed doesn't reassure me.
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