We at the Coalition for Responsible Home Education are deeply concerned about the “Parents’ Bill of Rights” being heard in the Montana senate judiciary committee this Friday, February 24. Sen. Manzella (District 44) introduced SB 337 “Generally Revise Parental Rights Laws.” SB 337 would be utterly disastrous for Montana’s most vulnerable children.
While we all wish every parent was loving and responsible, we all know that is unfortunately not true. Not every child has caring parents, but Manzella’s bill completely ignores this reality. If SB 337 were to pass, it would drastically change the legal framework Montana’s courts have been operating under for decades.
To get into the legal weeds for a moment: calling a parent’s rights “fundamental” in this bill means the government must satisfy the “strict scrutiny” test. Usually this test is applied to things like our freedom of speech, or of religion. To be clear, the US Supreme Court has never applied strict scrutiny to parental rights. However, if parents’ rights were to become “fundamental,” it would make it a foundational freedom for one person to have absolute control and authority over another human being. That should horrify us – and should not become law.
No one is arguing parents shouldn’t have rights. They absolutely do have rights. But parental rights are balanced against a child’s rights to life and safety. SB 377 destroys that balance.
If you are a Montana resident, here’s what you can do:
Hello Senator [Name]
My name is [Your Name] and I’m [calling/writing] from [Your Zip Code] concerning SBB 337. I urge you to vote no on this bill, as it endangers all of Montana’s most vulnerable children. Parental rights should be balanced against a child’s right to life and safety, and this bill completely destroys that balance. While I’m sure both you and I wished all parents were caring and responsible, we know that’s not true. But this bill completely ignores that reality. Please vote to reject this bill and protect Montana’s kids. Thank you very much for your time.
Whether you live in Montana or have people in your network who do, you can share posts like these on your social media accounts to raise awareness.