MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

February 25, 2013

Bill wastes Legislature’s time


— A bill designed to enumerate parental rights in Oklahoma is a waste of legislative time and taxpayer money.

The “parental bill of rights” was introduced by Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, to keep government from interfering with how parents raise their children.

We are not against parents’ rights.

Good parents deserve the right to raise their children without government interference.

Children of bad parents need the government’s intervention. There are laws that define when a parent is abusing his or her children.

Even Kern says this bill of rights gives nothing new to Oklahoma parents — except to state explicitly that parents have fundamental rights and lay out those rights in one unambiguous law.

However, the United States  Supreme Court has decades of rulings that set precedents for parents’ rights.

Courts honor parents’ rights and give them the benefit of the doubt in rulings often because they are the parents.

In comments to the Associated Press, Kern says the bill aims to prevent government from creeping into the realm of parental rights.

This legislation should not be attempting to keep some far-away possibility from occurring. This bill only reinforces legal  precedent.

Legislators should move onto more pressing needs — such as getting a budget decided before the last moment.