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Watchdog Campaign to Restore Parental Rights Reaches Over 370,000

by | Aug 25, 2020

It is a fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their minor children.

Recognized across the state for helping parents whose children have been taken to a psychiatric facility for involuntary examination under Florida’s mental health law, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) launched a public information campaign earlier this year designed to educate parents on some of their rights.

Viewed as a statewide problem, the number of children sent for involuntary psychiatric examinations, called a Baker Act, has been steadily climbing for two almost decades. The most recent report reveals that more than 36,000 Baker Acts were initiated on children in Florida during 2017/2018 and over 4,000 of these children were under the age of 10. [1]

Viewing the undermining of parental rights when a child is Baker Acted as a human rights violation, CCHR Florida decided to launch a campaign on parental rights with a focus on invasive mental health programs and screenings.

“In an effort to keep schools safe, children are being evaluated for mental illness without parental consent under the guise of risk assessment,” stated Diane Stein, president of CCHR Florida. “This is a violation of parental rights.”

In response to these concerns, CCHR Florida has made a free eBook available to anyone wanting to know more about parental rights and have used social media to inform over 370,000 people since the campaign was launched. Currently CCHR is mailing copies of these booklets to school districts, law enforcement and other groups across the state resulting in requests for hundreds of more booklets for use with School Resource Officers.

“We are making this booklet and these rights available to everyone free of charge,” said Diane Stein. “While parental rights are viewed as fundamental many families wonder what these rights are and where they can be found and this booklet answers these questions.”

As stated by the United States Supreme Court, “The history and culture of Western civilization reflect a strong tradition of parental concern for the nurture and upbringing of their children. This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition.” [2]

CCHR encourages parents who wish to know more about their rights to visit their website at Parental Rights where they can download a free copy of the eBooklet.

Sources:
[1] Baker Act Reporting Center https://www.usf.edu/cbcs/baker-act/documents/ba_usf_annual_report_2017_2018.pdf
[2] Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406, U.S. 205, 232 (1972)

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