Acknowledging Parental Authority

Acknowledging Parental Authority

I am pleased to announce that HB 2088, a bill to acknowledge parental authority through informed consent, passed out of the Senate on Monday.  Even though the bill has been dramatically amended, we now have an acknowledgement of parental authority, to protect personal information and we’ve seen the introduction of the concept of “cure” into Arizona Revised Statutes.

The Bill was amended in the Senate and the House will likely concur with my blessing on the alterations.

During last session and all throughout the interim I received a constant stream of calls from, and emails by constituents from many districts about the taking of information that isn’t the governments to take.  Parents of K-12 school children have sought legislative relief from both the data collection driven education system, referred to as Arizona as College and Career Ready Standards; and from our own Attorney General’s opinion that in their mind and my own, usurps the authority of parents concerning what their children will be exposed to.

Parenting is not an enumerated power given to federal or state government agencies to act upon at their whim, and the choice to grant or withhold the collection of private information concerning a child’s environment is indeed protected by the 4th Amendment.

There are three fundamental arguments that even Congress has recognized in the newest ESSA bill.

  1. Information about a person belongs to a person and they have exclusive rights to it,
  2. Parental authority isn’t a permission,
  3. Parents have an absolute right to give or withhold their consent.


As we visit the Constitution of the United States, which the members on both sides of the isle in our State House agree is the supreme law of the land, I do not see a specific and discrete enumerated power that permits the government to usurp the authority of parents.  Under the 9th Amendment, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”, and in the 10th Amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.  And, under The 4th Amendment, “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,”

HB 2088 was originally designed to give formal acknowledgement of parental authority, and the construction of a framework that will permit school districts in pursuit of non-test -aka survey- data, to solicit the informed consent of parents.  The bill did not address tests of skill and knowledge nor did it restrict the use of the SAT or ACT, common college assessments.

I was shocked and saddened to see Senators Dalesandro, Farley, Hobbs, Meza, Miranda, Sherwood (all Democrat) vote against family values, parental authority and the protection of a child’s 4th Amendment right to privacy.  I was very happy to see support from my seat-mates Rep. Vince Leach and Sen. Steve Smith.

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