One of the items covered by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds “Condition of the State” address was a potential “Parents Bill of Rights”. Its premise is to compel the courts to impose strict scrutiny on state action that infringes parental rights. It holds that parents are presumed fit and that their actions are in the best interest of the child. Only clear and convincing evidence can prove otherwise such as abuse or neglect.
This clarifies that parents have the right to raise questions to the school board or district about their child’s education. Recent actions to monitor or silence parents at school board meetings has spurred this renewed interest in clarifying the role of parental participation in their child’s education.
Area school districts openly and actively encourage parental participation, both with the school board and in everyday learning. As an example, Forest City School Superintendent Darwin Lehmann says his district currently has a plan in place to address the concerns of parents and any issues that may potentially arise.
The supporting of parent’s rights is nothing new in Iowa. A 2006 Iowa Supreme Court ruling, “Spiker vs. Spiker”, recognized the “right to direct upbringing of one’s children, is fundamental.”