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Home School Legal Defense Association

Mission: Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Through annual memberships, HSLDA is tens of thousands of families united in service together, providing a strong voice when and where needed. HSLDA advocates on Capitol Hill by tracking federal legislation that affects homeschooling and parental rights. HSLDA works to defeat or amend harmful bills, but also works proactively, introducing legislation to protect and preserve family freedoms.

* This organization profile has been set up by POPVOX.

Take Action with Home School Legal Defense Association

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Promoting equal rights and protections for disabled persons around the ...

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Join Home School Legal Defense Association in opposing The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

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Oppose

Detailed Legislative Agenda

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Promoting equal rights and protections for disabled persons around the world sounds like a great idea. But let’s take a closer look at what the treaty actually says and how it would impact the United States. Here are some of our most serious concerns.

The CRPD could threaten homeschooling rights and parental rights. It would surrender parents and caregivers’ decision-making ability on behalf of their disabled children to unelected and unaccountable UN bureaucrats.

The CRPD would override existing state laws, seriously damaging states’ rights.

The CRPD would surrender our nation’s sovereignty to unelected bureaucrats.

This treaty is unnecessary for the United States to sign. The U.S. is the world leader in protecting the rights of those with disabilities. Through our 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and 1997 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, we already provide as much or more protection for the disabled than the CRPD.

http://www.hslda.or...s/crpd/default.aspx

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/hslda#hslda-x-142-oppose
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

July 13, 2012 - Senator John Kerry announced yesterday that he plans to pass the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities before July 26—just 13 days from today. He has scheduled a formal committee vote next Thursday—July 19. This is an unprecedented attempt to jam a binding international treaty through the Senate without proper time for debate or consideration.

Yesterday’s “hearing” was a carefully orchestrated attempt to get this treaty ratified without any serious consideration. There were nine total witnesses. Only two people opposed to the treaty were allowed to testify—Steven Groves from Heritage Foundation and me.

False Ideas

The administration seeks to promote two ideas that are simply inaccurate: 1. Disabled Americans who travel overseas will directly benefit by U.S. ratification of this treaty; 2. Ratifying a treaty does not require us to comply with international law.

They are arguing that a treaty is an empty promise with no actual substance. The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution makes it clear that the administration is wrong. Treaties form a part of the Supreme Law of the Land once ratified.

And no one even attempted a serious answer to our core parental rights concern.

Article 7 of the UNCRPD gives government the ability to override every decision of a parent of disabled children if the government thinks that its views are in “the best interest of the child.”

Parental Rights at Stake

This is a radical attempt to take away parental rights. Make no mistake—if they succeed at ratifying this treaty, the Convention on the Rights of the Child is next. This is not a battle just for parents with disabled and special needs children. This is a battle for every parent.

Read more http://www.hslda.or.../2012/201207130.asp

(This bill was proposed in a previous session of Congress.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/hslda#hslda-x-38-oppose
S. 1877: Speak Up to Protect Every Abused Kid Act

HSLDA’s Position: Oppose

Background:

S. 1877 will amend the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) to require—for the first time ever—every single state that receives federal funding under CAPTA to force every single adult to be a mandatory reporter of child abuse or neglect. Currently, most states only require certain people (e.g., doctors and teachers) to be mandatory reporters. HSLDA opposes this for the following reasons:

The federal government should not force the states to make every single adult a mandatory reporter of child abuse and neglect as a condition for receiving certain federal money. This is a violation of the principle of federalism. The federal government has no constitutional authority to force the states to make every adult a mandatory reporter.

Forcing the states to make every single adult a mandatory reporter with no exceptions will lead to a police-state environment, where every adult is forced to act as an informer against friends, family, and neighbors, or face possible charges. There are grave threats to liberty and personal privacy that could result from this.

Forcing every adult to be a mandatory reporter will likely lead to a massive increase in child abuse and neglect accusations and subsequent investigations. Individuals will likely report suspected child abuse and neglect out of an abundance of caution so they do not face possible charges. Instead of protecting children, this will (1) harm innocent families as they face baseless investigations, and (2) waste the time of social workers on baseless investigations, instead of protecting children who are actually being abused or neglected.

S. 1877 also creates a massive federally funded educational campaign and training program to inform citizens about the new mandatory reporting of child abuse laws in the states. HSLDA opposes this for the following reasons:

In a time of federal budget deficits, the federal government should not be spending $5 million to $10 million per year on a program that should be left to the states.

Although the program is established in S. 1877 as a federal grant program to the states, the secretary of Health and Human Services is given the authority to “develop and disseminate guidance and information on best practices for” the entire educational campaign and training program. This could easily lead to the federal government mandating to the states the entire reporting campaign.

In conclusion, S. 1877 will lead to a massive increase in child abuse and neglect investigations upon families. The stated purpose of S. 1877’s mandatory reporting expansion, along with the education campaign and training program is to “improve reporting” of child abuse and neglect. The bill will give states new federal grants to set up “experimental, model, and demonstration programs for testing innovative approaches and techniques that may improve reporting of and response to suspected and known incidents of child abuse or neglect by adults to the State child protective service agencies or to law enforcement agencies.”

Not only will S. 1877 require every single adult to be a mandatory reporter, S. 1877 will incentivize states to create untested, “experimental” programs that will increase the number of child abuse and neglect reports to CPS agencies.

HSLDA has seen firsthand how malicious or ignorant child abuse and neglect allegations have destroyed innocent families. A family has few protections against the power of CPS agencies. And even if a CPS investigation is closed as unfounded, the trauma to a young child, to an innocent family as a stranger (albeit maybe a well-intentioned stranger) enters the home and threatens to remove the children, is lasting and profound.

S. 1877 is unnecessary. The states—using federal money under the existing CAPTA statute—are fully capable of protecting children from legitimate abuse and neglect. S. 1877 will create a massive police state of reporting and will lead to unnecessary abuse and neglect investigations.

http://www.hslda.or...1/S1877/default.asp

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/hslda#hslda-s-1877-oppose
S. 1800: Parental Consent Act of 2011

HSLDA’s Position:

Support

Background:

S. 1800 will prohibit mandatory mental health screenings funded by the federal government. There are countless life-threatening reactions children can experience from various medications, and HSLDA believes parents, not government officials, are the best persons to make decisions regarding their child’s health.

S. 1800 states “Universal or mandatory mental health screening violates the right of parents to direct and control the upbringing of their children.” HSLDA strongly supports this legislation in prohibiting a federal takeover of parental responsibility.

http://www.hslda.or...2/S1800/default.asp

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/hslda#hslda-s-1800-support
H.Res. 20: Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Senate should ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination ...

3/1/2011 - HSLDA’s Position: Oppose.

Background:

CEDAW is a U.N. treaty signed by President Carter but never ratified by the U.S. Senate. The treaty calls on its signers to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women. If the Senate ratified this treaty, it and a U.N. committee’s directives would become the supreme law of the land due to the supremacy clause in our Constitution. HSLDA is concerned about giving the U.N. that much power over our daily lives; especially since the U.N. committee’s directives have included trying to eliminate the traditional roles of men and women, including seeing women as mothers and teaching an understanding of a traditional family to children. HSLDA deems this treaty as very harmful and dangerous to homeschooling.

http://www.hslda.or.../H.R.20/default.asp

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/hslda#hslda-hres-20-oppose
H.R. 2117 (112th): The Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act

H.R. 2117 is in direct response to new U.S. Department of Education regulations that were issued last November to add a federal definition of a credit hour and create new federal regulations regarding accreditation of colleges and universities. HSLDA is concerned that the U.S. Department of Education would use these regulations to control and regulate all higher education institutions. Down the road, this could lead to federal regulation over private colleges and universities that do not take federal funds. Federal control over the very existence of colleges and universities was never attempted before these regulations. H.R. 2117 would repeal these federal regulations.

http://www.hslda.or.../HR2117/default.asp

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/hslda#hslda-hr-2117-support
S.Res. 99 (112th): Expressing the sense of the Senate that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child undermines principles of law in the ...

HSLDA has long opposed the CRC because of its threats to U.S. sovereignty and parental rights. We encourage you to read “Nannies in Blue Berets: Understanding the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child” to learn more about the dangers of the CRC.

The CRC was adopted by the U.N. on November 20, 1989. On February 16, 1995, Madeline Albright, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, signed the CRC on behalf of the United States. However, because there was not enough support for it, the CRC was never sent to the Senate for ratification. The CRC is a treaty, and under the U.S. Constitution, it requires ratification by a two-thirds majority vote in the U.S. Senate.

The CRC has been ratified by 193 nations. HSLDA sees this as a dangerous step towards adopting the CRC as law in the country. S. Res. 99 is needed as a temporary protection against the dangers of the CRC until the Parental Rights Amendment is ratified.

http://www.hslda.or.../SRes99/default.asp

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/hslda#hslda-sres-99-support
H.R. 508: Child Tax Credit Preservation Act of 2011

H.R. 508 would repeal sections of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and allow child tax credits to be permanent.

H.R. 508 would also adjust credits due to inflation. The credits’ dollar amount would be multiplied by the cost-of-living adjustment and then rounded to the nearest multiple of $50.

Numerous homeschool families already use the child tax credit. HSLDA supports this tax credit and H.R. 508 for continuing to give homeschool families this option.

http://www.hslda.or...H.R.508/default.asp

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/hslda#hslda-hr-508-support
H.R. 272: To amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act to exempt ordinary books and paper-based printed material from the lead limit in such Act.
(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/hslda#hslda-hr-272-support
S. 54: Supporting Child Maltreatment Prevention Efforts in Community Health Centers Act of 2011

S. 54 will create federally funded health centers. These centers will “provide universal access to a family centered integrated and voluntary services model that prevents child maltreatment and promotes family well-being.”

The centers will:

“Provide preventative parenting skills training programs (supporting children’s optimal social, emotional, physical, and academic development).”

“Screen to identify parental risk factors.”

“Help parents overcome impediments to effective parenting and change their behaviors toward child rearing and parenting.”

HSLDA believes that parents are best equipped to instruct and provide for their children. We are concerned that this bill will increase the federal government’s role in child-rearing and education decisions at the expense of parental rights.

S. 54 will also set up another federal home visitation program. This program will fund “trained professionals [to] visit a caregiver in the permanent or temporary residence of the caregiver, and provide a combination of information support, or training regarding child development, parenting skill, and health-related issues.”

All the details of the home visitation programs are open to being politically influenced by government bureaucrats who may think that they know more about parenting than do parents. They may pressure parents to adopt child-rearing methods that are against the family’s religious beliefs. Home visitation officials may even threaten families with abuse and neglect investigations if the families do not choose to follow the official parenting education models.

http://www.hslda.or.../H.R.54/default.asp

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/hslda#hslda-s-54-oppose
S. 178: Spending Reduction Act of 2011

S. 178 cuts $2.5 trillion in federal government spending through 2021. S. 178 would change the baseline in discretionary spending, repeal certain stimulus provisions, limit the number of civilian employees in the executive branch, and cut various federal programs.

Section 506 would cut a significant amount of federal funding for education programs, including cutting funds from some early education programs.

HSLDA believes that the Constitution does not give the federal government any authority to set education policy for states and local governments. We believe that our founders intended education decisions to be left to the parents and state and local governments.

Historically, education was never a federal government responsibility, and until the last half of the previous century, it was completely left in the hands of state and local governments. As can be seen with the successes of homeschooling, education flourishes when parents and teachers have the freedom to cater to the individual students needs. Education should be as decentralized as possible. Cutting many of these federal funds would cut centralized federal funds from interfering in education reform at the state and local level.

http://www.hslda.or...1/S.178/default.asp

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/hslda#hslda-s-178-support
H.R. 408: Spending Reduction Act of 2011

H.R. 408 cuts $2.5 trillion in federal government spending through 2021. H.R. 408 would change the baseline in discretionary spending, repeal certain stimulus provisions, limit the number of civilian employees in the executive branch, and cut various federal programs.

Section 506 would cut a significant amount of funds going towards federal involvement in education, including cutting funds from some early education programs.

HSLDA believes that the Constitution does not give the federal government any authority to set education policy for states and local governments. We believe that our founders intended education decisions to be left to the parents and state and local governments.

Historically, education was never a federal government responsibility, and until the last half of the previous century, it was completely left in the hands of state and local governments. As can be seen with the successes of homeschooling, education flourishes when parents and teachers have the freedom to cater to the individual students needs. Education should be as decentralized as possible. Cutting many of these federal funds would cut centralized federal funds from interfering in education reform at the state and local level.

http://www.hslda.or...H.R.408/default.asp

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/hslda#hslda-hr-408-support