wa-law.org > bill > 2023-24 > SB 5558 > Original Bill

SB 5558 - Rights of parents


Section 1

  1. The legislature acknowledges that children are naturally incapable of exercising self-government until the age of majority. The legislature recognizes that parents are the best protectors of their children and have the natural right and duty to care for them.

  2. The legislature acknowledges that the United States supreme court has repeatedly recognized and protected the rights of parents and guardians and stressed the importance of family. For example, in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925), the supreme court held that a state law that required children to attend public schools "unreasonably interfere[d] with the liberty of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of children under their control." In Wisconsin v. Yoder 406 U.S. 205 (1972), the supreme court explained, "The history and culture of Western civilization reflect a strong tradition of parental concern for the nurture and upbringing of children. This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition." In Moore v. City of East Cleveland 431 U.S. 494 (1977), the supreme court explained that its decisions "establish that the Constitution protects the sanctity of the family precisely because the institution of the family is deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition. It is through the family that we inculcate and pass down many of our most cherished values, moral and cultural."

  3. The legislature intends to codify parents and guardians' fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of their children to help protect this right from governmental encroachment on parental authority in public schools.

Section 2

  1. The legislature declares that the laws of the state of Washington regarding education shall recognize the fundamental right of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of their children.

  2. This fundamental right includes choosing the type of education their child will receive, as recognized by RCW 28A.225.010, and making reasonable choices related to their child's education.

  3. No state law regarding education shall infringe on this fundamental right without demonstrating that the state law is furthering a compelling governmental interest and is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest.

  4. This fundamental right shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life.

Created by @tannewt. Contribute on GitHub.