Parent's Right to Control the Education of their Children: AZ Merit Opt-Out Sample Letter
The U.S. Supreme Court has continuously upheld the principle that parents have the fundamental right to direct the education and upbringing of their children. As a fundamental right, parental liberty is to be protected by the highest standard of review: the compelling interest test.
In the seminal decision, Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923), the Court recognized the fundamental constitutional right of parents to control the education of their children. The Supreme Court also recognized that the right of the parents to delegate their authority to a teacher in order to instruct their children was protected within the liberty of the Fourteenth Amendment." Meyer, 262 U.S. 390 at 400.
In 1925, the Supreme Court decided Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925). In addition to affirming the decision in Meyer, Pierce also asserted the parents’ fundamental right to keep their children free from government standardization. The court stated, "The child is not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right and the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations."
The most recent case disposed of by the Supreme Court, Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), affirmed Meyer and every case thereafter. In light of this extensive precedent, the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children.
Based on the rights conferred on me as a parent, protected by the U.S. Constitution, I am refusing to allow my child to participate in the ___________________ test. Barring your ability to provide case law to the contrary, I expect my decision will be respected and there will be no retaliatory action taken against my child as a result of this decision.
On behalf of my child, ___________________
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