Parents' Rights

August 12, 2022 • Volume 32, Issue 28
Should they have full control over the education of their children?
By Chandra White-Cummings


From Oregon to Florida, parents are asserting what they say is their right to direct the education of their children. The discontent has focused on questions ranging from anti-racism instruction to library book selections and COVID-19 pandemic issues, including school reopenings, whether masks should be worn at school and virtual and remote learning. Often, however, these parents have protested in ways that are angry and aggressive. Some have forced school board members to retreat from meetings, others have engaged in shouting matches — and in a few extreme cases, school board members say they have been threatened with violence. Parents with different views have pushed back against these protests, and sometimes they have been joined by students, who say open discussion of diverse viewpoints is healthy. Meanwhile, nonwhite parents in many areas have formed their own advocacy groups to seek policies that will curb inequities in public schools.

Photo of woman protesting against critical race theory in Leesburg, Virginia, on June 12, 2021. (AFP/Getty Images/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds)
A woman protests the content of anti-racism instruction in Loudoun County, Va., public schools in June 2021. The issue has been divisive as some parents assert what they say is their right to direct their children's education while others argue that open discussion of ideas is healthy. (AFP/Getty Images/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Education Issues
Jan. 27, 2023  Deaths of Despair
Sep. 23, 2022  Public Schools' Challenges
Aug. 12, 2022  Parents' Rights
Apr. 01, 2022  Online Learning
Jan. 21, 2022  Teaching About Racism
Oct. 01, 2021  COVID-19 and Children
Jun. 11, 2021  Special Education
Jun. 21, 2019  Title IX and Campus Sexual Assault
May 17, 2019  School Safety
Feb. 02, 2018  Bullying and Cyberbullying
Feb. 03, 2017  Civic Education
Sep. 05, 2014  Race and Education
Jun. 13, 2014  Dropout Rate
May 09, 2014  School Discipline
Mar. 07, 2014  Home Schooling
Dec. 02, 2011  Digital Education
Nov. 15, 2011  Expanding Higher Education
Dec. 10, 2010  Preventing Bullying Updated
Apr. 16, 2010  Revising No Child Left Behind
Mar. 26, 2010  Teen Pregnancy
Sep. 04, 2009  Financial Literacy
Jun. 05, 2009  Student Rights
Feb. 22, 2008  Reading Crisis?
Jul. 13, 2007  Students Under Stress
Apr. 27, 2007  Fixing Urban Schools Updated
Nov. 10, 2006  Video Games Updated
Mar. 03, 2006  AP and IB Programs
Oct. 07, 2005  Academic Freedom
Aug. 26, 2005  Evaluating Head Start
May 27, 2005  No Child Left Behind
Jan. 17, 2003  Home Schooling Debate
Sep. 06, 2002  Teaching Math and Science
Jun. 07, 2002  Grade Inflation
Dec. 07, 2001  Distance Learning
Apr. 20, 2001  Testing in Schools
May 14, 1999  National Education Standards
Apr. 10, 1998  Liberal Arts Education
Jul. 26, 1996  Attack on Public Schools
May 17, 1996  Year-Round Schools
Oct. 20, 1995  Networking the Classroom
Sep. 22, 1995  High School Sports
Jan. 20, 1995  Parents and Schools
Sep. 09, 1994  Home Schooling
Mar. 25, 1994  Private Management of Public Schools
Mar. 11, 1994  Education Standards
Apr. 09, 1993  Head Start
Nov. 30, 1990  Conflict Over Multicultural Education
Feb. 05, 1988  Preschool: Too Much Too Soon?
Oct. 23, 1987  Education Reform
Aug. 24, 1984  Status of the Schools
Sep. 10, 1982  Schoolbook Controversies
Sep. 03, 1982  Post-Sputnik Education
Aug. 18, 1978  Competency Tests
Jan. 26, 1972  Public School Financing
Nov. 03, 1971  Education for Jobs
Apr. 15, 1970  Reform of Public Schools
Aug. 27, 1969  Discipline in Public Schools
Dec. 27, 1968  Community Control of Public Schools
Jun. 14, 1965  Summer School Innovations
Oct. 28, 1964  Education of Slum Children
Jun. 05, 1963  Year-Round School
Mar. 28, 1962  Mentally Retarded Children
Dec. 17, 1958  Educational Testing
Sep. 25, 1957  Liberal Education
Jul. 11, 1956  Educational Exchange
Feb. 02, 1955  Federal Aid for School Construction
Mar. 07, 1951  Education in an Extended Emergency
Nov. 20, 1945  Postwar Public Education
Nov. 07, 1941  Standards of Education
Affirmative Action
Campaigns and Elections
Civil Rights and Civil Liberty Issues
Civil Rights Movement
Civil Rights: African Americans
Civil Rights: Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Issues
Conservatism and Liberalism
Diversity Issues
Early Childhood Education
Education Policy
Elementary and Secondary Education
Federal Courts
Freedom of Information
General Social Trends
Infectious Diseases
Internet and Social Media
Journalism and the News
Libraries and Educational Media
Online Education
Party Politics
Party Politics
Powers and History of the Presidency
Protest Movements
Students and Social Life
Supreme Court History and Decisions