A couple of House Republicans say parents need to have more freedom to raise their kids the way they want to. They want to change the state’s constitution to keep the government from meddling in what they say should be parental decisions.
One of the representatives says New Mexico has a big problem when it comes to the state overstepping on how parents should educate and raise their kids.
“When our constitution in New Mexico was originally drafted the parental right was common law, but that’s not the case today. Parental rights are under attack in our country and they need to be strengthened, they need to be codified in our constitution and in our bill of rights,” Rep. Gregg Schmedes, R-Tijeras, said.
House Joint Resolution 7 is sponsored by Republican representatives Gregg Schmedes and Cathrynn Brown. It would amend Article II of New Mexico’s constitution to create a parent’s right to choose the upbringing, education and care of their kids.
They call it a civil rights issue. The main objective is to make it easier to enroll children in private, home or religious schools by removing some of the hoops.
Rep. Schmedes says he will also add an amendment to this resolution that states people with disabilities shouldn’t have their parental rights taken away.
“New Mexico is one of nine states that can revoke the parental right solely on the basis of a person’s disability and that is flat out discrimination and that needs to be fixed, and this joint resolution will fix that problem,” Rep. Schmedes said.
A small group of families showed up in support of this resolution at the hearing. Meanwhile, representatives from school districts spoke out in opposition, saying the resolution’s broad language could hurt public school funding.
The resolution says the only time a state could interfere with a parents’ rights is if a child is in danger.
It was tabled at the committee hearing, but if passed it would be up to the voters to decide if they want this added to New Mexico’s constitution.