Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Charles L. Howell
The rights of one party confer duties on others. If parents have educational rights, then the state has a duty not to interfere with the exercise of these rights, for example, by requiring one sort of education or forbidding another. The existence of parental rights is widely accepted. The extent of those rights, however, is controversial. At what point does the state's educational responsibility supersede parents' rights? The extent of a right depends on how it is justified—on the reason given for someone possessing it. This entry explores reasons commonly given for parents' educational rights and reviews arguments for state restrictions on them. Rights protect people's interests (property rights), their ability to fulfill duties (rights of conscience), and societal interests (freedom of the press). Parents clearly have an interest in children's upbringing. Loving others means wanting them to flourish. But does parents' deep interest in their children's well-being justify parental ...