Religious Schools v. Children's Rights
James G. Dwyer
William & Mary Law School
J. Dwyer, Religious Schools v. Children's Rights, Cornell University Press, 2001
William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-234
States in the U.S., unlike those in Europe, leave private schools unregulated. Some parents are therefore able to choose for their children schools oppressively indoctrinatory academies that contravene what the state generally assumes should be the aims for children's education. This book argues that the law's empowerment of parents rests on a morally and conceptually flawed notion of parental entitlement and/or community rights. It demonstrates further that the educational deprivation some children are suffering as a result of the state's conferring this monopoly over their lives on parents violates the children's equal protection rights and, from a Rawlsian perspective, does them a great injustice. Children have a moral and constitutional right to greater state oversight of the private school sector. It suggests a similar analysis of state laws authorizing parents for religious reasons to deny medical care to their children.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 9
Keywords: religious schools, fundamentalism, Catholicism, parents' rights, group rights, equal protection, Rawls, theory of justice, sexism, school regulation, indoctrination, Amish, indigenous peopleAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 9, 2012
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