Parents, Wake Up! School Is Usurping your Parental Authority

Schools take away parental authority

If you’ve been here before, you know that once I get started on my tirades about the public education system, it can take awhile for me to get it out of my system.

That’s where I am right now. 😉

Last week, I shared with you why my husband and I have decided that school isn’t even an option for our kids. Today I am going to tackle one of the reasons for that – the usurpation of parental authority.

While I could come up with dozens of ways schools have stolen the rights of parents across the country, today I’m going to share the five that have hit me the most. 

5 Ways Schools Have Stolen Parental Authority

Big Brother

1. The Inception of Compulsory School Laws

I’m fairly certain that everyone at one point or another has heard people gushing over the “free education for all” that is available in the United States. These accolades usually include how this “free education” is a fundamental right and a privilege.

I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but…

Compulsory schooling is not a right. It is not a privilege. It is a command set in place by our government that enforces it with the threat of imprisonment for parents who do not comply.

Does this sound like a “right” to you?

Our government has usurped our parental authority by demanding that we turn our children over to strangers starting at the age of 4 or 5 for 5 days a week, 6 to 8 hours a day, 36 weeks a year.

Make no mistake about it – this was never something parents were given a choice over. The difference, however, is the present-day apathy most adults have towards this reality. And it’s sad.

My high schoolers and I have been studying the American Revolution for the past couple of months, and one thing stands out to me: our forefathers refused to take any garbage from King George III. They were willing to give their lives to break free of the chains that he had bound the colonies by.

Imagine what they would have done if Old George had decided to take their children from them every single day for 8 hours a day.

There would have been an uproar.

Yet here we are today in 2018, complacently accepting whatever the schools decide to throw our way.

What has happened to us?

2. Requiring Parents to Receive Permission to Go on Vacation

This one has never made sense to me.

Why, pray tell, should parents be expected to ask permission to take their own children on vacation during the school year? And why do we let the schools do it?

As parents, we should have the final say on where our children are and what they’re doing. The expectation that we should allow school authorities to tell us what we can and cannot do is absurd.

These are our children, not theirs.

A couple months ago, I saw a meme on Instagram that was posted by an account for teachers. The meme was supposed to be poking fun at parents who take their kids on vacation during the school year.

I was astounded by the flood of comments denigrating parents who have the audacity to take their own children away during the school year. And heaven forbid if the parents have the nerve to ask for the school work their child would be missing.

I read comment after comment completely bad-mouthing parents who do this sort of thing. One commenter actually tagged someone else, and then referred to one of her students and her parents by name. On Instagram. Where anyone can see.

Finally, I did find one person who said she liked to see her students spending time with their families, and she didn’t mind getting homework packets together, either.

I wish I could have liked her comment 100 times.

Am I writing this to say that teachers are bad? No way. I happen to be friends with several teachers and former teachers. What I am saying is that this “school before family” mentality permeates everything.

And it has to stop.

3. Unexcused Absences

Okay, I get it. There are some kids – many kids – who skip school. Unexcused absenses can serve a purpose when it comes to keeping tabs on unexpectedly absent students.


When a parent has clearly called in and reported their child will be absent, that’s another story.

Frankly, I don’t care whether a school agrees with the reason or not.

They are not the parents.

In my own past experience with the school system, I had to deal with this nonsense several times, and for completely ridiculous reasons.

Several years ago, my then-5-year old once received an unexcused absense because I had to call her off of school since I was at the hospital being monitored, and she was with me. They gave her a UA because “the reason she missed school had nothing to do with her.”

Another time, the school gave all of my children UA’s because I called them off since our no outlet street was a sheet of ice and hadn’t been salted. Their reason for not excusing the absence? “The schools had a 2 hour delay. That should have been sufficient.”

And yet another time, I drove past the school and saw that there was (yet another) bomb threat, so all the kids were standing outside. I told the principal I had had enough and was taking my kids home. (Bomb threats were a regular occurrence.) We got a UA for that, too.

When will we say enough is enough?

4. Homework

Ah, homework.

So, apparently, 6 to 8 hours a day at school isn’t enough time for kids to get their work done. It is an absolute necessity to cut in on the few hours of family time in order to keep them “learning.” And if for some reason, the children fail to complete it, it is entirely normal for a parent to get a not-so-nice note from the teacher with orders to sign a paper every night stating that they’ve checked their child’s homework.

Let’s think about this for a moment. What do we call adults who bring their work home with them every single night?

Work-a-holics. And this is usually accompanied with mutterings of how this person should be spending more time with their family.

Yet here we are doing the same thing to children and thinking nothing of it. Heaven forbid some family event comes up and the homework doesn’t get done because there will be consequences – oftentimes for both the student and the parent.

It’s high time we stop acting as if school is the be all and end all of a child’s life. It’s not.

Children who are at home need to be allowed to be at home. No distractions.

Because family comes first.

5. Refusing to Allow Parents to Opt Out of Questionable Curriculum

Now, I do realize that sometimes parents are given the choice to keep their kids out of a lesson that may go against their beliefs.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

Recently, I was reading an article about a school district in Orange County, CA that is refusing to allow parents to opt out of a health curriculum that is very graphic and blatantly goes against the beliefs of many of the parents.

So, let’s get this straight. Not only is school not a right or a privilege since it’s forced on the population, but, somehow, educational bureaucrats can also ignore the freedom of religion and require students to learn things that their parents are strongly opposed to.

And yet we allow it to happen every. single. day.

I think it’s time we learn something from our forefathers and stop standing idly by while the government, aka – public education – attempts to forcibly remove any and all of our parental rights. It’s time we wake up and say enough is enough because, as the saying goes, “Give someone an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

Let’s face it, that mile is long gone already. If we won’t stand up for our children, who will? 

If you haven’t already, take a look at Exodus Mandate today!




Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

11 thoughts on “Parents, Wake Up! School Is Usurping your Parental Authority”

  1. Amen, Shelly! I am a recovering classroom teacher – nine years before my precious kids were born – and when people ask why I homeschool, I say, “I was in the system. I saw it from the inside and I would never subject my children to that.” One situation I will never forget:

    I taught ESL to refugee kids and their parents were losing authority over their kids because they were not able to learn English (working long hours at meat packing plants, limited adult ESL classes, etc.). I decided to do something about it on a small scale and asked my translators to call five families a day with updates – mostly all positive as a negative situation would warrant a different call. I wanted to loop the parents into the kids’ lives even a little bit and the translators thought it was a great idea; they were of the same culture and they thanked me for my concern. But what did I get from my department chair? Thanks? Commendation? Nope. When she found out, she came in and said, “You need to stop wasting the translators’ time with those calls. Those people are only parents; YOU are the teacher.”

    That was the day I knew for sure that any children God blessed me with would never set foot in a public school as a student.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. 100% agree! However homeschooling is being attacked regularly. I can’t recommend HSLDA & Heritage enough! Both fantastic. I’ve graduated 3 of our 7 children and we’ve had our fair share of critics about homeschooling but I refuse to stop. When my now 24 years old son was in 2nd grade he got caught up in the whole “No Child Left Behind Act”. They put him on an IPE and labeled him a “Non Reader.” He was set outside of his classroom in the hallway where he played finger football ALL day! Then they started demanding I put him on Ritalin because he was making to much noise in the hallway. HELLO, he was board stiff! When I refused they threatened a court order! I yanked my kids out that day! He didn’t even know his alphabet! I was infuriated. After only homeschooling him for 45 days the school tried to place the blame for his lack of education upon my shoulders. I had to fight the school district hard! Never again!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. All of these things have bugged me for years! Just this week I was talking to a new homeschooling mom who told me that when she and her husband took their public schooled kids on a vacation in the middle of the school year, the principal personally phoned her to complain and her harass her about it! And oh the stories I could share about my own family’s experiences until I wised up. I want to add to the last point that parents don’t even get a say in what curriculum is taught. Schools should answer to the parents, not the other way around.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have covered most of the reasons we pulled our children out of school. The other is the much-lauded socialization. A fourth grade girl should not have to be fending off propositions on the playground at recess. The principal’s response to our complaint? The teachers on playground duty can’t see and hear everything.

    The next year we moved the children to a private Christian school. Socialization is not in itself a virtue. My son never had as many friends as when we started homeschooling. He could finish his school work during the day and have time to enjoy friends when they got out of school. He also had the chance to make adult friends in the neighborhood and at church, so he learned to socialize with all ages.

    When my husband had to travel on business, we all went. The private school gave us the children’s work and it was then I saw my son was getting by with not doing his work because his teacher didn’t check to see if work was completed before letting those who were finished go to early recess. We switched schools the next year. After that, when my husband started getting more out-of-state assignment in places important in American history, we started homeschooling so they could experience more living history. We all loved homeschooling so much we kept it up.

    Liked by 1 person

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