55. Maintain Parental Rights in Education by Refusing to Sign Public School Withdrawal Forms (5/15)

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Whereas increasingly many public school officials have adopted the practice of requiring that parents sign a withdrawal form in order for their child to be removed from the public school’s enrollment records; and

Whereas Wisconsin statutes specifically state that the parent or guardian of a child ages 6 through 18 shall cause the child to attend school and authorize penalizing the parent, guardian, and/or child for not attending; and

Whereas Wisconsin statutes specifically provide that parents and guardians can choose where their child will attend a school and also state that it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that the child attends school and that they are subject to penalties for failure to do so; and

Whereas if a child has been officially enrolled by their parents in a public school, school officials do not have the authority to keep the child on their enrollment records once a parent has chosen to have their child attend another school and has notified the school the child had been attending; and

Whereas the statutes do not authorize public school officials to require that parents sign a withdrawal form in order to remove their child from a public school’s enrollment records; and

Whereas public school officials are currently threatening to count a child as truant if the child is not attending the public school and the parent has not signed their withdrawal form; and

Whereas if parents agree to the practice of granting public schools the authority to keep their child enrolled in a public school unless the parent signs a withdrawal form, parents are not exercising their full authority under the law to determine where their child will attend school and are voluntarily and unwisely surrendering some of their parental rights and authority to public school officials; and

Whereas once this practice is established, over time additional requirements are likely to be made such as asking parents to fill out a form or survey that asks them to give the reasons the parent is withdrawing the child, what kind of curriculum the child will be using, what qualifications the parent has to provide the necessary instruction, etc.; and

Whereas when people voluntarily and unwisely allow public officials to accede the authority they have been given by statute and allow the demands these officials make to become established practice, such demands become an unwritten law that other parents will be expected and pressured to obey;

Be it resolved by members of the Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) that WPA will work to make it known that parents are not legally required to sign withdrawal forms as a condition of removing a child from the enrollment records of a public school, and that such a requirement undermines parental authority and responsibility that comes from God or nature and is confirmed by the compulsory attendance statutes, and that such a requirement will lead to erosion of parents’ right to choose an education for their children consistent with their principles and beliefs. (5/2015)

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