Originally Sent: 1/11/2016

From the HSLDA e-lert service…
Home School Legal Defense Association

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Take Action to Defend Parental Rights!

Homeschooling in Massachusetts.

Parents should decide what’s best for their children.

HSLDA staff attorney Mike Donnelly helps protect homeschool freedom in your community.

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

The Massachusetts Legislature is open, and your parental rights are a target! As part of our advocacy and defense of homeschooling freedom we will continue to monitor the legislature and report on legislation of interest. Please read this below!

On Wednesday, January 13, the Joint Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on House Bill (H.B.) 3842 which undermines parental rights by allowing a grandparent to file in court for child visitation even when parents disagree on the issue. The hearing is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. in State House Room A-1. HSLDA opposes this bill and encourages you to contact committee members in opposition as well.

H.B. 3842 allows courts to grant visitation rights upon finding that “visitation by the grandparent is in the best interests of the child.” This bill would allow courts to override legitimate parental decisions without any determination of parental unfitness. But the United States Supreme Court has said that fit parents are deemed to make decisions in their children’s best interests—this bill weakens that standard. Please contact legislators and ask them to uphold the important principle that parents know what is best for their children—including issues like family visitation.

Action Requested

Because this legislation affects all parents in Massachusetts, it is not necessary that you identify yourself as a homeschooling parent.

Consider giving the members of the Judiciary Committee the following message in your own words.

“I am calling to oppose H.B. 3842, which threatens parents’ right to decide who can spend time with their children. H.B. 3842 would authorize courts to override the legitimate decisions of fit parents to determine whether visits from grandparents are appropriate. If a parent is not abusing or neglecting his children, courts should not substitute their judgment of what is ‘best’ for children over the parent’s decision. Please oppose H.B. 3842.”

Contact members of the Joint Judiciary Committee using the following contact information:

If your last name starts with A-M, please contact your member and:

William N. Brownsberger, Senate Chair (D-Belmont)
617-722-1280 William.Brownsberger@masenate.gov

John V. Fernandes, House Chair (D-Milford)
617-722-2396 John.Fernandes@mahouse.gov

John F. Keenan, Senate Vice Chair (D-Quincy)
617-722-1494 John.Keenan@masenate.gov

Claire D. Cronin, House Vice Chair (D-Easton)
617-722-2396 Claire.Cronin@mahouse.gov

Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston)
617-722-1673 Sonia.Chang-Diaz@masenate.gov

Patricia D. Jehlen (D-Somerville)
617-722-1578 Patricia.Jehlen@masenate.gov

Cynthia S. Creem (D-Newton)
617-722-1639 Cynthia.Creem@masenate.gov

Richard J. Ross (R-Wrentham)
617-722-1555 Richard.Ross@masenate.gov

Colleen M. Garry (D-Dracut)
617-722-2380 Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov

If your last name begins with N-Z, please contact your member and:

Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin)
617-722-2020 Jeffrey.Roy@mahouse.gov

John C. Velis (D-Westfield)
617-722-2582 john.velis@mahouse.gov

Evandro C. Carvalho (D-Dorchester)
617-722-2460 Evandro.Carvalho@mahouse.gov

Michael S. Day (D-Stoneham)
617-722-2582 Michael.Day@mahouse.gov

Carlos Gonzalez (D-Springfield)
617-722-2080 Carlos.Gonzalez@mahouse.gov

Paul Tucker (D-Salem)
617-722-2400 Paul.Tucker@mahouse.gov

Sheila C. Harrington (R-Groton)
617-722-2305 Sheila.Harrington@mahouse.gov

James J. Lyons, Jr. (R-Andover) 617-722-2460 James.Lyons@mahouse.gov

Thank you for fighting for parental rights!


Mike Donnelly

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
Staff Attorney

P.S. We greatly value you and your support—it is a privilege to serve you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support for our work enables us to defend individual families and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>

• • • •

Have You Ever Yelled into the Wind, Only to Hear the Sound of Your Voice Blown back at You?

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