H.C.R. NO.














recognizing and supporting the fundamental right of parents and guardians to direct the education and upbringing of THEIR children.




     WHEREAS, in Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972), the United States Supreme Court acknowledged that the "history and culture of Western civilization reflect a strong tradition of parental concern for the nurture and upbringing of their children.  This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition"; and


     WHEREAS, the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution provides that no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; and


     WHEREAS, in Meyer v. State of Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1921), the United States Supreme Court concluded that the constitutionally protected liberty includes the right of an individual to establish a home and bring up children, further adding that "it is the natural duty of the parent to give his children education suitable to their station in life"; and


     WHEREAS, in Pierce v. Society of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, 268 U.S. 510 (1925), the Supreme Court acknowledged that a child is "not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations"; and


     WHEREAS, in subsequent cases, the United States Supreme Court has consistently recognized the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children, stating in a 2000 opinion that "it cannot now be doubted that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteen Amendment protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children"; and


     WHEREAS, similarly, in ancient as well as modern Hawaiian culture, the concept of family, or ohana, is of central importance; the responsibilities and privileges of parenting, guardianship, and advocacy for children are opportunities to enable a child's life to be meaningful; and


     WHEREAS, the present culture in Hawaii is built on the foundations of its multi-ethnic and multi-cultural population ohana that depends upon parents making important and appropriate decisions on the safety, education, and well-being for their children; and


     WHEREAS, government interference with the rights of parents to raise their children is permissible only to prevent harm or potential harm to a child; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fourth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2008, the Senate concurring, that the Legislature recognizes and supports the traditional and constitutionally protected right of parents to make decisions relating to the care, custody, and control of their children and further recognizes that governmental interference with parental rights is permissible only to prevent injury or potential injury to a child; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Attorney General, Chairperson of the Board of Education, Superintendent of Education, Director of Health, Director of Human Services, and Director of Public Safety.









Report Title:

Parental Rights