We have all heard so much about the Parental Rights in Education Bill that was passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Governor DeSantis. But only one very small part of that bill has been in the news. There are actually many aspects (or parental rights) listed in HB 1557 that have not received the same amount of media coverage.
As the Florida Legislature was seeking to enact these numerous parental rights, they forgot that they have completely disregarded parental rights over the years as they expanded the power of the state at the expense of parents’ rights.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, in 2017, the California Legislature decided that “criminals who had been under the age of 26 at the time of their offense, including sex offenders, should not be held fully accountable for their crimes and be eligible for early parole as youthful offenders. The rationale was that their brains are not fully matured and they lack understanding of the consequences of their actions.”
This is not rocket science. Specialists have known for decades that the frontal lobe (where judgment is located) does not fully develop for individuals until sometime in their twenties.
When you study HB 1557, one has to wonder if a parent whose child made a major mistake early in their life for which they will have to spend the rest of their life on the Florida sex offense registry, would that parent want ALL the parental rights listed in HB 1557, or would they trade those rights for the right to have their child NOT be required to register as a “Sex Offender” or “Sexual Predator” for life?
I think we all know the answer, but Tallahassee does not.
We are not saying that there should be no consequences for juveniles who break the law, but landing on the sex offense registry? I would gladly give up all of my newly-passed parental rights in education for the right to protect my child from the registry.