Parents the first protectors of civil liberties

League releases declaration on parental authority in education

11 July, 2011
For immediate release

“It is now time to recognize that parents are the first line of defence against the abuse of state power in education, and the first protectors, not just of children, but of civil liberties,” says the Catholic Civil Rights League.

The statement is found in a letter to the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) concerning a policy recently adopted by the school board in Burnaby, British Columbia. The letter accompanies the release of the Declaration on the Authority of Parents and Guardians in the Education of their Children, a non-denominational statement of principles offered to all people of good will.

“The Declaration is not specific to the Catholic Church or Catholic teaching,” said Sean Murphy, a Director of the League for British Columbia. “It cites numerous international conventions and declarations that have been signed by many nations, including Canada.”

“Subscribing to the Declaration does not imply association with or approval of the Catholic Church or the Catholic Civil Rights League,” he added.

Rather than referring to religious teaching, the document cites numerous international declarations and covenants that Canada has signed. It affirms that “the authority of parents and guardians to direct the education of their own children must be fully respected and accommodated by the state and by all those involved in education.”

The League’s letter to the BC Civil Liberties Association responds to one sent by the Association to the Board in support of its policy.  

About CCRL
Catholic Civil Rights League ( assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization and has chapters across Canada. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.

For further information: Sean Murphy, BC Director, 604-485-9765,

Joanne McGarry, Executive Director, 416-466-8244;