In this article, Bryan R. Warnick explores parents’ authority to make educational decisions for their children. In philosophical debates, three types of arguments are typically invoked to justify parents' rights: arguments based on the welfare interests of children, arguments based on the expressive interests of parents, and arguments based on the property rights of parents. While each captures something important about parenting, these arguments ultimately fail, on philosophical grounds, to establish a substantial right to educational authority. In light of this failure, the author advances two arguments. First, he proposes a new type of argument for parental authority based on the sacrificial labor of parenting—that is, on the physical and emotional work associated with caring for children. Within the sphere of family life, the unique nature of parental sacrificial labor is honored as parents are given rights to raise their children, including a right to expose their children to their preferred way of life, which he terms the right to invite. This encompasses the right to make educational decisions, including the removal of children from public schools. Second, Warnick argues that the child's lack of consent to receive this sacrificial labor—essentially the inability to choose one's parents—underscores the need to protect the development of autonomy in children. Parents, therefore, cannot foreclose exposure to cultural alternatives that schools often provide as they exercise their right to invite.

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