Parental rights are the basic sets of rights as defined not only by law, but also culture, society and religion, a parent retains over his children, over the choices he makes regarding his children, and over the choices the children make. It is paired with parental responsiblity which are the legal obligations a parent must abide by, according to law, culture, society and religion.
From a conservative perspective, parental rights focus on those rights of parents to control the education, upbringing and disclipline of their children which conservatives see being stripped by the US and local governments.
The issue of parental rights arises most often when public schools indoctrinate students with ideas against the wishes of parents, as in the case of:
- sex education
- same-sex marriage
- global warming
Parents, as taxpayers paying for the education, would seemingly have the right to object to offensive indoctrination. But increasingly public schools and courts insist that parents have little or no rights over what public schools teach their children.