Should new parents be required by law to attend special classes before being permitted to raise their child? It’s an idea state Rep. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, is seriously considering.

“Right now we’re looking at what other states have done and thinking about who should be included and what the classes should cover,” she told in an interview last week. “I recognize that not everyone knows what to do when they bring that child home. It could make a big difference, especially with a single parent.”

Barrow said she also realizes that she could face opposition from critics arguing that the proposal infringes upon basic rights.

“In order to enter any profession you have to take a test. To get a driver’s license, you have to pass a test,” she added. “And when you think about it, this is about shaping another life. You need the right tools to do that.”

The issue, however, is far from settled and she said the idea is still in the conceptual stages.

Barrow is chairwoman of the Family Preservation Study Group, which is slated to meet at the State Capitol this week to discuss, among other agenda items, model legislation for “mandatory parental classes.”

To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at

feed-image RSS Feed