So, I know a lot of you can’t get information on witchcraft at home and that’s why you come to the witchblogs or paganblogs of adults, and a lot of you ask for mentoring or very specific, personal advise.
Legally, adults are not allowed to give you religious or spiritual counseling or guidance without parental consent. Asking an adult witch or pagan to “mentor” you or lead you in a spiritual lifestyle could result in a serious lawsuit if your parent or guardian finds out, please don’t put us in that position. I know it’s difficult to be a young witch or pagan especially without a welcoming household, but it’s even harder if your parents decide to sue someone because they were giving you instructions against their wishes.
Under-eighteens, PLEASE don’t guilt trip grown up witches who won’t mentor or teach you, we’re just covering our asses.
And adults, cover your asses and don’t mentor children unless you get actual confirmation from their parent, preferably in person. Lawsuits suck and most of us are pretty strapped for cash.
Do you have a source for this info? What county’s laws are you talking about?
My most recent source is actually from a personal incident with my half-sister who, unbeknownst to her parents, attempted to join a different church without notifying said church and be re-baptised. According to Texas state law, parents have the legal power to disalow their child from joining a religion other than their own and press legal action against the preacher/priest/mentor etc who attempted this. Luckily this particular pastor adhered to state laws and didn’t go through with anything, but that didn’t stop him from contacting her parents and giving them a run-down of the laws and making sure they didn’t sue.
This is in accordance with Texas state law, Louisiana, Tennissee, Nebraska, Nevada, and most of the rest of the south. Less of a huge thing north-wise, if only because there are fewer weird religious people. Other states have similar rules. It falls under the same general sort of thing as forcing a child to do something that violates their parents religious practices.
For example, if a child comes to church with a family not their own, the church is not liable. The child will likely be in trouble, as will whoever brought them, but if a religious figure indoctrinates the child while willfully knowing the child (and here child means under-18) is a member of a religion that does not condone multiple-batisms, then they get in trouble.
That’s where witch mentoring because a problem, because witchcraft is technically not allowed by many churches or parents. You can’t stop a child from going to your blog and learning things, but once you start actively, knowingly educating them as your pupil a line has been crossed.
This is especially true of religious mentorships. Many pagan religions aren’t church oriented, and if you indoctrinate a child you have suddenly become the closest thing to a priest your religion has. It’s less sticky if the kid converts themselves, parent’s cant do a lot, but if an adult is activly involved in the child’s conversion then yer a little fucked.
And if the kid does something illegal and does it “in the name of so-and-so religion” and sites you as their guiding light or what have you, you’re probably going to end up getting a call from their local police.
The biggest issue here is liability. This is a child. Children are dangerous to mentor and work with. That’s why children’s organization make parents sign contracts. A kid can’t just join the girl scouts, parent’s have to approve because parent’s get mad when kids learn things the parent’s don’t want them to, or if they get hurt because of what got taught.
It’s just dangerous to work with children if you’re an adult. Get written permission so you’re not liable or make them wait until their eighteen. Or hell, point them to another responsible minor.
Adults are more liable than children. If a parent gets mad about something you actively taught their kid, you’re liable. Send kids helpful posts, be nice, but for the love of god DO NOT PRIVATELY MENTOR THEM because liability.
I want to add a little clarification – In the US the laws that would cause a problem are those related to “interfering with parental rights” or “contributing to the deliquency of a minor.”
The law isn’t just related to religion, though it sometimes is used by parents wanting to protect who has influence over their children. In some cases, it’s been used by parents to stop Christian groups from approaching children at schools and attempting to convert them. But it is also the reason most witchcraft and pagan groups won’t allow those under 18 to attend. Some make an exception for those with parental permission or accompanied by parents.