A recent article by Reuters noted,
Parents have no constitutional right to prevent public schools
from exposing children to sexual topics, a U.S. appeals court ruled
By Ben Gilmore
A recent article by Reuters noted, “Parents have no constitutional right to prevent public schools from exposing children to sexual topics, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Wednesday.
“A three-judge panel held the parents have a right to inform their children as they wish about sex but do not have the right to prevent a public school from providing students with information it deems appropriate.”
The article continued, outlining a suit brought by parents alleging their authority in bringing up their children had been violated. I understand a Palmdale District school had administered a psychological survey of its elementary school children.
Included were 10 questions with sexual connections like, “Can’t stop thinking about sex” and “Not trusting people because they might want sex.” I understand there is a congressional bill working that directs that all children are to be given psychological surveys.
The logical conclusion: If a child is deemed to need “help,” counseling and drugs may be administered without parental consent. Should parents not cooperate, they may be subject to “child abuse” charges.
The court ruled that parents do have a right to raise their child as they see fit, but do not have the right to prevent a public school from providing students with information it deems appropriate. I agree with both parts of that ruling, given the present situation. Government has claimed ever greater authority in “parenting.” In this particular case, I understand that public outcry pressured the authorities to back off.
“Schools cannot be expected to accommodate the personal, moral, or religious concerns of every parent,” Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote for the panel. “Such an obligation would not only contravene the educational mission of the public schools, but also would be impossible to satisfy.” [emphasis is mine] Again, I agree.
I wonder how the American public school system once produced the highest quality of education in the world and now produces a level below many third world nations? But I digress.
I am about to propose a number of practical suggestions, but first I’ll propose the ultimate solution. Eliminate the Secretary of Education seat in the Presidential Cabinet. Eliminate the California State Department of Education. Eliminate the Santa Clara County education bureaucracy. Eliminate the Morgan Hill Unified School District.
In their place elect neighborhood school boards answerable ONLY to neighborhood voters. These voters have a direct vested interest in the product (student) produced by an individual school. If a school across town is producing a better product a group of concerned parents has the clout to fix the problem. If their local school board refuses to listen, they can be replaced, else the parents can vote with their feet and move to a better school district. Either solution quickly produces results.
Is all that likely to happen? Not very likely. So what are the “practical” suggestions?
First, consider whether you agree that the absolute most significant life purpose you have is to raise up your children in the way that they should go. If that is not the case, you are not prepared to meet the challenges today’s society is placing before you. Raising your children properly has the potential of dwarfing the value of anything else you might contribute to society, or yourself.
Next, reread the opening paragraphs and understand that there is an elitist belief that parents are too dumb to do a good job of raising their kids (as the state thinks they should be raised). The educrat says, “I’m a trained, ‘professional,’ educator. What makes you think a parent has the right to challenge what I know is best for their child.?” The proper answer, “I brought them into this world and I am responsible for their upbringing. Further – I pay your salary!”
Once you have dealt with these points, have a look at the product our current public education system is turning out. Get your child out of that system today! There is a world of opportunity and support to help you give your child a quality education. It will be inconvenient. It will require sacrifice and perhaps a downsize of your lifestyle. Lay that against your “absolute most significant life purpose” and bite the bullet! Our whole society will benefit.
In my opinion, home school is best. Two working parents is not really parenting anyway! Single parents can find co-op schools, or private schools. The creative ones can launch home-based businesses. Where there is a will, there is a way. The rewards far exceed the cost and effort. Interview a few home-schooled students for yourself!
Here is your next parental education assignment. Take half a day off and go sit quietly under a tree somewhere. Meditate upon your life and goals, re-order your priorities, take a deep breath of fresh air and go do the right thing.
Ben Gilmore is a Morgan Hill businessman. The Board of Contributors is comprised of local writers whose views appear on Tuesdays and Saturdays.