Friday, November 04, 2005

Politics: It takes a village... ...idiot.

I'd like to preface this post by making it plain that I don't even have kids. I mean, there are people who should have kids, and do, and make wonderful parents; there are people who shouldn't have kids, but do so anyway, and wind up on Jerry Springer; and there are people who are perfectly suited to being the crazy old lady who lives alone down the street with just her cats and lots and lots of guns, and I'm honest enough to know which of those three categories I fall into.

No matter which of those categories you fall into, this recent opinion from the Ninth Circus (thanks to dirtcrashr) should, by turns, chill and enrage you. Read the following exerpt very carefully:
"There is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children....Parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students."

Now, the unavoidable corollary to that is that there is someone who has a right to determine what information, on matters sexual and otherwise, gets fed to their future chattel slaves children, and that someone is (you guessed it,) the presumptive owner of those future proles: Nanny State. Folks, when I see someone in a position of authority get all proprietary like that towards their little minions, it makes me want to jet to Bed, Bath & Beyond for some goosedown pillows, and then duck into Home Despot for some roofing tar. How have people with opinions like that been allowed to walk the streets, much less been put into positions of responsibility? Why are little tin Napoleons with such Skinnerian ideas of social engineering even allowed access to pens and paper, let alone robes and gavels?


Wesley said...

This is one of the problems with public schools. When you send your child to a 'public' school, they are going to be taught what the 'public' wants them to be taught.

In my opinion, If you really want control over your child's education, you should either home school your kid or choose a private school that represents your values. By giving someone else the responsibility of educating your child you are giving up a certain measure of control over what they are taught.

Anonymous said...



DirtCrashr said...

Thanks for the attribute - what really scares me is the idea that's it's totally OK and within Their institutional right (???) to introduce and subject First, and Third-graders to a volunteer "mental health counselor" Master's Degree experiment/questionnaire in an effort to "baseline . . . exposure to early trauma (for example, violence)," - while completely and disingenuously excluding the mention for example, SEX as a major component. And "Baseline?" To what purpose is the School District served by "baseline-ing" first grade students, and how do the acquire that "right"??

Elmo's aphasiatic twin said...

The Ninth Circuit is the most reversed court in the land for good reason.

Public schools are getting so bogged down with social engineering tasks. There is no time left for education basics. An education is the only thing that helps one not become a permanent ward of the state.

School officials are always telling parents to become involved. That is only true to a point such as dragging your kids from door to door selling candy or magazine subscriptions for some vague school need.

Jay G said...

What's really funny, and by "funny" I mean so bitterly ironic that it'll give you ulcers, is that the SAME fuckers that want to teach your 6 year old all about fisting will have multiple aneurisms and call DYS on your ass if they find out that you took that 6 year old's 8 year old brother to a gun range...

Anonymous said...

"Leave their charnel houses of child enslavement and family destruction derelict and abandoned." Mark Odell

PG said...

Just because the individual lacks a right to do something doesn't mean that the right then resides in the government. For example, women in many states have no right to get an abortion in the third trimester of pregnancy unless it endangers their life or health. Nor does the government have the right to force them to have an abortion. There's simply no right involving third trimester abortion at all.

The government doesn't have a "right" to teach children something either. Children in schools will be taught what the majority of the local school board/ state curriculum setters think they should be taught. After all, parents in Kansas don't have a right to keep their children from hearing about "intelligent design," if that is what the school board chooses to teach.

Where in the Constitution is there even a penumbra of an individual right to determine what the public schools will do?

As for the rationale for screening children for exposure to sex, school employees are required by statute to report any signs of abuse. If a six year old ever has heard of fisting, either he lives in a very "progressive" household or a horribly abusive one. Which do you think the school is more afraid of eventually getting into trouble for having failed to catch?

Look at the questions that the school was asking. They weren't about "do you prefer oral or anal?" They were obviously attempts to catch possible abuse. How often are you:
Thinking about sex when I don't want to.
Washing myself because I feel dirty on the inside.
Not trusting people because they might want sex.
Getting scared or upset when I think about sex.
Having sex feelings in my body.
Can't stop thinking about sex.
Getting upset when people talk about sex.

If you've spent more time reading about underage sex in training manuals for volunteering with abused kids (as I have) than in Playboy, you'll recognize the above as indicators of whether a child has experience sexual abuse, whether of himself or another person.

Is this a ham-handed and overbroad way to achieve the goal? Absolutely. I could have told the school that it would get into trouble, especially when it failed to mention in getting parents' consent that sex would be on the survey. But the school was not motivated by evil here. It legitimately believed that an abusive parent wouldn't sign off on a form to have her child checked for something dealing with sex.

If you're curious about the one actual Constitutional right that I did think the decision in this case failed to consider sufficiently, look at Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U. S. 390, which Pierce v. Society of Sisters cites for the proposition, "[W]e think it entirely plain that the Act of 1922 unreasonably interferes with the liberty of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of children under their control."

The 9th Circuit said that the school's questionnaire was a reasonable interference, unlike the Act of 1922's requirement that *all* children attend public school, but this would be the point to dispute. Baseless assertions of a parental right to keep children from hearing about sex, regardless of the countervailing interests, will have no traction in the courts.

Tam said...

"Where in the Constitution is there even a penumbra of an individual right to determine what the public schools will do?"

More importantly, where in the Constitution does it say that Ma & Pa Kettle have a right to loot my paycheck to finance indoctrination centers for their whelps? ;-)

Tam said...

PS: ...and don't drag poor ol' Gen. Welfare out of the Preamble, as he's pretty tired from overwork...