Parents in Nashville, Tennessee were concerned about their minor son’s health condition, including the possibility that the doctor was over-medicating him. The doctor recommended administration of drug tests to see if there were other factors contributing to his discomfort. The doctor made it clear, however, that he would not be able to release the drug test results to the parents, but only to the child. After all, as the doctor erroneously explained, the child had a right to privacy based on federal law that trumped the parental rights to care for, nurture, and protect their child.
Parents of a kindergarten age child in Massachusetts were shocked to find some of the books and materials being sent home with their 5-year-old were sex education materials and books that normalize and promote homosexual activity. After visiting with the teacher and getting nowhere on an “opt out” agreement for their child, the parents met with the principal, who in turn sent the parents to a “diversity” workshop to increase their acceptance of the indoctrination of their child.
After their disturbing experience at the workshop, the parents met again with the principal, begging for prior notification of sexual content instruction and for an opt out for their child. The principal responded to their request by having a police officer handcuff and forcibly remove the concerned parents for trespassing. Parental rights to protect, teach, nurture, and inculcate fundamental values were trampled by the education establishment intently motivated by an ideological agenda.
A child in Washington state complained to a school counselor about his parents making him go to church too much. Without notifying the parents, the counselor contacted a state social worker who took the 13-year-old boy directly from school and placed him in a foster home until a judicial hearing could be set for the parents to argue their case before a judge.
These are not isolated cases. Through legislative and judicial overreach, an increasing amount of power is given to the state over our children. As with the examples provided, all parents who fail to comply with a certain ideology are assumed to be bad parents, and the state’s intentions pristine. These efforts are methodically replacing parental discretion in all areas of child rearing and development with governmental and bureaucratic dominion over our minor children.
Karl Marx, in chapter 2 of The Communist Manifesto, said that in order to establish a perfect social state you have to destroy the family. You have to substitute the government for parental authority in the rearing of children. Whether intentional or not, the current trend of erosion of parental rights and refusal to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act are perfectly facilitating the socialist agenda.
In 1989 the United Nations adopted the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), a human rights treaty that delineates the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. Nearly all UN member nations have adopted the protocol, and are subject to review, sanction, and enforcement by the UN. The U.S. is one of two that have not.
While ostensibly appealing in its protection of children, the document codifies the supremacy of government over parental rights in the rearing of children. This grants government bureaucrats the ability to prosecute parents or remove children from homes where parents are suspected of being out of compliance with the UN’s objectives. In short, rather than being a proactive protection for the rights of children, it is an instrument to strip the rights of parents in child rearing.
A website dedicated to this issue, ParentalRights.org says of the UNCRC, “Despite the claims of its supporters, the Convention on the Rights of the Child is more than an international ‘wish list’ – it is an instrument of societal action. The evidence is clear in the nations that have ratified it, like France, Canada, Brazil and the United Kingdom. Member-states are expected to incorporate its provisions into their own laws, and failure to do so is met with intense international censure and pressure to conform. The United Nations, and its Committee on the Rights of the Child, tolerate nothing less.”
Even without adopting the UNCRC, the threat is real for American parents. Federal judges, who take an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution and our laws, increasingly rule on cases relying on customary international law. International precedence and code often align more closely with those judges ideology, and drawing from international rather than U.S. law grants them the justification necessary for “legislating from the bench.” This is facilitating a judicial creep of the tenets of the UNCRC and laws from other nations that have adopted it en toto.
All parents need to be aware of this insidious process that is slowly yet methodically subverting the rights of parents, and granting increasing authority to government to control and govern the rearing of our children. All parents should be prepared and knowledgeable about this stealthy trend, and ParentalRights.org is a superb starting point.
AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is a regular contributor to the Idaho State Journal. He is also President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at [email protected].