What Happened To the Notion, “Parents Know Best”
We are witnessing a drastic erosion of public support for the idea that ordinary parents are the people most likely to know what is best for their children. Sadly we live in a time in which it is argued that, to protect the human rights of kids, we must take away the rights of their parents to raise them. Could this thought come from a society in which children are objects that impede our career success and prosperity? Is our offspring to merely be tolerated until that magic number 18 when they are considered an adult? The Government tells us that Doctors and school teachers know better how to care and educate our children than parents. There are many examples of the attempt to legally reduce authority and control of parents in medical and educational decisions.
We’ve all heard about folks who call the authorities because a neighbor has allowed children to play in their own fenced-in backyard without adult supervision. More examples abound. For instance, if your child is older than 12, it is illegal for your child’s doctor to tell you if your child is receiving mental health care, being treated for drug or alcohol abuse, or being given contraception or an abortion unless your child agrees to share this information with you. It is startling to realize that we assume children are more likely to be harmed by fear of parental interference than by making important decisions about mind and body-altering drugs without parental guidance.
In the realm of education, parents who want to control or at least influence the values taught to their children—especially in health and literature classes—often meet accusations of censorship and bigotry. Discussions of young adult literature regularly affirm the idea that parents must stop trying to protect their children from a violent and sexually explicit material. The tension can even reach heights of comic proportion, as when the Idaho School Board Association issued a resolution plaintively calling on the state legislature to stop increasing “parental rights in regard to education,” lest parental demands interfere with schools’ attempts to comply with state and federal mandates. Resolution from the ISBA came just months after Idaho lawmakers passed House Bill 113a, a measure inserting parental rights into the state code.
Parents have Responsibilities to their children, not “rights” over them.
Opponents of traditional parental rights claim the old ideas treat children as parental property instead of free human beings. The practical implication is that the state is a more trustworthy guardian than parents—or, at least, that state intervention can place parent and child on equal footing with each other. This is in stark contrast to a 1925 Supreme Court declaration that parents have the right to direct the education and upbringing of their offspring because children are not “the mere creature[s] of the state.”
Parents know best. It’s State agencies that are the primary cause abuse to families and children.
Forty years ago a landmark piece of legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon in 1974 called the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) formed what we now call Child Protective Services. The Government was to create an agency to
CAPTA’s mandates encompassed all kinds of known and suspected child maltreatment, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and psychological and emotional maltreatment. CAPTA never defined these terms, however, and there has not been and is not today any widely accepted definition of them even among professionals working in the field. What results are unsubstantiated claims of child abuse. Statistics reveal that throughout almost the entire time that the Mondale Act has been in existence, much more than a majority of child maltreatment reports around the country have been unfounded, and recently there is no question that the percentage has spiked upward even further.
We now have a situation where a massive state bureaucracy with sweeping coercive power is having millions upon millions of dollars being poured into it each year even though perhaps 85% of its actions are completely unnecessary. The government does not know HOW to parent. This agency can not clearly identify nor resolve child abuse.
The massive incidence of false abuse/neglect allegations shows that current law and public policy on child abuse and neglect and the routine actions of the CPS are a major threat to the American family today.
Shouldn’t there be a law to protect parental authority?
Idaho statute now defines parental authority under this legal statute 32-1010. PARENTAL RIGHTS PROTECTED with the passage of the bill 113a.
(1) Parents and legal guardians who have legal custody of minor children have a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the care, custody, education and control of their children.
(2) The legislature hereby codifies these fundamental rights. Parents and legal guardians shall retain the fundamental rights listed in this section regardless of whether they continue to be recognized or articulated as constitutional rights by federal or state courts.
(3) This section’s codification of parents’ and legal guardians’ fundamental rights as now recognized by law shall not be construed to limit any parent or guardian from exercising additional rights under the constitution and laws of the United States or of Idaho.
We must now be ever watchful and make sure that this statute is not modified or manipulated to infer that the Civil Government has lawful authority over our families, our parenting style or our children.
We must NOT allow laws to be passed that undermine the value and authority that parents have in our society and on our children. We need to reject the idea that an institution can replace the love and nurturing of a parent in the life of a child. Their value and worth doesn’t come from the state. I would argue, they need to be protected FROM the state.
This article is based on the ideas of author Anna Mussmann from an article for The Federalist, And from commentary from https://demmelearning.com/learning-blog/trust-parents/?trk_msg=PPH651SVVD2KP We Need to Trust Parents to Parent Their Children