Jewish World ReviewMay 4, 1999 /18 Iyar 5759
Holding parents responsible
(JWR) ---- (http://www.jewishworldreview.com)
OF ALL THE IRRATIONAL IDEAS that have been thrown around in the wake of the
high school shootings in Littleton, Colorado, one of the most reckless is
the proposal to hold parents legally responsible for what their children do.
Whether the particular parents of the particular young killers who
committed this particular massacre had knowledge in advance that would make
them criminally liable is something for a court of law to decide. What is at
issue is whether parents in general should be held legally liable for their
Responsibility and control go together. For decades now, our laws and our
educational system have consistently undermined parental authority. Yet new
legal responsibilities for parents are being proposed after parental control
has been eroded.
Preschoolers are taught that their parents have no right to spank them. All
sorts of propaganda programs in the schools -- from so-called "drug
prevention" to "sex education" -- stress that each individual makes his or
her own decisions, independently of parental or societal values.
Most people have no idea how pervasive and unremitting are the efforts to
drive a wedge between children and their parents and to replace parental
influence with the influence of teachers, counselors and even the children's
similarly immature peers. Many of the books, movies, and other materials
used in the public schools mock parents as old windbags who are behind the
times. "Trust-building" exercises teach students to rely on their
Handing out condoms in school and giving girls abortions behind their
parents' backs are just isolated manifestations of this underlying
philosophy, which reaches far beyond sexual matters. Nor are these just
idiosyncrasies of particular teachers or schools. There are nationwide
networks -- some of them government-sponsored -- which have disseminated
pre-packaged programs designed to wean school children away from the values
with which they have been raised and mold them to the values of
self-anointed agents of "change."
The materials used and the things said in these materials would simply have
to be seen to be believed. I certainly would never have imagined such things
before doing research for my book "Inside American Education." My assistant
said she had trouble sleeping after seeing some of the movies shown to
Invasions of family privacy with diary assignments and other intrusions are
all part of the same mindset. So are groups like the so-called Children's
Defense Fund, which seek legal powers to impose their notions of how
children should be raised. Hillary Clinton's pious hokum that "it takes a
village" to raise a child is more of the same.
What all these efforts have in common, aside from an arrogant presumption
of superiority, is a drive for power without responsibility. They don't even
take responsibility for their own activities, which are hidden, denied or
camouflaged. Above all, they are not prepared to be held accountable for the
consequences of their playing with children's minds.
Columbine High School was in the news long before the recent tragic
shootings there. It was featured in a "20/20" broadcast about "death
education" back in 1991. This macabre subject is one of the endless
procession of brainwashing programs that are taking up time sorely needed
for academic work in schools across the country. One of the Columbine
students who is now grown blames the course's morbid preoccupation with
death for her own unsuccessful attempt at suicide.
Zealots who are pushing New Age notions of death under the guise of
"education" are undeterred by parental protests that their children are
having nightmares or depression. The "educators" who have been on a
brainwashing ego trip have done their best to cover their own tracks.
Manuals accompanying some of these programs show how to evade and mislead
parents and the public.
Running through all these programs is the notion that morality is optional:
If it feels good to you, do it!
We will never know how good it felt to those young killers to shoot down
those around them. Nor can we know how much the school's own reckless
experiments with brainwashing contributed to the tragedy.
But it is truly
galling to have those who have been undermining both morality and parents
for years now demand that parents be held legally responsible for the acts
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©1999, Creators Syndicate