Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The thought police are taking away more children

The whole FLDS fiasco seems to be motivated in large part by Texas CPS being concerned about the possibility that a few young girls may have been pregnant before sixteen. A bigger concern seems to be the CPS was upset by what the parents were teaching the children. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of young girls in Texas who are pregnant before sixteen, but the CPS doesn't go in and take away whole families of children.

Eugene Volokh reports that Canada may have a similar problem with the thought police feeling like they have the right to take away children based on what the parents believe and what the parents teach their children. Eugene concludes with:

Nonetheless, the article -- and other press coverage I'd seen -- does suggest that a big part of this matter turns on what the parents are teaching the children. (According to the CFS, "Religious (and) political practices that would be harmful to children and cause them to be at risk would be one of the considerations when assessing risk to a child," and CFS's definition of harm seems to go beyond imminent danger of physical harm, such as when a religious practice leads parents to refuse to treat their children's illnesses.) And while I agree that children can indeed be harmed by their parents' teaching them bad ideas, it strikes me as very dangerous for the government to be able to take children away from parents on these grounds. Imagine whom the government might decide to turn against next.

I agree it is a very dangerous line to cross, to take away children from parents just because what you think the parents are thinking.

(Hat tip: Instapundit)

Technorati tags: Texas, Child, Protective, Services, abuse


Anonymous said...

It is a dangerous line to cross.

It reminds me of the evolution/creationism debate and how ugly that has become out of(and in) the homeschool community.

The constant mantra from anti-homeschoolers seem to be drifting alarm towards what we're (assumedly) teaching our kids. (Used to be whether we should be able to legally homeschool, but I guess they gave that one up.)
We are not to be alarmed about what the kids are taught (or not) in the tax funded school. But privately in our homes, our personal habits (good and bad) are to be overseen and policed. The very idea put out there again and again by 'experts' makes for a ripe time for interventions. creepy

Henry Cate said...

It is a very dangerous line.

You make a good point. There is the famous line about one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic. The same applies with education. I acknowledge that there are a few homeschooled children who might do better in public schools. I also recognize that there are millions of children suffering in the current public schools. Yet people get all worked up about homeschooling and accept the continuing decline of government schools.