Big Brother in School

, Rosemarie Capozzi, Leave a comment

Big Brother has taken another intrusive step into the lives of average Americans, this time into the classroom. In a startling recent decision, Fields v Palmdale School District, the Ninth Circuit Court approved handing out sex surveys to children as a function of the federal government. This is just one example of the Ivory Tower going into an area where it does not belong; introducing children to sex.

According to “The Phyllis Schlafly Report,” this new program was due to a new governmental push to force children into mandatory mental health screening. Supposedly, there is a crisis in the mental health of children and adolescents in our country. A program developed by Columbia University called “TeenScreen” has been used in 43 states to test for mental disorders. It has found that the majority of students are suffering from such disorders. The Schlafly Report comments that “such an extraordinary statement by so-called experts indicates that mental diagnoses are unscientific, and the people pushing screening of all schoolchildren are, well, probably crazy—or are shilling for the manufacturers of the psychotropic drugs that will be prescribed for kids who flunk mental-health screening.”

Concerned parents in the Palmdale school district discovered that their seven-to-ten-year-olds were required to fill out an intrusive 79-question survey. The areas on the survey included the children’s sexual identities, practices, and a self assessment of their own mental health.

In reviewing the case, the three-judge panel found that “there is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children… [and] 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.”

However, the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, passed in 1978, clearly states that “sex behavior or attitudes” are explicitly the type of knowledge that parents need to be involved in, and exposure to such topics in public schools requires prior informed written parental consent. This must be even more apparent when dealing with kindergarteners. Although in this case the parents did receive a letter, it fell short of revealing the content of the questionnaire, and instead merely mentioned that there were concerns about violence and verbal abuse, and that psychologists would be provided for students who were found to be in need of assistance.

Soon after this court case was decided, the House of Representatives passed a resolution to rehear the case. Although the resolution passed 320-to-90, leading Democrats, such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, did not support the resolution. Perhaps the Schlafly Report was right in mentioning Hillary Clinton’s oft-quoted liberal sentiment, that it takes a village to raise a child. But if we allow Big Brother to run this “village,” then we will all play the idiot.

Rose Capozzi is an intern at Accuracy in Academia.