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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Encroaching Nanny State

Multiple bills introduced in this session of the Minnesota State Legislature show the DFL's contempt for the authority, rights, and competence of parents. Watch the progress of these bills, and contact your representatives to express your opposition to them--ASAP.

HF 233, 417, and 804 are all attempts in various form to expand the use of the International Baccalaureate diploma in Minnesota schools. The IB standards are set by the UN. Enough said.

HF 306/SF 148 instructs the commissioner of education to issue a request for grant proposals to schools willing to implement the Columbia University Teenscreen program. Teen Screen is a program involving the mass screening of teen mental health and suicide risk, generally under a "passive consent" format (parents must opt out, rather than opting in), and sometimes leading to involuntary hospitalization or treatment with psychotropic medication of pre-teenagers and teenagers, without parental consent (do a search for the story of Aliah Gleason, first published in Mother Jones magazine). If parents think there might be something wrong with their child's mental health, they are fully capable of pursuing a remedy, without any meddling by the state and its minions.

HF 169/SF 92--requires "socioemotional" or "behavioral" (read, mental health) screening of infants and very small children. This, despite the fact there simply are no reliable diagnostic tests for the mental health of babies and children--oh wait, except for one: the perception of their mothers. But that one doesn't count, since a mother isn't an "expert."

HF302/SF274--started out as an offensive collection of attempts to push all families toward preschool, to insert the state as a monitor of all preschool providers with politically correct standards for curriculum content, and so on. Most of the worst provisions have been removed, but it still requires the commissioner of education to "encourage" school districts to move toward 100% participation in "school readiness assessments" (which are based on highly subjective, vague, and politically correct "standards"), and establishes grants for communities to pull together a "hub" to monitor all the "early childhood" indoctrination and meddling going on (grant recipients would be required to show how they had helped their community improve school readiness from "before birth"!!!).

HF 585/SF579--increases funding for home visiting (visits from nurses to children considered "at risk") and Early Childhood and Family Education, surely one of the most patronizing wastes of money the state engages in.

HF 595/SF434--these companion bills expand the home visit program, adding home visits to expectant mothers and all families considered "at risk" of going on welfare or experiencing "instability"; originally drafted with language requiring "universal" home visits by home health nurses to the homes of newborns; following vigorous opposition to this language, the word "universal" has been dropped, but the bill changes existing legislation so that it could be interpreted to require universal home visits despite the change; furthermore, the bill does not require that parents be given any information about why they might not wish to receive a home visit when they give their "informed consent," such as the fact that the home visitor is required to evaluate their home and the relationships they observe there, with that information being stored indefinitely in undisclosed databanks; the child visited receives a number from the MN Automated Recording Student System; and data collected from the visits could be shared with various federal agencies without knowledge or consent of the adults visited.

One common thread among these bills is the "targeting" of those with low incomes. Child abuse, neglect, and low school achievement are rampant in our society--but it's not because some people are poor. My parents were at various times recipients of at least food stamps and WIC products, if not other forms of welfare I don't remember or perhaps remain unaware of; they raised three intelligent, stable, productive members of society, nonetheless. Republicans should exploit this obvious bigotry against the poor to their political advantage. The poor should not be targeted for government interference any more than homosexuals, or Arabs, or blacks, or any other minority group. It is especially patronizing and obnoxious that the parenting skills of the poor should be considered inherently, automatically suspect.


Blogger Right Hook said...

Great post!

EdWatch.org is a great site that monitors how liberals introduce their insidious programs and propanda into society by turning our educational system into a vehicle of indoctrination. They have some great insight on the IB scam as well as many other things informed people should know about to energize voters to kick these socialists out of office.

3/07/2007 5:15 PM  
Anonymous Daisy said...

Very well said as well as informative. I appreciate your suggestions for actionable steps to let one's citizenship voice be heard.
Thank you!

3/07/2007 9:37 PM  

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