The more I hear about some of the tactics being used in American schools, the more frightened I start to become for American parents and American families on the whole.
There has been a proposal in California dealing with bullying...but with a rather narrow focus on homosexual issues. This will run from kindergarten to grade five or so. Parents have been told that they are not allowed to remove their child from this program. No opting out, regardless of their personal feelings or religious faith/teachings of the subject matter.
First, the 'no opting out' of the gay curriculum. Since WHEN does a school or school board have the right to demand a child's attendance for particular curriculum, even when its directly contradicting a family's religious beliefs, or a parent strenously objects? Exactly when did the school become more powerful in the child's life than the parent?
Then, there's the absence issue that I've read about time and again on the boards I frequent. While I understand that truancy can be a genuine issue for some children/families and a red flag for negligence and/or abuse, more and more I'm reading of absolutely ridiculous standards that schools are setting, and iron fisted demands being made. Since when is a parent not allowed to say, "Johnny is taking a week off to go visit Grandma."? Since when is it up to a school to APPROVE a parent/family decision?!
The more I hear of this sort of thing, the more frightened I become. I seriously start to wonder how long it will be until the school has complete control over the children of the nation, and the parents have little say at all. I wonder if the spectre of handing a child over at the age of 5 to a government run facility 'for their own good' is all that far off, since it seems that little by little, the schools are already eroding parental authority. Parents are having young children doing hours of homework that they don't agree with because 'the teacher says so', being frightened of being hauled into court if their child is sick another day because they are out of 'approved absence days'.
Whose children are these? The parents, or the schools? Who is the ultimate authority in the child's life?
No, I'm not calling for everyone to homeschool. I'm just an outsider looking in, and gravely worried for the future of the American family if things keep on the way they're going.
Am I allowing my writer's imagination to simply run away with me? Perhaps, maybe even probably. Then again, I never would have imagined in a million years that a school could tell parents that their child could NOT be pulled from a certain class, or be threatened with truancy court for taking a family vacation, or having too many sick days.