The strangle-hold of the state on our children is advancing. I read today that State Rep. Kelli Stargel, from Florida, has introduced a bill that would force school teachers to evaluate parents on their participation with their children's schools. I found Ms. Stargel easily on the Internet and wrote her the following letter:
This is to let you know that people around the world (I am in Canada) are aware of your recent bill requiring school teachers to evaluate parent involvement with the schools.
I don't know whether this was your own idea or whether you were pressured into this by another group. Whichever way, I wish to express my opinion of this measure and request that you do some more thinking about what you are doing. As you may be aware, there are other such bills coming into effect in some other parts of the world. In Great Britain, there is a bill that would allow unprecedented levels of interference by schools in family life. Your proposal is a sign of the times.
Please think about this. What such legislation expresses is the assumption that children are the property of the state and the parents only serve to help the state in achieving its objectives. That is a very big assumption and an incredibly arrogant one. Schools have no business interfering with family life, nor with implying they know what children need better than their parents do. There are plenty of excellent parents who for whatever reason choose not to be involved with the schools. I know this very well, having chosen to homeschool my own child, who is now light years ahead of her peers academically - a near-universal occurrence among homeschooled children, which does not say much for the superiority the schools are claiming. What if it is the schools who are wrong and not the parents? How about letting parents evaluate the teachers and not the other way around?
The assumption that children belong to the state is not new, nor was president Obama's proposal to extend the school day by three hours unpredictable. As far back as 400 B.C. Plato proposed a society where children would be removed from their parents at birth and raised by the state, and we have been moving in that direction since the beginning of public schooling. Arne Duncan's "vision of schools as the heart of the community" echoes Dr. Richard Day's statement back in 1969 that he had a "vision of schools as the hub of the community". Hub or heart, what this is talking about is taking away privacy and making parents accountable to the state, not the state accountable to parents. There is another name for that: tyranny. Just be aware that your action is part of this larger plan and consider whether this is really what you want to support.