Monday, February 16, 2015

Who "owns" the kids?

U.S. Senator Rand Paul defended parents who refuse to immunize their kids by saying that "the state doesn't own your children, parents own the children".   A few weeks ago in Maryland, the police stopped two children ages 10 and 6 who were walking home alone in the dark from a park that was one mile from their home.  The children had permission from their parents to make the walk.   The 10 year old was convinced that their parents were going to be arrested.  The parents believed the walk was an interim step in teaching their children independence.  Child Protective Services did not agree and now the agency wants a plan to protect the kids.
So who "owns" the kids?
If parents own their children, do we even need an agency for child protective services.   If I own my kids may I skip school and put them out to work at 14 or 15?   Children used to leave school and go to work much younger than that until school attendance was made mandatory until age 16 in most states.  If I own my kids may I put them into sexual trafficking?  Do I really need to feed, clothe, and provide medical care? How about all those fees for playing sports.  After all these kids are mine.
Then there is that busy body nanny state that thinks it can require that I provide basic minimum protections for my children.  You know feed, clothes, medical care and education.  The nanny state won't even let me discipline my kids the way I think they should be managed.  Since when did the government decide to substitute its judgement for that of the lawful parents.
Probably since the lawful parents far too often failed to provide the protection that children need and deserve.  How is it that someone in the United States Senate speaks of "owning" another human being even if that human being is a minor.  Who speaks for the disenfranchised in our society.  Isn't one of the services we expect from our government the protection of people who, for whatever reasons, can't protect themselves?  Children would certainly fall into that spot.
Can protective agencies go too far in their zeal to protect?   Absolutely- no question about that.  But the reality is that these very under staffed agencies much more frequently err on the side doing too little to protect.  They return a child to an abusive home, don't sufficiently monitor foster care, and just plain ignore complaints from school personnel who are mandated reporters if they suspect abuse.
Governments don't spend money on these agencies because they want to, that is why they are so underfunded.   Government has been forced into protecting children because of the large numbers of people who do not protect what they "own".

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