Schooling in State’s Hands

From the May 2007 Trumpet Print Edition

Our children’s education is increasingly at the whim of the state rather than under the control of responsible parents, where it has traditionally belonged in free and open societies.

In an open attack on the basic constitutional rights of parents in the matter of their children’s education, a district judge dismissed a lawsuit from two Massachusetts couples who objected to classes where children are taught to accept traditionally anti-social, perverse relationships as normal. In one case, a kindergartner brought home a book that showed a same-sex couple. In the other, a first grader was read a book about a prince marrying another prince.

The increasingly asinine tendency of law practitioners was further underscored when a female aclu attorney praised the ruling: “A parent can’t control what’s taught in the public schools based on their own personal religious views. So it keeps public education alive, really” (Boston Globe, February 23).

Another court judgment, however, is perhaps even more worrying, certainly in its method of enforcement, even more so for the system that originally legislated the particular law at issue.

The February 28 Washington Times reported on a case in Germany, again involving the state contesting the parents’ rights to have a say in the education of the children to whom they, not the state, gave birth. Earlier in the month, a Bavarian teenager was taken from her parents and institutionalized for being home-schooled. Further, a year ago in Hamburg, a home-schooling father of six was sentenced to a week in prison and a fine of $2,000 for the same “crime.” Last September, a Paderborn mother of 12 was jailed for two weeks.

Such prosecutions are a result of a law enacted by Hitler himself in 1938, by which he mandated that all German children be educated by the state. In today’s “free and democratic” Germany, not only does that Hitlerian law still lie on the statute books, it is being rigidly enforced!

This Germanic idea is also catching on within the rest of the European Union. Last year, in a ruling that backed Hitler’s 1938 education bill, the Strasburg-based European Court of Human Rights ruled that a child’s right to education “by its very nature calls for regulation by the state.” Endorsing the ruling of the German courts, the European Court declared, “Schools represent society, and it is in the children’s interest to become part of that society. The parents’ right to educate does not go so far as to deprive their children of that experience.”

These current instances of upholding Nazi laws is a pervasive sign that, though their continent has a long and tortuous history, Europeans themselves seem to have very short memories and that we run the risk of those sad and bitter days returning.

And not just in Germany.

In America, certain liberal politicians and lawyers are claiming that United Nations conventions are “‘customary international law’ and should be considered part of American jurisprudence” (op. cit., Washington Times; emphasis ours). Article 29 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child declares that the state has an inherent right to direct the education of children.

The Times posed a question that should have every responsible parent deeply concerned, “[Y]oung Melissa Busekros’ ordeal is a German horror story. Could it soon be an American one?”