THE NINTH CIRCUIT COURT & EDUCATION: AFFIRMING THE OBVIOUS
By Christopher G. Adamo
At issue in the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision was a complaint lodged by parents in the Palmdale school district of California that their children had been subjected to official queries regarding such intimate topics as their sexual thoughts and “touching [their] private parts too much.” Were the gardener down the street to engage in a discussion of similar matters with passing children, he would surely be labeled as a sexual predator and appropriately charged.
In its ruling, the Court merely reasserted the philosophy that has undergirded the overwhelming bulk of what has passed as “education” in America for the past several decades. Are Americans just now beginning to figure out that the little red schoolhouse no longer exists?
Meanwhile, the parents of Palmdale are expected to unconditionally accept the notion that the possession of “professional credentials” by those engaging in this prying somehow shielded their children from any harm or humiliation that might have resulted from these encounters. The state knows best. Case closed.
But, if any element of surprise should be connected with this situation, it is that such action by the state is perceived as something new. It has happened before, and on a frequent enough basis that no one has an honest excuse to now be caught off guard.
In March of 1996, parents in the East Stroudsburg School District of Pennsylvania were shocked to learn that, during the course of the school day, 59 of their sixth-grade daughters had been removed from class and forcibly subjected to invasive genital exams.
The outrage was perpetrated under the auspices that, by turning guardianship of their children over to the school system during the course of the day, parents were effectively relinquishing all authority over them to the state.
Bureaucratic excuses notwithstanding, the harsh reality was that students were legally subjected to treatment that essentially constituted sexual assault. It meant little or nothing to the victims that those committing the assault possessed some official certificate posted on the wall back in the home office, or that the “exams” were ostensibly conducted in the interests of their health and well being.
They had been violated, and short of sitting through every subsequent class with them, their parents were absolutely helpless to prevent any recurrence of the outrage. Local health officials and school employees held public demonstrations in support of the action. And more than three years passed before a token judgment was imposed on the school.
Perhaps the most ironic aspect of this tragedy is that appropriate recourses are indeed available to parents. Yet most parents remain steadfastly opposed to their options. From East Stroudsburg to Palmdale, they can, on an individual basis, not only prevent further assaults on their children, they also have the ability to impose multi-thousand dollar fines for each child so violated.
It is hardly a secret that they can simply remove their children from government schools that condone such behavior, and thereafter homeschool them or enroll them in private schools.
Furthermore, if this ever becomes the standard response, school administrators throughout the country will quickly get the message that, in the end, such actions ultimately impact them where it hurts most -- in the pocketbook. Thereafter, they would think twice before risking future funding for the sake of their political & social agenda.
Unfortunately, from most parents, the message sent to the schools is quite the opposite. On this past Election Day in California (where this most recent controversy took place), voters overwhelmingly opted against any reform whatsoever to the state’s disastrous educational system.
The presumption of absolute authority over the moral and spiritual development of the next generation has always been a cornerstone of every totalitarian state. But for the immediate future, Americans still have the ability to pre-empt such a future.
If, however, they continue to go with the flow, the ultimate disgrace will not fall on those morally reprehensible school districts nor even the activist courts, but on parents who weigh the costs of protecting their children, but still find it cheaper and more convenient to place them in harm’s way.
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Christopher G. Adamo is a freelance writer who lives in southeastern Wyoming and works in the field of industrial instrumentation.
He is actively involved in Wyoming's political process, serving as a delegate to successive Wyoming State Republican Conventions
and as a member of the Wyoming State Republican Central Committee. He has assisted Republican candidates for local and state
legislatures and for the United States Congress. His articles, which appear regularly in The Progressive Conservative, U.S.A.,
and on a number of other websites, reflect a major concern with the damage being done to Conservatism and Conservative causes by
the Liberal Leftist faction in the Republican Party as well as by the much larger and more powerful Liberal Leftist faction in the
Democratic Party. During the early and middle 1990s, Adamo was Editor of the Wyoming Christian Coalition's official news organ,
The Wyoming Christian.
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