John Chaffin


To the editor:

The Dec. 13, editorial, No, Parents Don’t Always Know What’s Best, is logically inconsistent at best. It is true that parents don’t always know what’s best. That is a given. No parent is perfect. We all know that. However, the jump from that statement to stating that legislation to require schools to notify “. . . parents of any changes or issues their student is having related to their mental, emotional or physical health or well-being. . .” should be scrapped is a fantastic leap!

No, I have not read Mr. Rogers legislation, and by your own editorial statement, neither have you. If you have not read the final wording of his legislation, one can only assume that your main objection is found in your statement that not all parents treat their children with care and compassion. By your reasoning, since some parents abuse their children, then all parents should not be informed. That is better known as a hasty generalization, an informal fallacy.

In order to shore up your hasty generalization, you then quote a survey of LGBTQ youth performed by the Trevor Project. What is the Trevor Project? It is the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, & questioning (LGBTQ) – young people. Do you think T.P. has any skin in this game to produce a certain outcome?

Also, it is a survey of youth who are LGBTQ, not a statistical study to find a cause-and-effect relationship between suicide and LGBTQ. Using this survey to prove cause and effect is like taking a survey among the membership of the NRA to prove that we must protect 2nd amendment rights or to prove that guns don’t kill people; people kill people. It is a cause-and-effect fallacy.

There are a couple of unsaid things that are disturbing. The whole tenor of the editorial implies that school boards are much better suited to determining what is best for a child than the average parent. Also, the editorial implies that the state is a higher authority in the parent/child relationship than is the parent.

I remember in the early 1980s hearing Larry King say on the radio that he thought that children belonged to the state not to the parents. That is a most disturbing ideology, one espoused by Horace Mann.

I will remind the editor of the News Press that governments are instituted by our Creator to preserve our rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (the original word used by Jefferson was ‘property’). Our constitution was written as a framework of how to design our government so that those rights are protected. Nowhere in the constitution or its amendments is the government given authority over parents, unless that child’s right to life, liberty or property are infringed upon.

One of the things that has made America great and set it apart from Communism, Marxism and Socialism, has been its respect for the parent/child relationship. Some of the most chilling abuses of children in the American experiment have come when we have messed with those sacred relationships, such as placing Native American children in boarding schools in order to take their culture and language away from them. Communists have done this over the last century with Christians, Jews and Muslims. The unspoken implications of your article are chilling indeed.

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