It appears as if we are losing our collective minds. There’s no place where this is more evident to me than in the area of child welfare. Here are but a few examples:
- A child is banned for life from a doughnut shop because he asked a woman in line if she was pregnant. She wasn't. He is four.
- A mother was issued a misdemeanor for leaving her daughter in the car while she went into a store. The alert, responsive, eleven year old girl asked to stay in the car.
- Child Protective Services threatened to take an elementary age child away because the parents refused to take him for a psychological exam after he got into trouble at school for “spinning a pencil like a gun.”
- A preschool forces a three year old deaf child to change his name because his sign-language gesture looks like a weapon.
- Officials were forced to stop their plans to provide free condoms to sixth graders but only after angry parents demanded it. School administrators still don’t know why their decision was meant with such resistance.
- One mom was arrested for letting her nine year old play in a park unsupervised. There was legitimate cause for concern since the child played while her mother worked her shift at a nearby McDonalds. However, instead of helping this poor, single mother with child care they put her in jail and the child in foster care. McDonalds fired her. How is this helping?
We know that for children to be healthy there are certain needs, beyond the basics of food and shelter, that must be met. They need appropriate physical contact but everyone is now scared to hug or touch them. They need loving discipline but everyone is now afraid to set limits, to say no and mean it. They need to learn morality but everyone is now afraid of offending those who aren't. This is crazy. But it gets even worse.
There is big money in social problems these days and “helping” troubled and needy children is one of the most lucrative. Endless government subsidies have had the unintended consequence of creating a massive child welfare industrial complex. And, just like the stock market, those making money from the varied problems of children have to keep a close eye on the pendulum of politics to see where the money is flowing. Many who serve vulnerable children are readily chasing after the money instead of chasing after their mission and they’re twisting their programs in all sorts of ways in order to fit the criteria for the next government subsidy.
Raising children isn't easy. But it isn't hard either. By that I mean that raising children is not that complicated. Yet somehow we have been sold a bill of goods in this country. We have been convinced that meeting the needs of children is so complex that it should be left up to the experts and professionals, to the government authorities, and to progressive educators who only see children as a means to an end.
It’s time we rise up together and demand (to use a concept from Patrick Henry), common sense or death. Without common sense there is only more insanity to come and if we don’t return to a more reasonable and rational approach to child welfare we are going to be so broke in this nation and our children so troubled that there will be no sustainable future for any of us.
Lack of common sense can be dangerous, very dangerous, and it can very well lead to death, death of individuals, families, communities and even nations. The level of stupidity that we are seeing now is reaching menacing proportions.
When adults - educated, professionally trained, licensed and certified grown adults - can't discern the difference between a second grader with a plastic butter knife and a seventeen year old gang member with a switchblade we are in deep dodo. It is the very definition of stupidity.
I think it is ironic. Our students are being graded by what they know and what they know is measured by how well they do on the Standards of Learning tests (SOL’s). But the same people who teach our children English, Math, and Science don’t have enough common sense to know you don’t charge a six year old with sexual assault for kissing a classmate and you don’t suspend teenagers from school for using mouthwash after lunch.
Seriously? Are they that void of judgement?
Small minded and unreasonable people prone to hysterics, who apparently can’t tell the difference between make believe and reality, are running our schools, overseeing our child protection system and operating our juvenile courts. The insanity has got to stop.
For many years our great prosperity masked much of our decline in common sense but with our economic strength being rapidly depleted, a problem itself caused by idiotic policies and incompetent leaders, it is becoming very difficult to deny how far we have fallen.
But, it is the children, it’s always the children, who suffer the most from adult incompetence and irrational rules.