Phyllis Schlafly’s latest column addresses the triple-whammy the courts hit parents of school children with this year. The triple-whammy involves two appellate court decisions that held that “parents have no right to stop offensive,
privacy-invading interrogation of their children in public schools,” and the third is the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the parents’ appeal of the lower court decisions.
At issue is surveys which public schools are increasingly requiring students to take, which ask invasive, personal questions (How many times have you tried to kill yourself?), which, frankly, have nothing to do with teaching the three Rs. An excerpt:
Misleading questions can have a powerful effect. Our legal system recognizes this by providing dozens of reasons for lawyers to object to questions in court in order to protect their witnesses from having to answer improper questions.
Children lack the maturity to tell the difference between questions they should or should not answer. Children
are trained in school that they must answer questions or face discipline or a poor grade.
Ask an adult when he stopped beating his wife and expect to be told to get lost. Ask a child in the classroom how often he takes drugs or has sex, and the child will think he ought to answer.
But judges who routinely uphold lawyers’ objections to improper questions in court think it is OK to ask offensive questions of children in school. In the Ridgewood decision, the court agreed with the parents that the students’ participation in the survey might have been mandatory, and conceded that the leading questions could be suggestive to students, but nevertheless ruled that parents’ and pupils’ rights were not violated.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals went further, marking the school door as the line where parents’ rights end and the “village” takes over. In Fields v. Palmdale School District in November, the judges ruled that the right of parents “does not extend beyond the threshold of the school door.”
This is why we homeschool.