Friday, May 09, 2008

Protecting Parent's Rights

Over the years I've held a lot of different jobs. Some were better than others. All of them taught me something. One of the most disturbing was the year I spent as a tracker for the Child Protective Services system her in Utah.

One the one hand, I worked closely with children whose parents were downright abusive. It really opened my eyes as to just how much better my own upbringing had been. My parents weren't perfect, but they weren't raving lunatics, either.

On the other hand, I saw plenty of abuse within the system itself: private organizations being contracted for services by CPS worried more about their upper management and paperwork than about the kids in their charge, case workers who talked a lot about caring, and taking action, and then sitting on their duffs and doing nothing, foster parents that were in it solely for the money and creating equally abusive situations in their home, and so on.

Honestly? I was glad to get out.

Over the last year or two I've become more and more aware of the abuses, and potential abuses, of power within the CPS system. Children being removed from their homes on trumped up charges that are discovered to be false only years after the children have already been psychologically damaged by being torn from their families. Young teens being given into foster care because they complained to a school councilor that their parents grounded them after discovering the teen was using drugs and being sexually promiscuous and, worse yet, the parents even suggesting that their kids should attend church with the family.

All of this is being done through policies that being enacted on a whim in board rooms and are given the full weight of law without a single lawmaker in site.

It's crazy. It's like there's an entire movement that believes the government can raise our children better than their parents.

Our rights as parents are getting harder and harder to defend. Some people seem to think we have no rights when it comes to our children, only responsibilities. With what's going on in Texas with the FLDS polygamous sect, it's getting harder and harder for the rest of us parents to defend our rights, as well.

One organization aims to change that. is a group of people who would like to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that spells out in very clear terms what a parent's rights are in regards to their children. They've got a new video out that I thought I'd share with you.

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