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OP-ED: "The Ultimate Parent? Judge Toys with America's Private Parts"
AgeVenture News Service 11-12-05

Dr. David J. Demko "Judge Toys With America's Private Parts" - Dr. David Demko, Editor-in-Chief, AgeVenture News

Who is the best judge of what it takes to be the "Ultimate Parent"? According to Federal Judge Stephen Reinhardts, "Father Does NOT Know Best." Neither does Mom for that matter. His Honor adheres to the communist notion that government, not parents, knows best how to raise society's children.

As a case in point, Judge Reinhardts insists it's quite okay for elementary schools to quiz 7-year-old tots on "how often they touched their private parts." No, you have not entered the Twilight Zone. You are being given a peek into the court room of Judge Stephen Reinhardts.

The way I see it, the judge might benefit from some school house advice. "Keep your hands to yourself ... and your own private parts." Boomers with school age children and retirees with grandkids in elementary schools ... read on and learn how Judge Stephen Reinhardts is courting disaster with our American way of life.

Sheldon Richman "The Ultimate Parent" - Sheldon Richman, Senior Fellow, Future of Freedom Foundation

If you believe that parents have a natural and constitutional right to raise their children as they see fit, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled against you.

The occasion was not a case of child abuse or neglect. Quite the contrary, it was a case of parents objecting to a schools asking their 7- to 10-year-old children about sex.

In 2001 the Palmdale School District, in Los Angeles County, California, surveyed children in the first, third, and fifth grades. The pre-survey notice told parents that they could opt out of the survey and included a letter of consent. The letter made no reference to the sexual content of the survey, which asked children how often they engaged in, for example, "Touching my private parts too much", "Thinking about touching other peoples private parts", and "Thinking about sex when I don't want to."

After filing an unsuccessful complaint with the school district, several parents went into federal court charging that the school violated their rights to privacy and to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex. The district and appellate courts rejected those claims. The plaintiffs have not decided whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Two issues deserve attention: (1) Judge Stephen Reinhardts claim that parents freedom regarding education is limited to choosing the schools to which they send their children; and (2) the doctrine of parens patriae, under which the judge ruled that the school district has the legitimate authority to look after not only the education, but also the mental health, of children.

Judge Reinhardt writes "Once parents make the choice as to which school their children will attend, their fundamental right to control the education of their children is, at the least, substantially diminished."