The Kiarre Harris case in Erie County, Pennsylvania, as reported by Fee.org, is a classic example of how government schools can make someone’s life a living hell without half trying.
It’s bad enough that any child who enters school as the child of conservative parents will likely come out of the other end a dyed-in-the-wool left-wing idiot with no concept of self-sufficiency or personal responsibility, but too many school systems have taken a decidedly hostile view of any parent that has the audacity to remove their kids from the toxic environment of a public school in favor of retaining parental control of what their children are exposed to and how they are educated.
Ms. Harris made the decision to home school her kids despite the fact that she is a single parent and likely faces a number of obstacles to a simple life in trying to do so. What made matters even more painful is that she did all the necessary bureaucratic paperwork and complied with all of Pennsylvania’s myriad regulations necessary to gain government approval to home school a child. Unfortunately, the local school district failed to do their part which resulted, somehow, in the state making the hasty decision to remove the children from the Harris home. It took months to get her children back and no doubt caused emotional distress for her children and herself for no reason other than bureaucratic foul-up and ideological resistance to parents having the right to parent their children as they see fit.
To make matters even worse, when the case came before a judge recently, he returned custody to Harris, but Harris was arrested again before she could get off the courthouse property. It seems that a friend of Harris’ was coincidentally passing out T-shirts supporting the Harris family’s battles with the system when he was arrested on an outstanding warrant just as Harris was walking down the steps of the courthouse. When the friend apparently resisted the police, he was pepper-sprayed at which time Harris placed her hand on the back of the officer who immediately arrested her for interference with a police officer. She did not attack but was allegedly attempting to get his attention when his back was turned.
One simple bureaucratic carelessness can create havoc beyond what anyone could imagine. The worst part is, there should never have been as much drama, red-tape, and legal hassles required of a parent who simply wants to teach their own children and at the same time prevent her children from being exposed to harmful and politically charged materials frequently introduced into the public school curriculum these days.
The obstacles to home-school parents are many and often difficult and they really should not have to be. Truth be told, the only intervention on the part of the state should be a requirement that children be examined yearly to ensure that they are meeting or exceeding the applicable standards regarding how much they are expected to have learned at the end of each year. Nothing else should be a matter with which the state need concern itself. But to have a govt entity over-react in such a manner as to deprive a parent of their custodial rights is something that should scare the stuff our of any caring parent and the rest of us as well.
There has been a lot of bloviating about gun-control lately. While it would not appear to be related in any way to education, one of the major measures being touted as the solution to mass shootings and gun control more generally is something called an Extreme Risk Protection Order (aka Red Flag Law). These proposed laws by-pass any sort of “due process” that would otherwise be required by our constitution and that of every state in the union. Nonetheless, such laws have already been passed in 21 states and a federal version is a distinct possibility if things go any further left than they are presently.
So, what do Red Flag Laws have in common with the Harris children’s ordeal? Just as Red Flag Laws have as their intended purpose the facilitation of government intervention to prevent harm similar laws or court actions can be initiated to deny a parent’s sacred right to custody of one’s children just a quickly.
If such laws are implemented for one such purpose, what is to stop legislatures from deciding that the same approach cannot be used to control parenting practices, confiscate a vehicle, confiscate real estate or personal property of any kind given nothing more than the belief that one might commit some act with which the government does not agree.
Carried to the ultimate extreme, Ms. Harris could easily lose her children without recourse, be declared ineligible to have/adopt a child for life, or be permanently denied access to her children simply because she holds views with which the government in power at the time does not agree.
The bottom line here is that it is time to demand strong limits on just when a government at any level can effectively suspend due process or penalize a citizen for something they might do in the future.
All one needs to do is find the old movie on live stream and watch what happens by the end of “Minority Report”. We are getting very close to science fiction with these measures. That should make everyone take a breath and think before they encourage any more intrusions by government into our rights and privacy whether in connection with how our kids are taught or what we might think in the future. It seems everything is now at risk, and that should scare us all out of an apparent deep sleep.