|Parents as teachers. A program that was pioneered in Missouri by then
Governor Christopher Bond (now a U.S. Senator), could be found in 40
states by 1991. It sounds good, but what is it?
According to researchers who studied the program in Missouri, the
following is a typical situation: A parent teacher is assigned to your
family shortly after your child is born. Through numerous visits and
constant contact, they gain your trust and bond with your family. They
offer you help. They monitor progress. They file reports.
One former U.S. Health Department consultant put it this way,
"Both parents are (periodically) evaluated ... The child is given a
personal computer number by which they can be tracked the rest of their
lives. There are twelve computer code definitions which label a child
"at risk". Since the expectation is every child will be found
'mentally ill', there is no code for normal."
Within GOALS: 2000, Parents as Teachers is an officially funded
program, found under Title 4, Section 402(a)(2)(J). Within this Title,
it is allowed to "use part of the funds received under this title
to establish, expand or operate Parents as Teachers (PAT) programs or
Home Instruction for Preschool Youngsters (HIPY) programs".
(Preschool is defined as birth to 5 years old.) Section 405(2) provides
personal visits, screenings and in-home instruction to parents of
children 3 to 5 years of age. Although parents are not "required
to participate" (Section 407), given the above scenario, how many
people do you know that will turn down something that is
"free", just to check out its legitimacy? Most people stop
thinking after the word "free" is spoken.
Everything within these programs (PAT and HIPY) is
"child-centered" and not geared to helping you as you are lead
to believe. The focus is on complete freedom for your child. Let him
choose what he feels is best for himself. The child is lead to grow up
thinking he can do what he wants. Parental control or discipline is
often considered too restrictive and oppressive. This is exactly the
type of philosophy that is being taught through many Outcome Based
Education (OBE) programs already in use. It leads to kids who lack
discipline, respect, and responsibility.
Another danger is in having these "helpers" invading the
privacy of your home. They not only monitor your progress with your
child (and other children present), they "evaluate" your home.
In most cases, your government appointed "helper" will have
beliefs contrary to mainstream America, using a psychological and
humanistic approach. Parents can lose control of raising their own
children! They will have to obey the directive of their
"helper" or risk facing the consequences.
One of the consequences that parents would face is not being able to
spank (correct) or tell their child no, as this can be considered
"repressive and destructive" to your child. What is even
scarier is that your child can be labeled "at risk" for any of
the following reasons (these are but a few of many):
• slow growth, poor appetite or frequent illness.
• having a parent "unable" to cope with inappropriate child
behavior, such as
using spanking as a form of discipline.
• having a parent who is ill, heavy, tired, handicapped, or appears
to be of
"low level" intelligence.
• stress on the family, undue spoiling of the child, a parent who
much, loss of a job, or low-level income.
If none of the above are found, the "helper" is instructed
to look for allergies, heavy cigarette smoking, a family history of
hearing loss, or lack of or over stimulation.
All of these things, and more, are found on their Parent as Teachers
Parents as Teachers is touted as a means of preventing child abuse,
as a way to prepare children early for the rigors of education that
await them and as a means of "protecting" children from
parents that "cannot" take care of them, according to someone
else's standards! "Trust us," they say! Senator Christopher
Bond of Missouri, a staunch defender of PAT's, acknowledged the
potential for abuse, but said, "well, I would hope that wouldn't
happen." Hope? Given past examples of touted programs gone bad,
i.e.; welfare, social security and the federal educational grant and
loan program; can we put our trust in their hope?
1. Freedom Club Report, August 1992.
2. Citizens for Excellence in Education (CEE) President's Letter,