Thursday, September 6, 2007

More On Avery Doninger - Is It A Parental Rights Issue Too?

I just read this post from Cool Justice, entitled "Ruling You Would Expect In A Police State". (also see my previous blog post)

Parents have to wake up and realize how their authority is constantly being eroded and undermined by the schools and the state in general.

You cannot even provide education or healthcare to your child without the state butting in. If State or school officials don't agree with your decisions and choices on how to care for your child (barring intentional abuse) then you are slapped with all sorts of allegations of neglect, abuse and so on. CT Homeschooling parents have been dealing with this for a few years now as they battle with schools who are trying to create conditional withdrawal from public school. (For more on that read here and here)

Slowly the public school system is usurping the authority of parents over every aspect of a child’s life. In Loco Parentis is being broadened.

The assumption is no longer that you are doing your job as a parent. Instead you must prove that you are doing what the state feels is appropriate in raising your children, and the duties of raising your children are slowly being assumed by "the village".

I am surprised they have not ordered psychological tests on Avery Doninger's parents to see if they are "in need of services" or if the parents are fit parents (perhaps they have and I don't know), in order to discredit their authority all together.

I absolutely loved this piece from Avery's mom (now fast becoming a hero in my eyes):
"Punishment is up to me," said Doninger, who insisted that her daughter write a letter of apology. "This erodes the training ground for the democratic process, which must be that you have to distrust democracy occasionally in order to make it work. The embedded lesson of democracy at Lewis S. Mills is hollow. Theirs is an overreaching power to orchestrate.

The school assumed a parent's right to discipline it doesn't have, she said. In one of several interviews given in the wake of Friday's preliminary ruling at U.S. District Court in New Haven, Doninger was praised by a radio commentator as the mother who told her daughter "you're grounded, and we're going to federal court to file a civil suit.""
It is appalling the lengths these schools go to and I wonder most of all what makes them think that they have the power that they believe they have in the first place.

For this school to be so bold as to dictate what a child does or says off of school grounds in her own home and even on the Internet is beyond me. This case is yet another example of abuse of authority by the public schools.

ALL parents better start waking up to the measure of control being exerted over their families by the schools and by the State as this case proceeds... and they better also be taking a very close look at the court system that is allowing it.

We've got some serious problems in the realm of civil liberties going on in this country, and I don't care if you are a Republican, Democrat or anything in between.. we are in serious trouble here if judges are making these kinds of rulings.

And just so you know, the Doningers are appealing this crazy ruling. Schools have unlimited resources for legal fees, and families do not, and that is precisely what the school litigation teams and school administrators bank on. You know what really is incredible? They are using YOUR tax money to eliminate our rights.

Update: Great post over at Apollos Academy


Lauren Doninger said...

Thank you for the support and thoughtful commentary. I have been disappointed by many reactions that I have heard/read which do not focus on anything other than the fact that Avery used rude words in reference to school administrators. I have been clear with Avery from the start that I was disappointed by her choice of words and that I expect more of her. However, it was up to me to punish her – the far reach of the school administrators is unacceptable.

I spoke with Colin McEnroe on WTIC the other day – here is a link to a podcast (click the little green button to the left of my name)

My favorite thing that Colin said was, “I like the concept of, you’re grounded and we’re taking this to the Supreme Court.” He was able to discern the difference between my disappointment with Avery’s choice and my resistance to the administrators reaching into our home.

I did want to mention that I was misquoted in the Waterbury Republican American. I said that we must trust democracy and that the school administrator’s need to orchestrate the outcome of the student government belied their fundamental distrust of the democratic process (the ability of the people to self govern). My point, in part, was that the senior class at LSM will be voting in the next presidential election. They need to be preparing to lead; the student government proclaims to exist as a training ground for democratic principles in preparation for their future leadership. Though the embedded lesson at Lewis S. Mills HS is that ‘democracy’ will be orchestrated by the authorities – which of course, is not democracy!

Thank you for your interest!

Judy Aron said...

Lauren, Thanks so much for commenting.
I feel it is so important for you - as the parent in this issue - to be speaking out.

The schools used to rely on parents to discipline their own kids - now it seems they feel we are incapable of raising them ourselves and must intervene.

For me - I do not even see what Avery said as a really bad thing - as I have said I have heard much worse. However the primary issue in this case is the continued practice of reaching into our homes by entities that do not belong there.

One of the many reasons that we (as a family) left the government school system was that they were not only monopolizing my children's time (with homework, school activities and other projects) but they were also sending homework home for me to do which translated into dictating how I spend time with my own child.

Anyway - you are to be commended for all of your actions here.

Anonymous said...

September 10, 2007
Lewis S. Mills HIGH SCHOOL.


If you care about how much your property taxes are and want to see how they are being spent by your elected officials.


How much has the Board of Education paid in legal fees for this case?

How much more is it willing to spend on this case?

How much will the Board spend if the ACLU gets involved?

Does the Board think that Ken Starr (yes that Ken Starr)
Will represent the Board for free as he did in the Alaska Case?

Will retired employees that have to testified be reimbursed for expenses and time if they have to testify?

Will the school board recommend that extra curricular activities be on a "Pay to play" basis (which the Tolland School System may do)
as a solution to financing legal fees to continue this case
or will a property tax increase be the answer.

See what answers you get and you may get a much better idea what to do this November.


Lisa Giebitz said...

I posted about this on my blogs (and linked you) and e-mailed pretty much everyone I know about it. I'll also bring it to the attention my UU congregation on Sunday.

Seriously, this is something that can't be ignored. Ms. Aron, thanks for following the case!

Ms. Doninger, I'm glad you're doing the PATRIOTIC thing and fighting this. Not only is it absurd, it's truly Un-American.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

This is absolutely outrageous!

I had already commented about it on another blog. The young Ms. Doninger did nothing illegal or even immoral. She made no threats. She simply expressed her anger at a perceived injustice. And she did it on her own time in public space.

It is the schools who are wrong and are over-reacting. And they are doing it with the money of others. They are, as usual, overreaching the limits of their authority. I hope that the appeal puts them in their place. And I hope that the good people of Connecticutt throw the bums out, regardless of the outcome of the case.

Yes--bums! Fortunately, there is nothing they can do to punish me for my use of my 1st amendment rights.

Ashley said...

Although I do not know avery very well, her mother Lauren is my psychology professor at GWCC. When she told me about this I went on and researched it. How can a school do this? I feel that school administrators should worry about all the distractions that go on in the school building. Not what children are saying about people online. Sometimes that is just the students ways of venting online. It gets an issue off their chest and then they can move on with other things they may have to do. This is her right as a citizen of the US to say how she feels. It's something called freedom of speech. I'm sure all the administrators and especially the judge has heard of it. Maybe we should start defending that right for people and stop punishing these people for stupid little things like this and more serious things.

Don't Be Evil said...

Avery should (and did) apologize for using the word "d*****bag." Instead, the administrators of her school should be called "Fascists."