Children as state informants

Thomas Lifson
I remember being horrified as a child when I learned in the 1950s that under communism children were turned into informants against their parents. I could not believe that the cold hand of the state could be so cruel as turn child and parent against each other. 

But it is beginning to happen in America. Michael Graham of the Boston Herald writes a hair-raising account of his child's recent visit to a pediatrician. I came across it on Jules Crittenden's blog.  Graham writes:
"The doctor wanted to know how much you and mom drink, and if I think it's too much," my daughter told us afterward, rolling her eyes in that exasperated 13-year-old way. "She asked if you two did drugs, or if there are drugs in the house."  

"What!" I yelped. "Who told her about my stasher, I mean, ‘It's an outrage!' "

I turned to my wife. "You took her to the doctor. Why didn't you say something?"

She couldn't, she told me, because she knew nothing about it. All these questions were asked in private, without my wife's knowledge or consent.

"The doctor wanted to know how we get along," my daughter continued. Then she paused. "And if, well, Daddy, if you made me feel uncomfortable."

Great. I send my daughter to the pediatrician to find out if she's fit to play lacrosse, and the doctor spends her time trying to find out if her mom and I are drunk, drug-addicted sex criminals.
Graham goes on to cite the case of a child being asked about her parents' weapons, all perfectly legal, and the police being informed.

Children are being turned into police informants via their doctor (and nevermind medical confidentiality). This turns out to be widespread, since professional guidelines for pediatricians from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend interrogating children about the parents.

Isn't this the sort of thing that liberals claim they are against? Isn't this a lot worse than asking librarians about who has been checking out books about explosives? I thought liberals got excited when the state sticks its nose into the bedroom. But if it turns out that Mom and Dad have their gun safe there, apparently liberals are okay with it.

Because it goes without saying that people who regard guns in the house as per se suspicious are nearly all liberals. It is all done in the name of the best of intentions, of course. Most of the people implementing the policy really do think they are minimizing the risk to children by getting guns out of the house.

For the progressive cause, this sort of intrusion is a two-fer, because it weakens the bonds of family. Ever since Rousseau, the left has regarded the family as an obstacle to the revolutionary transformation of human nature they seek.

Graham makes this point.
"We used to be proud parents. Now, thanks to the AAP, we're ‘persons of interest.'

"The paranoia over parents is so strong that the AAP encourages doctors to ignore ‘legal barriers and deference to parental involvement' and shake the children down for all the inside information they can get."
I am not holding my breath waiting for the ACLU to take up the cause of family privacy. Teachers and school administrators in government schools have been known to try to turn their charges into informants, too. The left's big boys are cool with it.

If this sort of thing isn't a milepost on the road to fascism, what is? The state collaborating with a workers organization to peer inside the homes of citizens.

I remember being horrified as a child when I learned in the 1950s that under communism children were turned into informants against their parents. I could not believe that the cold hand of the state could be so cruel as turn child and parent against each other. 

But it is beginning to happen in America. Michael Graham of the Boston Herald writes a hair-raising account of his child's recent visit to a pediatrician. I came across it on Jules Crittenden's blog.  Graham writes:
"The doctor wanted to know how much you and mom drink, and if I think it's too much," my daughter told us afterward, rolling her eyes in that exasperated 13-year-old way. "She asked if you two did drugs, or if there are drugs in the house."  

"What!" I yelped. "Who told her about my stasher, I mean, ‘It's an outrage!' "

I turned to my wife. "You took her to the doctor. Why didn't you say something?"

She couldn't, she told me, because she knew nothing about it. All these questions were asked in private, without my wife's knowledge or consent.

"The doctor wanted to know how we get along," my daughter continued. Then she paused. "And if, well, Daddy, if you made me feel uncomfortable."

Great. I send my daughter to the pediatrician to find out if she's fit to play lacrosse, and the doctor spends her time trying to find out if her mom and I are drunk, drug-addicted sex criminals.
Graham goes on to cite the case of a child being asked about her parents' weapons, all perfectly legal, and the police being informed.

Children are being turned into police informants via their doctor (and nevermind medical confidentiality). This turns out to be widespread, since professional guidelines for pediatricians from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend interrogating children about the parents.

Isn't this the sort of thing that liberals claim they are against? Isn't this a lot worse than asking librarians about who has been checking out books about explosives? I thought liberals got excited when the state sticks its nose into the bedroom. But if it turns out that Mom and Dad have their gun safe there, apparently liberals are okay with it.

Because it goes without saying that people who regard guns in the house as per se suspicious are nearly all liberals. It is all done in the name of the best of intentions, of course. Most of the people implementing the policy really do think they are minimizing the risk to children by getting guns out of the house.

For the progressive cause, this sort of intrusion is a two-fer, because it weakens the bonds of family. Ever since Rousseau, the left has regarded the family as an obstacle to the revolutionary transformation of human nature they seek.

Graham makes this point.
"We used to be proud parents. Now, thanks to the AAP, we're ‘persons of interest.'

"The paranoia over parents is so strong that the AAP encourages doctors to ignore ‘legal barriers and deference to parental involvement' and shake the children down for all the inside information they can get."
I am not holding my breath waiting for the ACLU to take up the cause of family privacy. Teachers and school administrators in government schools have been known to try to turn their charges into informants, too. The left's big boys are cool with it.

If this sort of thing isn't a milepost on the road to fascism, what is? The state collaborating with a workers organization to peer inside the homes of citizens.