In New York, a bill has been proposed by Democrat Assemblywoman Margaret Markey that would require all public school students to undergo mental health exams, more than once, in order to attend.
The bill would amend current law requiring physical health examinations to include the following language:
EACH SUCH CERTIFICATE SHALL ALSO STATE THAT A PSYCHOLOGICAL EXAMINATION WAS PERFORMED AND THAT THE CHILD IS MENTALLY FIT TO PERMIT ATTENDANCE AT SCHOOL.
Loesch points out how this fits into a larger picture that is forming with Common Core requirements and various state legislatures across the country. Schools are collecting information such as parental political affiliations, firearm ownership, religious affiliations, and other forms of data mining. She also poses the important question of who would pay for this. Is it going to be yet another financial burden for low and middle income families imposed by the busybody state?
Interference in the family unit and absolute disregard for privacy are becoming de rigeur in America on two fronts. We have the safety and security minded, hoping to prevent tragedy though screening, and we have the we know what’s best crowd, creating a better tomorrow by shrinking soda sizes, seizing sodium, and generally aiming to clothe Americans in the bubble wrap of a federal government that’s just “looking out for their best interests.”
School shootings, as noted in the clip above, are the immediate concern that comes to mind in assessing the motivation behind a proposition such as this. But the question we have to ask ourselves is the age old conflict: how much freedom are we wiling to surrender in the name of security?
There is a non-trivial portion of this nation that is willing to surrender a great deal indeed. In fact, who see it as no surrender at all. On the surface, these things always sound like reasonable ideas. Why not make sure we’re keeping a sharp eye out of the next potential school shooter by keeping tabs on students’ mental health? But taken in context and as part of a bigger picture, the question you should be asking is “do you want a state or federal bureaucracy to have to the power to turn your personal life, practices and beliefs into a series of checkboxes on a form that determines whether you are fit or not? And what are the consequences if you’re not? If you don’t, or your child doesn’t, pass muster, what happens next? Will Social Services step in and break apart your family? Or worse, brand you as criminally negligent parents?
Who believes that your fitness as a parent or a person in general can be properly assessed by some entrenched petty dictator bureaucrat reading a report on which books you buy or what percentage of your grocery bill goes to sweets vs. vegetables?
Right now, the proposed bill would require that the mental health exam produce a certificate stating the child is ‘fit” to attend school. What happens if it goes further?
Certainly we can agree that we all have an interest in preventing the next school shooting. One can only hope that this interest in safety does not evolve into a bludgeon of oppression. As a society of free people, it’s our responsibility to ask such questions, and to watch the watchers. so as to prevent the inevitable attempt to overreach.
To do less would just be mentally unstable.