From the Federalist brief #99-19


In the search for a simple answer to account for the dreadful events
last month in Littleton, Colorado, we desire an immediate yet
plausible explanation.  That answer should rightfully focus on the
culture that spawned such sociopathic violence, particularly the
foundation of that culture -- the families of Dylan Klebold and Eric

Self-anointed experts from various broadcast media have ruminated
aloud as to how and why the parents of the assailants could have been
unaware that their children were constructing weapons of terrorism
while scheming to commit mass murder. But the perpetrators' road to
depravity -- their obsessive and repetitive viewing of violent videos,
engagement in murderous computer games and collecting of exotic
weaponry -- should have alerted their parents that something was
terribly wrong.

How could these parents miss all those signs? Perhaps they had -- as
far too many families have -- abdicated much of the responsibility for
their children to their government school.

Over the course of the past several years, the role of the parent has
been under severe attack in the form of a schizophrenic barrage
emanating from the cultural elite.  When public tragedies occur,
parents are told that they should have done more.  Yet mothers and
fathers are consistently sent another message -- that the job of
parenting can be easily, and sometimes better, fulfilled by someone
else.  All too often, that someone else is the ever-present state.

A stream of initiatives flowing from our governmental institutions is
directly undercutting parental authority and influence. However, the
public is largely unaware that a plan to replace the traditional
family unit is already underway and is successfully being implemented
through various means, particularly through our educational system.

Educational blueprints such as Goals 2000, sometimes referred to as
outcome-based education or mastery learning, were developed by several
prominent individuals, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Ira
Magaziner and Mark Tucker. Under these types of educational models,
the family ceases to retain its fundamental role in society.  Instead,
it is displaced by the federally controlled, public school.  In this
manner, the hand of government asserts primacy over the family by
mandating internationally uniform educational standards.

The so-called international children’s rights advocates have worked
diligently to reduce the scope of influence that parents have
traditionally enjoyed within their families.  The intentions of these
activists are most apparent when the contents of an international
treaty called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
(UNCRC) are scrutinized.  The UNCRC has not yet been ratified by the
United States, but pressure to do so resurfaces on a regular basis.

Parents would understandably wish to protect their children from
exposure to the kind of materials and media that Klebold and Harris
were devouring.  The UNCRC would have something very specific to say
to those parents who would like to regulate their children's exposure
to violent movies, music, videos or computer games.  Under the UNCRC,
parents could actually be prosecuted for keeping such material away
from their children.  The treaty gives minors the absolute right to
receive information and ideas of all kinds "…either orally, in writing
or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the
child’s choice"  (Article 13).  Parents would be in specific violation
of the treaty if they were to restrict their child from watching a
pornographic video or from reading a book with objectionable content
(Article 17).

If a child wished to join a religious group that his or her parents
deemed unacceptable, perhaps even dangerous, as in the case of a cult,
the UNCRC would prohibit parents from interfering with the pursuit of
any religious belief that the child so desired (Article 14).

If a child were acquiring friends that, in the parents’ opinions, had
questionable character, the UNCRC would again override parental
judgment. Parents would be unable to inhibit their child’s ability to
freely associate, no matter what the individuals or groups were

Another recent invasion of family intimacy is a plan to place home
visitors into the households of first-time parents.  In a program
called Healthy Families America, developed by the National Committee
for the Prevention of Child Abuse, the traditional family is
considered insufficient to accomplish the task of child rearing.  The
state, therefore, benevolently intervenes.  What would happen, in
actuality, is that the federal government would seize the power,
effectively becoming the head of the newly defined family.

It is interesting to note that, of the eight instances of school
violence that have occurred within the last eighteen months, all took
place in public schools.  Educational settings such as these are
saturated with federal influence through a myriad of mandates and

On the other hand, private school sites typically enlist more parental
involvement.  The miracle of home schooling illustrates even further
what can happen when parents take on a more active role and greatly
minimize the influence of the state on education.  (And in terms of
academic achievement, recent studies have shown that home schooled
children have achieved much higher median test scores than the
national average.)

The bottom line: When parents willingly accept maximum responsibility
for the nurturing of their children, society is enhanced immensely.
This fundamental principle has withstood the test of time,
transcending geographic regions, cultural mores and diverse stages of

In these uncertain times, at the very least we must preserve and
reaffirm our inherent parental functions.  We must assert our rightful
authority and refuse to allow a further usurpation by government,
whether it emanates from the local, state, federal or international
levels.  It is then that the children of America will recapture their
God-given birthright and rest assured that their parents will be the
ones to satisfy their needs, foster their growth and love them -- as
no government ever could.