Gibson should not criticize open debate
June 11, 2013
OPINION By THOMAS DAWSON
” Now for the rest of the story ” referring to the article by San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson on June 5, in which he is complaining about citizens exposing a hidden agenda, and other APCD board members who actually engaged in discussion and debate on the divisive Children’s Bill of Rights.
Gibson, a member of the First Five Commission, tries to sell his pet project as simply a set of 12 laudable goals and aspirations to benefit children. He claims there is no legislative agenda behind the Children’s Bill of Rights.
To give a little history, this resolution was presented to the SLO County Board of Supervisors a few weeks ago by Dr. Julian Crocker, the County Superintendent of Schools, who introduced the document as a platform on which to move forward with legislation and new law; in other words, putting enforcement teeth into these so called rights. The idea is to change the law. Of course, this statement raised red flags among some board members and citizens in attendance, which stimulated vigorous discussion.
Remember, this was supposed to be a simple resolution claiming 12 nice goals for children to live by. At that meeting, Dr. Crocker let it slip about another agenda. When Frank Mecham asked Dr. Crocker to clarify, Dr. Crocker jumped at the chance to change his story and quickly claimed that the resolution was a “list of goals and aspirations”.
Wow, close call. Too late. Now, the board of supervisors could vote for the Children’s Bill of Rights. After all, what politician would want to be seen as standing against “the children.”
Fast forward to the APCD meeting a few weeks later, and the First Five people make an appearance to get all the boards on board, only this time, the board had done their homework and wanted to know, if this was really just an innocent list of goals and aspirations, why the resolution was called a bill of rights? One member shared that she had lived in Europe and witnessed this kind of resolution turn into state oppression of homeschool families. Why not change the title? The First Five Commission wouldn’t budge.
Some of the items on the resolution are as follows:
Eat healthy and plentiful meals everyday. (Sounds good so far…who makes sure this happens?)
Enjoy daily physical activity and time outdoors. (Sounds good if it’s voluntary but these people want to pass laws. What if a child has asthma or allergies?)
Visit a doctor, dentist, or counselor when needed to help us stay physically and mentally healthy. (When parents cannot afford these services, does that mean that the State steps in, or holds the parents liable?)
Be encouraged to dream big, to grow through challenges and mistakes and to always live with hope and aspirations. (How do you make laws and policy about this one?)
These are indeed goals and aspirations for life and I might add, this is a very short list. I want much more for my five adopted children. Most of these values are achieved through involvement in church or synagogue.
So what is wrong with wanting to change some laws to benefit children? The United Nations introduced a children’s bill of rights to be considered by the U.S. Congress but Congress did not pass it. Are the leaders of our nation against children? Hardly. After getting feedback from legal counsel, juvenile services, and child advocates, Congress came against the bill. The conclusion was that this approach would turn effective constitutional law on its head, give too much power to inexperienced children, disrupt family and parenting structure, and allow greater state intrusion into the home.
Since 1992, the UN has a new strategy; when it can’t get something passed at a nation’s federal level, it goes into all state, county, and city governing bodies of that nation. Using sympathetic NGOs, it tries to pass its ideology into law at those levels. This has been very effective. A good example is the way the UN has pushed Agenda 21 into every local area in our country, even though Congress rejected it. Some states have outlawed Agenda 21, Smart Growth, and Sustainable Development from operating in their states. The UN has dedicated approximately 30 percent of its worldwide budget for Agenda 21 to California alone. So the children’s bill of rights is simply another back door attempt to get UN style socialist law systems passed into California and other states. Don’t believe me! Do your own research. Painted with a warm and fuzzy brush, the socialistic ideology is right under the surface.
If the Children’s Bill of Rights is not hiding an underlying agenda, then the First Five Commission should have no trouble changing the name to Children’s List of Goals and Aspirations. After all, most churches, synagogues, and all parenting classes in the county teach these ideas (and more) every day. Many of the items on the Children’s Bill of Rights cannot be legislated well and the ones that can be legislated, already have been.
I want to salute the brave members of the APCD board for not bowing to the political pressure and I congratulate them for discerning the deceptive nature of this flawed resolution. It is good to know that there are at least some adults in the room at the APCD who understand family and children’s needs. To the First Five Commission, I say, “Prove your real interest in children’s welfare and drop the hidden agenda and the bill of rights part of the title. Words have meaning. And as for Mr. Gibson, since you are dispirited, I encourage you to get another spirit and this time get the one that is not mean.
Thomas Dawson is a former school teacher and local business owner who currently works with addiction recovery groups.