You just can't make this stuff up. Scotland has passed and is beginning to implement a law which assigns every child in Scotland from birth to age eighteen a "named person," selected by the government, whose job it is to "promote, support, or safeguard the wellbeing" of the child. Parents will not have a choice about whether or not to accept the assignment of an outside government busybody to their children. Some proponents of the law claim that "Families are not required to accept advice" from the named person.
Pardon me if I consider that to be patently disingenuous. We are talking here about a massive invasion of privacy in which an outside person is assigned, without parents' consent, to monitor their child and make on-going recommendations for the child's "well-being." There is not the slightest doubt that parents who refuse to take the advice of these state social workers will face probable repercussions. The very assignment of the "named person" implies that someone else needs to be looking over the parents' shoulders, knowing all sorts of information about the family and the children's upbringing, and making recommendations. That the parents could simply blow these off without the slightest worry about further problems is a ludicrous idea. (Home education leaders in Scotland say that they are already seeing problems, though no details are given.)
It is a breathtaking thought that elected officials in Scotland should have passed such a violation of privacy. (And I hope they get thrown out at the next election for doing so.) The sheer data collection aspects of this are shocking. It is difficult to see how any sort of privacy for the child or for the family can survive this program, and whether home schooling will survive remains to be seen.
Then there are additional prudential aspects. Scotland is suddenly going to need an army of social workers, for which tax dollars will have to pay. And is it too great of a stretch to be concerned that, along with all the nannies and harpies, some pedophiles might slip into the program and invade families? It's difficult to imagine a job more calculated to attract the wrong sort of applicant: "Guess what? You get to develop relationships with children from birth to age eighteen and monitor their well-being, whether their parents want you around or not."
The law sounds like satire, but it's all too real for the families of Scotland. Will it ever be repealed? Color me skeptical. Intrusive bureaucracies, once created or grown to gigantic size, rarely just disappear.
It's easy enough to say, "It couldn't happen here." And truth to tell, I doubt that this type of law will be enacted in the U.S. at the federal level any time in the next couple of generations. But at some state level in a liberal state? That doesn't seem too farfetched.
It is a sign of how far the West has gone to the left that this could even be considered, much less passed. Here we see the perfect dovetailing of phony individualism and all-too-real collectivism. The individual "rights" of children mean that children are to be forced (even if they don't want it) to accept the intrusion of a stranger into their lives who will ask them all sorts of personal questions. Families will be invaded, and personal privacy will be nil. There is nothing but the individual and the state.
I encourage any Americans who home school to join HSLDA, which monitors and opposes such legislation.
Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.