JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE EFFORT TO REMOVE A CHILD FROM HATEFUL PARENTS   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO AN EDITORIAL IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

This is a dangerous path the editorial would have us follow.

I had experience years ago as a substitute teacher in the US that brought home how common this kind of business is. It isn’t just Aryan nonsense, it’s often religion and other dark and hateful matters.

A little girl who obviously trusted me enough to raise an intimate family matter came to me after class, asking me, her face clearly showing fear, what I thought about “the Mark of the Beast (666).”

She had been filled with terrible stories from the delusional Book of Revelations by her lunatic parents.

I did my best to give her helpful answers, explaining patiently not everyone agreed on these matters, but I understood that to in any way challenge her parents’ ghastly beliefs would be to invite all hell to break loose and would do nothing for the child.

I did my best, but felt in the end I failed her.

From my limited experience, I know this kind of business is not uncommon.

In another case, I thought drugs were involved with a young girl. When I explained this to the teacher who had been on a course for the day, she nearly had a fit. “Don’t even mention that word to me!” She was terrified of “opening a can of worms.” Teachers and school authorities all too often are not the least helpful.

We have ignorance, hate, and intolerance – in one form or another – being taught by parents in thousands of homes. This is just one of the reasons I laugh when I hear the teachers’ mantra about getting parents involved. The truth is that the involvement of incompetent or ill-intentioned parents is the opposite of helpful.

Are we to remove all such children? We cannot possibly.

Just to handle the cases of pure, unmistakable abuse, our child welfare institutions are inadequate.

The truth is that most abuse – psychological and physical and sexual – is overwhelmingly at the hands of parents or other relatives. The case of the stranger-abuser is extremely rare.

Look at the record of the Catholic Church. Its priests have horribly abused thousands, yet we take no legal action against them as a society.

I am comforted by the flexibility and adaptability of children to grow out of the teachings of idiotic parents or other authorities. After all, the Pope today was a member of Hitler Jugend as a boy. I myself attended a church that taught the dark things that little girl in the US feared, and I grew into a strong-minded skeptic.

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