Category Archives: parental choice

IndoctriNation: Can We Avoid Our Dystopian Republican Future?

“I guess irony can be pretty ironic sometimes,” Commander Buck Murdock (William Shatner) muses in Airplane 2: The Sequel.

I immediately thought of this iconic Shatner scene from the Jerry Zucker-Jim Abrahams-David Zucker film when I saw a brilliant and urgently serious post on Facebook from a former student of mine currently advocating for all that is Good and Right in her crumbling state of Virginia:

While Stephanie hits succinctly right at the heart of the irony surrounding the current push by Republicans to mandate educational gag orders, parental trigger bills, and a wide range of censorship for not only school and colleges but also throughout society, I want to highlight how the irony is a veneer for the Republican long game.

Many people have now exposed that the Republican use of “Critical Race Theory” is an orchestrated lie for larger political goals since their definitions of CRT are distortions and misinformation.

But what exactly is that end game?

First, let’s unpack the monumental irony in the “Education Not Indoctrination” claims of Republicans.

A related element of the anti-CRT movement is linking CRT to “Marxism” (itself a distortion bordering on a lie), but the more telling aspect of that connection is that Marxist and critical educators forefront a genuine and resolute rejection of indoctrination. As Joe Kincheloe details, seeking out and exposing those who indoctrinate is a “central tenet” of being critical:

Thus, proponents of critical pedagogy understand that every dimension of schooling and every form of educational practice are politically contested spaces. Shaped by history and challenged by a wide range of interest groups, educational practice is a fuzzy concept as it takes place in numerous settings, is shaped by a plethora of often-invisible forces, and can operate even in the name of democracy and justice to be totalitarian and oppressive….

Recognition of these educational politics suggests that teachers take a position and make it understandable to their students. They do not, however, have the right to impose these positions on their students. This is a central tenet of critical pedagogy.

In this context it is not the advocates of critical pedagogy who are most often guilty of impositional teaching but many of the mainstream critics themselves. When mainstream opponents of critical pedagogy promote the notion that all language and political behavior that oppose the dominant ideology are forms of indoctrination, they forget how experience is shaped by unequal forms of power. To refuse to name the forces that produce human suffering and exploitation is to take a position that supports oppression and powers that perpetuate it. The argument that any position opposing the actions of dominant power wielders is problematic. It is tantamount to saying that one who admits her oppositional political sentiments and makes them known to students is guilty of indoctrination, while one who hides her consent to dominant power and the status quo it has produced from her students is operating in an objective and neutral manner. Critical pedagogy wants to know who’s indoctrinating whom. (pp. 2, 11)

JOE KINCHELOE, CRITICAL PEDAGOGY PRIMER

Therefore, if an educator is leftist, Marxist, or critical, they are dedicated to not only seeking out and contesting anyone who indoctrinates, but also working continuously to avoid allowing their own teaching to devolve into indoctrination.

To indoctrinate is to be authoritarian (see Paulo Freire’s distinction between “authoritarian” and “authoritative” in the context of critical pedagogy).

Along with the foundational strategy of using lies and mischaracterized terms to advance a political agenda, Republicans also are guilty of projection: Almost everything Republicans attribute to the “Left” is what they actually do (Republicans decry a false specter of “cancel culture” while actually passing legislation that censors, cancels, and bans materials and ideas) or what they would do given the opportunity and the power.

And that leads to the end game.

To understand the Republican end game, you must address that “Education Not Indoctrination” is yet another Orwellian misdirection. Republicans are not anti-indoctrination; in fact, Republicans are actually seeking a world in which they completely control the indoctrinating.

In short, Kincheloe’s “who’s indoctrinating whom” can be addressed simply by acknowledging that given the opportunity and power (see legislation in Republican-led states) the “who” will always be Republicans and the “whom” will be the rest of us.

Republicans are organizing and enacting a broad campaign to create their dystopia, IndoctriNation.

They are counting on a common flaw in the U.S.: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity” (“The Second Coming,” William Butler Yeats).

Freedom and the Politics of Canceling Teachers and Curriculum

By mid-December of 2021, Matthew Hawn, a former teacher in Tennessee, will once again have his appeal heard after being fired for violating the state’s restrictions on curriculum:

The Tennessee General Assembly has banned the teaching of critical race theory, passing a law at the very end of the legislative session to withhold funding from public schools that teach about white privilege.

Republicans in the House made the legislation a last-minute priority, introducing provisions that ban schools from instructing students that one race bears responsibility for the past actions against another, that the United States is fundamentally racist or that a person is inherently privileged or oppressive due to their race.

Tennessee bans public schools from teaching critical race theory amid national debate, Natalie Allison

As Allison reported in May, several states across the U.S. have filed or passed copy-cat legislation aimed at banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory.

By October and November, the consequences of Tennessee’s law have moved from silencing and canceling teachers to attempts to cancel curriculum [1]:

The Tennessee Department of Education recently declined to investigate a complaint filed under a new state law prohibiting the teaching of certain topics regarding race and bias.

The complaint, the first directed to the state under the new law passed this spring, was filed by Robin Steenman, chair of the Moms for Liberty Williamson County chapter, a conservative parent group sweeping the nation. 

The 11-page complaint alleged that the literacy curriculum, Wit and Wisdom, used by Williamson County Schools and at least 30 other districts, has a “heavily biased agenda” that makes children “hate their country, each other and/or themselves.”

Tennessee Department of Education rejects complaint filed under anti-critical race theory law, Meghan Mangrum

Although the complaint was rejected, Mangrum noted, “The group detailed concerns with four specific books on subjects like the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, the integration of California schools by advocate Sylvia Mendez and her family, and the autobiography of Ruby Bridges, adapted for younger learners.”

A teacher fired for teaching Ta-Nehisi Coates, parents calling for bans on MLK and teaching about Ruby Bridges—these events are not unique to Tennessee, but they reflect a pattern of efforts to control not only teachers, but what students are allowed to learn and read.

Notable in these examples is that many of the consequences of legislation are canceling Black writers and key aspects of Black history; additionally, legislation and calls for book banning are targeting LGBTQ+ writers and topics.

Teaching and curriculum in the U.S. are being systematically and politically whitewashed.

One aspect not being addressed often is that political dynamic. Parents, political activists, and politicians are impacting who teaches and what is being taught in the context of a historical and current demand that teachers themselves remain apolitical, both in their classrooms and their lives beyond school.

As I have discussed often, teaching is necessarily political, and teaching as well as writing are necessarily types of activism.

For teachers, then, we must recognize that calls for teachers to be objective, neutral, and apolitical are themselves political acts. Currently, laws being passed and parents/activists confronting school boards are exercising their political power at the expense of teachers and schools—both of which are required to remain somehow politically neutral.

From historian/activist Howard Zinn to critical scholars such as Joe Kincheloe and to poet Adrienne Rich, we have ample evidence that taking a neutral stance is a political act that passively endorses the status quo and that silencing words is an act of canceling thought, eradicating ideas.

Zinn’s commitment to transparency as a teacher and activist is hauntingly relevant to the current political attack on teachers and curriculum:

This mixing of activism and teaching, this insistence that education cannot be neutral on the critical issues of our time, this movement back and forth from the classroom to the struggles outside by teachers who hope their students will do the same, has always frightened the guardians of traditional education. They prefer that education simply prepare the new generation to take its proper place in the old order, not to question that order [emphasis added]….

From the start, my teaching was infused with my own history. I would try to be fair to other points of view, but I wanted more than “objectivity”; I wanted students to leave my classes not just better informed, but more prepared to relinquish the safety of silence, more prepared to speak up, to act against injustice wherever they saw it. This, of course, was a recipe for trouble.

You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times, Howard Zinn

And Kincheloe confronted not only who is actually indoctrinating students but the imperative that teachers recognize teaching as inherently political:

Thus, proponents of critical pedagogy understand that every dimension of schooling and every form of educational practice are politically contested spaces. Shaped by history and challenged by a wide range of interest groups, educational practice is a fuzzy concept as it takes place in numerous settings, is shaped by a plethora of often-invisible forces, and can operate even in the name of democracy and justice to be totalitarian and oppressive [emphasis added].

Critical Pedagogy Primer, Joe L. Kincheloe

The great irony is that critical educators (often smeared as “Marxists”) are committed, as Kincheloe asserts, to a foundational concern: “Critical pedagogy wants to know who’s indoctrinating whom.”

The Orwellian named “Moms for LIberty,” then, by calling for canceling curriculum are in fact being “totalitarian and oppressive,” calling for not education, but indoctrination. To ban words and ideas is to ban the possibility of thinking, of learning:

The study of silence has long engrossed me. The matrix of a poet’s work consists not only of what is there [emphasis in original] to be absorbed and worked on, but also of what is missing, desaparecido [emphasis in original], rendered unspeakable, thus unthinkable.

Arts of the Possible, Adrienne Rich

A final powerful point is that many of these political acts to silence teachers and cancel curriculum are occurring in right-to-work states controlled by Republicans. Teachers not only are expected to be neutral, objective, and apolitical, but also work with a distinct awareness they have almost no job security.

Hawn fired in Tennessee simply taught a text and now is fighting for his career; the text in most ways just a year ago was considered non-controversial and even celebrated as Coates had attained recognition as one of the country’s leading Black voices.

During this holiday season at the end of 2021, teachers honestly have no decision about whether or not to be political. We are faced with only two political choices: conform to the demand that we take a neutral pose, resulting in endorsing whatever status quo legislators and parents/activist impose on schools; or recognize and embrace the essential political nature of being a teacher by actively opposing efforts to cancel teachers and curriculum.


[1] Twitter thread:

Banned in the U.S.A. Redux 2021: “[T]o behave as educated persons would”

We know of course there’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.

–  Arundhati Roy

The matrix of a poet’s work consists not only of what is there to be absorbed and worked on, but also of what is missing, desaparecido, rendered unspeakable, thus unthinkable. It is through these invisible holes in reality that poetry makes it way—certainly for women and other marginalized subjects and for disempowered and colonized peoples generally, but ultimately for all who practice art at any deep levels. The impulse to create begins—often terribly and fearfully—in a tunnel of silence.

“Arts of the Possible,” Adrienne Rich

It is the morning of November 11, 2021, and I spend some of that time creating gentle memes to post in honor of Kurt Vonnegut’s day of birth:

I wanted to highlight Vonnegut’s career-long plea for a secular kindness, rooted in his faith in humanism, and I have long admired Vonnegut as an anti-war crusader.

Celebrating the birthday of a person after their death is always bittersweet, but on this morning, the act was awash in a very ugly sort of irony. As I loaded The State (Columbia, SC) web page, I saw this as the lead story:

My home state of South Carolina is heavily conservative—first to secede and uniformly conservative in politics throughout the decades of Democratic control of the South and then Republican in the wake of Strom Thurmond changing parties and later Ronald Reagan leading a conservative Christian shift in the South.

Gov. McMaster is not often “first to” about anything, but he is an uncritical and resolute soldier in the Republican culture war regardless of what that means.

Vonnegut—while alive and since his death—has often had his works challenged and even banned; one of the most enduring things he ever wrote, in fact, was a response to censorship:

In October of 1973, Bruce Severy — a 26-year-old English teacher at Drake High School, North Dakota — decided to use Kurt Vonnegut‘s novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, as a teaching aid in his classroom. The next month, on November 7th, the head of the school board, Charles McCarthy, demanded that all 32 copies be burned in the school’s furnace as a result of its “obscene language.” Other books soon met with the same fate. On the 16th of November, Kurt Vonnegut sent McCarthy the following letter. He didn’t receive a reply.

Letters of Note

In part, Vonnegut replied as follows:

Certain members of your community have suggested that my work is evil. This is extraordinarily insulting to me. The news from Drake indicates to me that books and writers are very unreal to you people. I am writing this letter to let you know how real I am.

I want you to know, too, that my publisher and I have done absolutely nothing to exploit the disgusting news from Drake. We are not clapping each other on the back, crowing about all the books we will sell because of the news. We have declined to go on television, have written no fiery letters to editorial pages, have granted no lengthy interviews. We are angered and sickened and saddened. And no copies of this letter have been sent to anybody else. You now hold the only copy in your hands. It is a strictly private letter from me to the people of Drake, who have done so much to damage my reputation in the eyes of their children and then in the eyes of the world. Do you have the courage and ordinary decency to show this letter to the people, or will it, too, be consigned to the fires of your furnace?…

If you were to bother to read my books, to behave as educated persons would, you would learn that they are not sexy, and do not argue in favor of wildness of any kind. They beg that people be kinder and more responsible than they often are. It is true that some of the characters speak coarsely. That is because people speak coarsely in real life. Especially soldiers and hardworking men speak coarsely, and even our most sheltered children know that. And we all know, too, that those words really don’t damage children much. They didn’t damage us when we were young. It was evil deeds and lying that hurt us….

If you are an American, you must allow all ideas to circulate freely in your community, not merely your own.

I am very real, Kurt Vonnegut, November 16, 1973

Reading about the censorship wildfire spreading to SC on Vonnegut’s birthday adds insult to injury, but this is not mere partisan politics, not something as innocuous or abstract as a “culture war.”

Just as Vonnegut ends his letter with “I am very real,” I want to stress that the missionary zeal behind removing and burning books from school libraries is also “very real”:

Calls for censorship, book removal from school libraries, and book burning are the logical next step in the Republican/conservative assault on Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project; at the core of this movement is a misguided demand for parental rights that grows beyond any parents’ children to all children.

Some parents and political leaders on the Right have mistaken Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 as a manual for partisan politics instead of, as Neil Gaiman (born a day before Vonnegut 38 years later) explains in the 60th anniversary edition of the novel:

This is a book of warning. It is a reminder that what we have is valuable, and that sometimes we take what we value for granted….

People think—wrongly—that speculative fiction is about predicting the future, but it isn’t; or if it is, it tends to do a rotten job of it….

What speculative fiction is really good at is not the future but the present—taking an aspect of it that troubles or is dangerous, and extending and extrapolating that aspect into something that allows the people of that time to see what they are doing from a different angle and from a different place. It’s cautionary.

Fahrenheit 451 is speculative fiction. It’s an “If this goes on…” story. Ray Bradbury was writing about his present, which is our past.

Introduction, Fahrenheit 451, Neil Gaiman

In my early days as a public high school English teacher, I had a book challenge targeting John Gardner’s Grendel, but it was clearly mostly about attacking me as a young teacher. While I think we are careless and even cavalier in the U.S. about any parents’ right to control what their children read and learn, I experienced first-hand the power of a few parents to determine what all students read and learn.

I must return to Vonnegut here and stress, “If you are an American, you must allow all ideas to circulate freely in your community, not merely your own.”

Removing books from libraries, banning books from schools, and book burnings are never justified; these are acts of tyranny, of fascism—and not in any way a gesture of what we like to call “American.”

There is no individual freedom without the freedom of the mind. Banning a book is closing the mind.

In Athens-based R.E.M.’s “Its the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” the lyrics include a verse that is haunting in 2021:

Six o’clock, TV hour, don’t get caught in foreign tower
Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn
Lock him in uniform, book burning, blood letting
Every motive escalate, automotive incinerate
Light a candle, light a votive, step down, step down
Watch your heel crush, crushed, uh-oh
This means no fear, cavalier renegade and steering clear
A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives, and I decline

“Its the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”

The Republican assault on teaching, learning, reading, and thinking is nothing more than a “tournament of lies” aimed at partisan political power.

Simply put, censorship and book burning are UnAmerican; to ban a book is to dismantle the American Dream.


Resources

Statement on Censorship and Professional Guidelines (NCTE)

Guidelines for Dealing with Censorship of Instructional Materials (NCTE)

NCTE Intellectual Freedom Center

The Students’ Right to Read (NCTE)

See Also

The 451 App (22 August 2022)

Teen’s Eyes Begin Glowing Red While Reciting Forbidden Knowledge From Book On Critical Race Theory

Recommended: School’s Choice: How Charter Schools Control Access and Shape Enrollment (TCP)

School’s Choice: How Charter Schools Control Access and Shape Enrollment

School’s Choice 9780807765814

Wagma Mommandi, a former public-school teacher, is a PhD candidate in education policy at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. 

Kevin Welner is a professor and the director of the National Education Policy Center, which is housed at the CU Boulder School of Education.

Access issues are pivotal to almost all charter school tensions and debates. How well are these schools performing? Are they segregating and stratifying? Are they public and democratic? Are they fairly funded? Can apparent successes be scaled up? Answers to all these core questions hinge on how access to charter schools is shaped. This book describes the incentives and pressures on charter schools to restrict access and examines how charters navigate those pressures, explaining access-restricting practices in relation to the ecosystem within which charter schools are created. It also explains how charters have sometimes responded by resisting the pressures and sometimes by surrendering to them. The text presents analyses of 13 different types of practices around access, each of which shapes the school’s enrollment. The authors conclude by offering recommendations for how states and authorizers can address access-related inequities that arise in the charter sector. School’s Choice provides timely information on critical academic and policy issues that will come into play as charter school policy continues to evolve.

Book Features:

  • Examines how charter schools control who gains and retains access.
  • Explores policies and practices that undermine equitable admission and encourage opportunity hoarding.
  • Offers a set of policy recommendations at the state and federal level to address access-related issues.

Conservatives are Wrong about Parental Rights

With public schools poised to reopen for the 2021-2022 academic year, South Carolina faces the challenges of dealing with another wave of a Covid variant, a challenge made more complicated because of political theater by Republicans.

Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin issued a mask requirement for students in the city, and immediately Governor Henry McMaster responded: “’This is another attempt to force children to wear masks in schools without a bit of consideration for a parent’s right to make that decision,’” said Brian Symmes, McMaster’s spokesman.”

The political theater of invoking “parental rights” by Republicans and conservatives falls apart at several levels.

First, if parents do have the right to demand that their children not wear masks (see below), those parents do not have the right to endanger other people—and the mask mandate in schools is primarily about community safety.

“Freedom” in this case is once again not license; parents choosing to keep their children unmasked must also address the consequences of that decision. Those parents then are obligated to provide their children proper education since the unmasking means those children cannot attend K-12 public schooling.

Just as adults are free to drink alcohol, but restricted from driving while impaired (a mandate that addresses community safety), parents and their children may remain unmasked but that means there are restrictions on where they can go and what they can do.

Choice has consequences.

But, there is a much larger issue here about parental rights and how that impacts the rights of children.

Republicans such as McMaster either are unaware of the law or are intentionally dishonest with their “parental rights” rhetoric.

In The Parent as (Mere) Educational Trustee: Whose Education Is It, Anyway?, Jeffrey Shulman details that parental rights and the education of their children are in many ways “circumscribed,” restricted or limited.

Broadly, Shulman explains:

What role should the state play in the transmission of values? What values can the state successfully transmit? How can it do so? To approach these questions, this Article begins with principles laid down by the Supreme Court. It is the state’s duty to ensure that all schools, public or private, inculcate habits of critical reasoning and re- flection, a way of thinking that implies a tolerance of and respect for other points of views. In pursuit of this lofty goal, the state need not make public schooling compulsory. However, the state must see that all children are provided an education that is, in the fullest sense, public—a schooling that gives children the tools they will need to think for themselves, a schooling that exposes children to other points of view and to other sources of meaning and value than those they bring from home. This effort may well divide child from parent, not because socialist educators want to indoctrinate children, but because learning to think for oneself is what children do. It is one facet of the overall movement toward the individuation and autonomy that is “growing up” and is, perhaps, the most natural and vital part of healthy maturation.

The Parent as (Mere) Educational Trustee: Whose Education Is It, Anyway?

There is, then, a long legal history in the U.S. that simply doesn’t recognize parental rights as monolithic, or even sacred.

One way parental rights are limited is directly embedded in the commitment to universal public education:

The state as educator, then, is no ideologically neutral actor. The philosophical foundations supporting a truly public education are the liberal biases of our nation’s intellectual forbearers, biases in favor of a non-authoritarian approach to truth, of free argument and debate (what Jefferson called truth’s “natural weapons”), and of a healthy sense of human fallibility—the foundation, in other words, of our nation’s governmental blueprint. Unless children are to live under “a perpetual childhood of prescription,” they must be exposed—intellectually, morally, and spiritually—to the dust and heat of the race. Whether one considers the formation of moral commitments a matter of choice or duty, of reflective self-directedness or cultural embeddedness, the child must not be denied the type of education that will allow him, as an adult, to choose whether (and in what way and to what degree) to honor those commitments. A public education is the engine by which children are exposed to “the great sphere” that is their world and legacy. It is their means of escape from, or free commitment to, the social group in which they were born. It is their best guarantee of an open future.

The Parent as (Mere) Educational Trustee: Whose Education Is It, Anyway?

The great irony here is that the courts have recognized that public education, the state, has the obligation to protect the individual intellectually freedom of children, even when that conflicts with parental wants or demands that are framed in rugged individualism rhetoric.

That legal recognition creates a tension that is rarely voiced in public discussions:

We are cautioned by family law historian Barbara Bennett Woodhouse that “[s]tamped on the reverse side of this coinage of family privacy and parental rights are the child’s voicelessness, objectification, and isolation from the community.” It is often assumed that state control of education “disserve[s] the values of pluralism and experimentation,” but public education can bring its students a much needed respite from the ideological solipsism of the enclosed family. Public education can physically and intellectually transport the child across the boundaries of home and community. Of course, this transportation comes at a cost. It disrupts the intramural transmission of values from parent to child. It threatens to dismantle a familiar world by introducing the child to multiple sources of authority—and to the possibility that a choice must be made among them.

The Parent as (Mere) Educational Trustee: Whose Education Is It, Anyway?

And thus, the masking debate exposes a couple elements of legal obligations to the community, to children, and to parents since the requirement (or not) to mask impacts children’s opportunities to learn in contexts where academic freedom is protected and where all the people involved are safe as reasonably possible from infectious disease.

However, ultimately, the rights of children must be protected:

No one would suggest that parents may not introduce their children to personal sources of moral or religious meaning. However, to those parents who want their children untouched by other points of view, the state must say that the rights of parents, while profound, are circumscribed—contingent, as the Supreme Court has always noted, on preparing the young for the additional obligations they will take on as members of a pluralistic society. “In a democracy,” political theorist William Galston writes, “parents are entitled to introduce their children to what they regard as vital sources of meaning and value, and to hope that their children will come to share this orientation.” Yet, children have freestanding intellectual and moral claims of their own, claims that Galston goes on to remind us, “imply enforce- able rights of exit from the boundaries of community defined by their parents.” If children are granted this right of exit, they must be able to exercise it freely. They must not be disempowered from making their own intellectual and moral claims in the first place. The state has a duty to make sure they are not disempowered, and one of its best resources to that end is public schooling.

The Parent as (Mere) Educational Trustee: Whose Education Is It, Anyway?

The state is charged with protecting children intellectually and physically when parents do not share that goal (risking the child’s health by refusing to mask, indoctrinating the child in singular beliefs by restricting that child’s access to knowledge and critical thinking):

The full capacity for individual choice is the presupposition of First Amendment freedoms. It is for this reason that the state has a strong obligation to see that free choice is not strangled at its source. The state may not sponsor particular religious or political beliefs, but that is not enough; it must protect children from being forced to adopt particular religious or political beliefs. The state must work to protect the moral and intellectual autonomy of all children. Further, if the state has the obligation to ensure the child’s opportunity to become autonomous, that obligation, as educational theorist Harry Brighouse has pointed out, “cuts against the differential regulation of public and private schools with respect to religious instruction.” Children are owed this obligation “regardless of whether it is the state, their parents, or a religious foundation that pays for their education, and regardless of whether they attend privately-run or government-run schools.” The constitutional freedom to choose is not guaranteed only to be so circumscribed that it exists in principle but not in fact.

The Parent as (Mere) Educational Trustee: Whose Education Is It, Anyway?

The Republican political theater of “parental rights” rhetoric exposes that conservatives are intellectually and legally bankrupt, but it also exposes the essential need for the state to protect children, who have essentially no political power.

McMaster and other Republican governors are clearly speaking to the adults who are likely to vote for them, and not in any way addressing the education and health of children.

The continuing political theater surrounding Covid and public schooling is too often ignoring the children at the center of that storm.

Since children have no political authority or autonomy, the state must function in ways that support parents who honor their children’s intellectual freedom and personal health and safety but also protect children when their parents have motives not in the interest of their children’s ability to think critically and live safely.