Dr. Richard Pan is at it again. (The one who thinks we owe society protection by vaccinating…which we don’t.)
The now-infamous doctor and state Senator who co-sponsored and pushed through SB277 has introduced a new piece of legislature. On December 5, 2016, he brought SB 18: Bill of Rights for Children and Youth in California to the Senate floor.
This bill is in its early stages, with only two short sections written in. And, it’s not expected to be enacted — if passed — until 2022. But the language of the bill is very, very problematic, and you should be very concerned.
Make no mistake: take action against this bill immediately, if you are in California. If you’re not in California, be sure that no similar bill is introduced to your state — consider writing to your representatives now, to tell them you would not support the creation of such a bill and why. I’ll share additional action steps at the bottom of the post.
First, though, I’m going to go over the bill, line by line, and explain why you need to worry.
California’s SB 18: Your Parental Rights, Gone
Let’s look at the text of the bill, line by line. (If you want to read the full text all at once, it can be found HERE).
Existing law provides for the care and welfare of children and youth in various contexts, including, but not limited to, child welfare services, foster care, health care, nutrition, homeless assistance, and education.
This is the bill’s very first sentence. If existing law already provides for child welfare in so many ways, then we do we need an additional law to cover the same things? The only reason we would need such a law is if they were planning to expand or re-define the parameters — or shift the focus of control.
Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 80 (Res. Ch. 101, Stats. 2009) declares the Legislature’s support of a Bill of Rights for the Children and Youth of California that resolves to invest in all children and youth in order to achieve specified goals to create an optimal environment for their healthy development.
Vague — what is an “optimal environment” and what is “healthy development?”
This bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to expand and codify the Bill of Rights for Children and Youth of California to establish a comprehensive framework that governs the rights of all children and youth in California, outlines the research-based essential needs of California’s children, and establishes standards relating to the health, safety, well-being, early childhood and educational opportunities, and familial supports necessary for all children to succeed. The bill would declare the intent of the Legislature, by January 1, 2022, to enact legislation for the purpose of ensuring that the Bill of Rights for Children and Youth of California, in its totality, is applied evenly, equitably, and appropriately to all children and youth across the state.
What exactly is a “comprehensive framework?” That sounds like a government-controlled and implemented program, not a protection of families’ rights or empowering families.
“…research-based essential needs…” Whose research? What essential needs? Does it matter to them at all that up to 90% of all published research is poorly done or outright fraudulent? Why would this be the guidelines and structure upon which they are basing things? Does their research account for all of the differences in family structure and culture? What kind of flexibility is there?
“…establishes standards…” Again…what standards? It sounds like they are trying to enact a one-size-fits-all program here. And we all know that those simply don’t work, because people are not the same.
“…applied evenly, equitably, and appropriately to all children…” Sounds great in theory. But, again, what if people don’t have equitable needs? This doesn’t seem to account for that.
And this is just the introduction….
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
(a) The Legislature finds and declares that all children and youth, regardless of gender, class, race, ethnicity, national origin, culture, religion, immigration status, sexual orientation, or ability, have inherent rights that entitle them to protection, special care, and assistance, including, but not limited to, the following:
It is the intent of the Legislature, by January 1, 2022, to enact appropriate legislation to accomplish all of the following:
This is basically the next part of part (b), ensuring that they have the funding and personnel to enforce their law.
The Bottom Line
Here’s the thing.
In theory, this sounds great. Yes! Let’s protect the rights of children! Let’s keep everyone safe, let’s give everyone equal opportunities, let’s take care of our most vulnerable citizens.
But, it’s extremely problematic to allow a very small group of people to decide what constitutes “best” for an entire group of millions of families. Why do these people get to be the ones to decide? What if they don’t know or understand (or want to understand) those families’ perspective and needs?
We know that Dr. Pan believes he knows better than families, and his supporters believe the same. That is serious, for people who believe that individual families are almost always the best people to make decisions for their children.
But the biggest problem with this proposed law is its utter vagueness. It actually doesn’t do anything at all, in and of itself. What it does is allow them to create lots of other new laws, programs, taxes, or whatever they want…and enforce it.
Sure, you could ignore this law, and fight each more specific law or program put in place — if given the chance. (Some won’t even be up for discussion, since this law gives them freedom to create those things.) But, it’s unlikely that those fights would prevail with a law like this on the books.
If you value your freedom, do not let any politicians put vague laws like this on the books. Especially not politicians that have a history of stripping parental rights in favor of government control!
Contact your California state senator (if you are in California) and tell them that you do not want them to vote for this bill. Make it clear that if they support it, you will campaign against them in the next election.
Join this group to help recall Richard Pan and remove him from office immediately. He’s made it clear that his attack on parental rights is not going to stop, so he does not deserve to keep his job.
Share this post, so that more families are aware of what’s in this bill and can help join the fight. We need to get the word out quickly so that people can get involved.
Tell everyone, everywhere that this law is dangerous. It’s not about protecting children, but about allowing the state to define what children need and to force parents to comply — for fear of losing custody if they don’t.