Even extreme libertarians usually concede that it is proper on many occasions for parents to make decisions for their children. And, although both Hitler's Germany and modern Germany seem to believe that there are NO parental rights except what the government allows, I think most Americans would believe that parental responsibility for children comes first and should only very rarely be surrendered to anybody else, including to the government.
And it is a long-standing legal doctrine that school teachers act in loco parentis -- i.e. they act in the place of the parents. So, in theory, teachers cannot do or teach anything that the parents disapprove of. Leftists are continually doing their best to undermine that doctrine, however, -- usually by propagandizing for what many would see as various forms of debauched sexual behaviour.
But at the basis of such controversies is the fundamental judgment that children and adults are in a different situation as far as censorship is concerned. Where censorship of what adults can see and hear might be totally undesirable, keeping some of the same things away from children is a parent's prerogative. The parent is entitled to introduce certain matters to his/her children in his/her own way and at his/her own time.
Exactly that issue is involved in the current controversy about a childrens' book being rejected because it contains the word "scrotum" on page 1. That touches on the parents' right to introduce sex-related matters to their own children in their own way and in their own time.
Fortunately, many schools and school libraries have indeed acted in loco parentis and have declined to purchase or use the book. They have respected the rights of parents in the matter.
Leftists, however, in their usual way have rejected any notion of such rights and called the refusals "censorship". It is indeed censorship but the issue is whether parents have the right to censor what their children read -- and that is a right that many parents value and which conservatives tend to see as fundamental to a parental role.
The Leftist refusal to distinguish parental censorship from other forms of censorship is of course typical of the simplistic, "black-and-white" way they think about most things but it might at least be regarded as a respectworthy viewpoint if they applied it consistently. No-one will be surprised that they do not, however.
Take the still ongoing controversy about the teacher, David Paszkiewicz, who expressed various Christian beliefs in his New Jersey classroom. The ACLU and other Leftists definitely want THAT censored! Christian teaching in class must be censored but teachings about sex must not!
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)
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