Socialism Lives In The U.S.A.
June 17, 2003
In the sleepy little town of Waltham, Massachusetts, a cultural clash over the rights of parents to teach and raise their own children is brewing.
It surrounds a couple named Kim and George Bryant have have been homeschooling their two children George and Nyssa, who are 15 and 13 respectively.
The Waltham Public School system has been trying to force the Bryants to have their children take a government-mandated standardized test. But the Bryants have adamantly refused to allow their children to take the test.
"Private school students do not take standardized tests. Why should our children be subjected to this, against their will?
But the school district officials are so angry that the Bryants have refused to allow their children to be tested that they have obtained a court order handing over custody rights to the Department of Social Services, who have threatened to permanently remove the kids from their parents.
The local newspaper, The MetroWest Daily News, reported last week that "both sides agree that the children are in no way abused mentally, physically, sexually or emotionally, but legal custody of the children was taken from Kim and George Bryant in December 2001." DSS says that the parents are considered "unfit" for not complying with the government-sponsored standardized test.
Unfit? For what? Not being willing to fill out paperwork? Not going along with government-sponsored testing? Or is this really about the fact that the Bryants have chosen to educate their own children at home?
Interestingly, George Bryant was arrested six years ago. What was his crime? He failed to abide by the government's demands regarding the education of his children.
He was ARRESTED and locked away as a menacing criminal simply because he wanted to choose for himself what kind of education his kids received.
This legal struggle between the Bryants and the government has been going on for six years. Last Thursday was the culmination of the fight.
DSS went to the Bryant household with police escorts at 7:45am and attempted to remove the children and force them to take the government-sponsored tests.
This is happening in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!! Can you believe it?!?!
What happened was a 7-hour battle over the rights of this family to educate their children the way they want to do it. Mr. Bryant remains unyielding.
"This has been a six-year battle between the Waltham Public Schools and our family over who is in control of the education of our children," he said.
Can you believe the audacity of these parents to vigorously fight for their right to raise and educate their own children the way they want to? Don't they know the government is set up to do that for them?! While this seems laughable, you're not going to believe what you read next.
Believe it or not, that is exactly what one DSS representative believes.
"We have the legal custody of the children and we will do with them as we see fit," said DSS operative Susan Etscovitz. "They are minors and they do what we tell them to do."
In other words, the government will do with your children as they see fit and will force your children to do what they tell them to do.
Again, I say, THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, isn't it? This is not the Socialist Republic of America!!! Where are the civil libertarians coming to the defense of this helpless family? Where is the outrage at such bold proclamations from a government agency that is willingly stripping an innocent family of their rights to raise and educate their own children?
How can the Bryants be subjected to such a nightmare when they have not abused or hurt their children in any way?
"No one wants these children to be put in foster homes. The best course of action would be for (the Bryants) to instruct the children to take the test," surmised Etscovitz.
Doesn't this sound eerily similar to something Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler or Saddam Hussein would say to the citizens of their respective countries? All of this, and we're talking about this happening in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!
Let's me be clear: this issue is NOT about education. This is about one thing and one thing only -- CONTROL. The government wants to yank control from this family and defeat the homeschooling movement because they see it as a direct threat to the public school system. That's it. That's what this is about.
As the American public school system is deeply mired in bureaucratic headaches and increasing student failure, homeschools, charter schools and private schools are thriving. Children are actually learning and going on to lead productive lives in society as a result of their education in these alternatives to the public school.
They are learning principles of freedom and personal responsibility instead of feeling good about themselves because "at least they tried." These students are also learning about the virtues of limited government, what's really in the U.S. Constitution and the goal our Founding Fathers had for this country instead of the spoon-fed revisionist history that is taught in many of our public schools.
Are these being taught right now in the government-sponsored public schools? HARDLY!
Action MUST be taken to challenge this blatant attempt to destroy homeschooling and other education alternatives in America.
The focus of this attack on the Bryants centers on the socialist Waltham Public School Superintendent, Dr. Susan Parrella.
Here's what YOU can do:
Send her an e-mail at
Call her directly at (781) 314-5400
Fax her directly at (781) 314-5411
E-mail her, call her, fax her, whatever. Just let Dr. Parrella know how much you despise what she is doing. Calls have already been attempted to reach her and they have shown themselves to be ill-prepared to deal with the calls. Regardless, they need to hear from those of us who care about this issue anyway.
As for DSS representative Etscovitz, who also believes in the socialist notion that the government knows better to do with your children than you do, I'm sure she'd love to speak with you as well:
Call her at (781) 641-8500
Fax her at (781) 648-6909
This issue is extremely serious. We cannot allow this injustice to continue. If we do, then we may soon face the same scenario in South Carolina. It's time to stand up for the rights of parents to raise and educate their children as THEY see fit, NOT how the government wants to!