Your young son wants a new video game with explicit violence to which you object, but you find out later a government social worker overruled your decision and facilitated his access to the game.
Or your daughter has an appointment with a pediatrician, but your schedule won’t allow you to take her, and you forget to change it. The result is a letter from the doctor informing you that your child’s absence has been reported to a social worker for investigation.
Those are the possible outcomes of a new law in Scotland under challenge in a court hearing that began Tuesday. The “Named Person” law assigns a government agent to every child in the country under the age 18. The agent has authority to monitor issues and events of the child’s life, and intervene when the government deems it necessary.
The law is being challenged in the case by the U.K. charity Christian Institute and others before Judge Lord Pentland.
According to the institute, human rights attorney Aidan O’Neill believes the law is an “unjustified interference” in family and private life.
O’Neill also has contended the plan has too few protections against “arbitrary and oppressive” decisions by the government.
Colin Hart, director of the institute, who serves with the No 2 Named Persons campaign, said, “The blanket nature of this law degrades the image of the family and derides the work of the vast majority of parents.
“It also encourages suspicion among professionals about the dangers parents represent to their children.”
WND has reported multiple times on the case, which is seen by observers as a foreshadowing of social developments in the United States.
The “Named Person” initiative would “see a state guardian assigned to every child between birth and 18 years old.”
The guardian would have access to all information about the child, whether the parents allow it or not, and could make recommendations and suggestions about the child’s upbringing.
Parents would be allowed to decline the guardian’s advice, but the guardian would “be able to share information with a wide range of public authorities and may intervene without parental consent.”
The law, already operating in some locations, is scheduled to be imposed nationwide in Scotland over the next year or so.
Along with the Christian Institute, the case was brought by the Christian charity CARE, Tymes Trust and the Family Education Trust.
The institute said parents James and Rhianwen McIntosh and Deborah Thomas are also part of the legal proceedings, because they were told their child’s private medical reports would be given to a state agent.
A social worker, Maggie Mellon, has spoken out against the plan, too.
See her statement:
The law, she said, would “bring about the end of family life as we know it.”
One parent reported discovering the law’s reach when her son was told to fill out a “creepy and weird” survey at school. She discovered questions were about “things like his perceptions of our family’s income, the seriousness of our family’s arguments, and whether he sometimes felt like he couldn’t go on – which is effectively a suicide question.”
Hart has said the case has implications for every family in Scotland.
“We are not prepared to stand by and watch as the roles of parents and their rights to a family life are diminished and trampled over by an authoritarian big brother government intent on making its presence felt in every living room in the land,” he said earlier.
WND has reported the idea of a government watchdog for each child comes from the philosophy of the United Nations.
“This law shows the natural progression for a country that has ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child and attempts to live up to its treaty provisions,” said Michael Donnelly, director of international relations for Home School Legal Defense Association.