Teaching Children How to Get Vaccinated Without Parental Consent
The wikiHow website is an online tool for obtaining “how-to” instructions on a wide variety of topics, which can be helpful to people seeking a general source of information. But an article surfaced recently that has parents wondering if wikiHow has overstepped this role by teaching underage children how to obtain vaccines without their consent.
Aptly titled “How to Get Vaccinated Without Parental Consent,” the article begins by complaining: “There’s a lot of misinformation about vaccines online, and sometimes well-meaning parents fall into rabbit holes of conspiracy theories and made-up ‘facts.’” The article tells kids that while their parents may think they are protecting them, they are actually putting them at risk of “dangerous and even deadly diseases.” It then admits that getting vaccinated in secret could pose a problem by “making it more difficult” for parents to help them if they have an adverse reaction.
WikiHow offers children three step-by-step plans, or “methods” for obtaining vaccines without their parents’ knowledge. The site is visually appealing with colorful illustrations that complement the instructions. The target age group appears to be middle through high school students under age 18.
- Method One says ‘Look at your options’:
This includes getting vaccinated in secret if local laws allow it. (Kids are encouraged to research the laws in their area.) If local laws don’t allow it, the child is to try convincing unwilling parents by assuring them of vaccine safety, patronizing them with “I understand that people are saying a lot of scary things, and that it can be hard to figure out what’s true and what isn’t true,” and the kicker: “What could I do to show you how much this means to me?” If this cajoling fails, the child is instructed to turn to a doctor, a school nurse, a clinic, a pharmacist, a “reproductive health center,” or a “responsible adult” for help.
Method One then tells kids to “petition the court for emancipation if your parents are really bad,” or “wait until you’re 18 if you think your parents would severely punish or abuse you…”
- Method Two instructs children to:
Schedule their shots for a Friday (so they will have the weekend to recover from any side effects).
“Figure out what (if anything) to say to your family [about where they are going]. You can also tell a white lie, like saying that you are visiting a friend to study or hang out.”
“Consider bringing a friend for moral support.”
“Talk to the doctor about any concerns,” and, among other wisdom, “…ask your doctor for advice about handling anti-vaxxer parents.”
“Try treating yourself after you get your shots,” such as with “an ice cream” or “a movie.”
- Method Three advises kids how to handle any aftermath:
Children are told to rest, drink water, and not worry about mild side effects. The website advises them to “check a reputable website or contact your doctor if you have any unexpected or worrisome side effects.”
They are reminded they don’t have to tell their parents about their vaccines.
They are instructed what to say if their parents find out; e.g., “I did this to give myself peace of mind.” And the rather bizarre: “I’m autistic. I can’t be turned autistic twice. But I could die of polio, and I’d really rather not.”
All these instructions are followed by a “Community Q&A,” the content of which implies that any cautionary information about vaccines is unreliable and that parents who are reticent about vaccines are “misinformed.”
However, most parents believe they are responsible for the care, education and upbringing of their children, and that these tactics undermine parental rights. Journalist Jim Hoft, sounding the alarm about wikiHow in the Gateway Pundit, says: “The wikiHow website is pushing children to scheme against their parents to get vaccinated. This is absolutely frightening.”
wikihow.com/Get-Vaccinated-Without-Parental-Consent; Gateway Pundit, Jan. 12, 2020
Education News Briefs
Parents are working to overturn a New Jersey law mandating that LGBT subject matter be included in public school curriculum.
Their group, Protect Your Children, reportedly has about 1,000 members of various religious affiliations, including teachers and school board members. The legislation was signed into law by New Jersey’s Democrat Governor Phil Murphy last January. The law requires that the state board of education “include instruction on the political, economic and social contribution of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in an appropriate place in the curriculum of middle school and high school students as part of the district’s implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.” Parents fear that the gender ideology already entrenched in public schools will become even more extreme, and that the special interest group responsible for developing the curriculum has a “radical agenda” that “could jeopardize the health and safety of children.” The Daily Signal, Jan. 13, 2020; New Jersey State Law
Remember the furor over dodgeball? It’s back and more polarizing than ever.
To many, dodgeball is a harmless game children have played in physical education classes and at recess for decades; to others, it amounts to “school sanctioned bullying.” Of all elimination style contests, dodgeball inspires both extreme vitriol and staunch defense. Education Week reported that a group of Canadian researchers labeled the game “a tool of oppression that dehumanizes people.” Elizabeth Cushing, president of Playworks, a nonprofit organization that works with schools to promote social-emotional learning through structured play, says dodgeball teaches “values such as teamwork, communication and conflict resolution” if properly supervised. While school districts across the country have banned dodgeball altogether, some still allow it. And although it remains popular, some physical education teachers say it causes “disproportionately negative consequences for those who hate it.” Whether dodgeball will eventually disappear from schools altogether remains to be seen, but the game will likely endure, at least in some places.
Education Week, Dec. 11, 2019
Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation Against America
Mary Grabar, Regnery History Publishing, 2019, $29.99
In her definitive and absorbing exposé of Howard Zinn’s popular but grossly inaccurate “history” of America, author Mary Grabar writes: “Zinn’s pervasive influence is a national tragedy, especially considering just how distorted, manipulative, and plain dishonest A People’s History of the United States is.”
Grabar demonstrates that, while Zinn is not the only author of history whose work contains inaccuracies, the others have been publicly chastised to varying degrees. But although criticized by some on both the left and right, Zinn enjoyed tremendous success during his life and even since his death in 2010. His People’s History has been touted by political figures, celebrities, and rock stars, cited frequently in media, widely used in high schools and colleges, and internationally distributed.
While he claims to have done exhaustive research, Grabar shows that Zinn borrowed heavily from works by fellow leftist historians including his friend, Hans Koning. Yet Zinn was never publicly challenged for his plagiarism, likely because, as Grabar explains, these writers were “100 percent on board with his project to turn future generations of young Americans against Western civilization, capitalism, and America.” Zinn’s scholarship was minimal at best, but Grabar concedes that he was charismatic and “a brilliant, mesmerizing political activist.”
A favorite target of Zinn’s crusade was Christopher Columbus. He sought to destroy the image of Columbus as a courageous explorer motivated by Christian ideals, and instead painted a picture of a bloodthirsty conqueror, overcome by greed, and raping, plundering, and enslaving the “gentle Indians” he and his men encountered. While claiming to have found proof of these allegations in Columbus’s own diaries, Zinn takes bits of unrelated sentences and paragraphs and presents them completely out of context.
Zinn’s annihilation of Columbus serves a larger, more ominous purpose than contradicting the factual historical accounts of his life; it casts a shadow over the entire Age of Discovery, and sets the stage for demeaning the history of the United States overall. Grabar writes that Zinn “presented himself as a path-breaking truth-teller,” and this deception proved wildly successful in tarnishing not only Columbus, but also our Founding Fathers, our military heroes and all our major historical figures over the centuries, reducing them to “racists, Indian-killers, war-lovers, [and] imperialists.”
Forty years after Zinn first published A People’s History in 1980, the results of his reach are apparent in the number of American youths embracing Socialism, in the demands for removal of our historical monuments, and in our increasing level of polarization and unrest.
Grabar’s meticulously documented and thorough portrait of Zinn’s leftwing bias takes an important step in restoring pride in our country’s heritage.
MALLARD FILLMORE / by Bruce Tinsley