What does it take to remind a society of its responsibility toward children? Or maybe it’s that societies don’t really see their responsibilities toward children in the same sentimental terms in which parents see theirs. Every politician wants to be seen kissing babies (a trope that was nearly obsolete until revived by the current Incarcerator-in-Chief), but very many fewer of these politicos seem eager to stand up for children’s education, health and well-being, or apparently even their human right to be with their own families.

The current situation at the United States border with Mexico cannot stand. Soon enough we can expect to see concentration camps for separated parents and children elsewhere in our nation, and we know it. We can name this is an unimaginable evil, yet we can imagine it and cannot act to stop it.

There are those who will throw support for a woman’s right to choose what happens to her own body, including terminating an unwanted pregnancy, right back at those of us who decry border separation and incarceration. Nobody thinks abortion is a wonderful option, but many of those same people are also supportive of restrictions on the availability of affordable birth control. These are as much about the long-term health and welfare of children yet unborn as they are about s-e-x. If you say that because you disapprove of something else that this makes it okay to wrest crying children from their parents and lock them up, whether in cages or in Walmarts, you missed some important lessons and discussions in your moral education. (If you style yourself an observant Christian, maybe your Bible can help; try Matthew 18.)

The Interested Child calls on every elected and appointed official in the United States, at all levels, to denounce the policy of forced separation and child incarceration at our borders and to act decisively through federal, state, and local action to end this policy. (State action? you ask. Whose National Guard units comprise the enforcement infrastructure? Your state’s?)

The Interested Child believes that silence on this issue is complicity.

If you’re interested in some historical perspective, I have written about this elsewhere.

Shame on us!

THE INTERESTED CHILD: Now available in FREE e-book form

Once upon a time I began THE INTERESTED CHILD as a book, but in the interest of spreading the message a blog-like website seemed far more effective. Readers here have made this project exceedingly gratifying for me, and the feedback I have received has been heartening.

As a way of thanking readers and of keeping the concept going even if I haven’t had occasion to post new suggestions in a while, I have re-cast THE INTERESTED CHILD as an e-book and made it available for distribution AT NO COST through the website of THE INDEPENDENT CURRICULUM GROUP, a consortium of change-minded schools and educational organizations on whose board I long served and of which I am now executive director.

THE INTERESTED CHILD e-book is available in .PDF, .EPUB, and .MOBI (for Amazon Kindle) formats HERE.

If you know educators or family folk who might be interested, please spread the word!

And thank you once again for your own interest!

—Peter Gow

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