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DESTROYING FAMILIES THAT WORK
By Tricia Smith Vaughan
Talk with Jude Doty from Yakima, Washington for a few minutes and you know that he is a man passionate about teaching his children. He wants to teach them about work and about biblical values, both of which they won’t learn in the government school system. Did I mention that God has blessed him and his wife, Angela, with seven children? And they consider their children too valuable to turn over to a government teacher all day. In addition, Jude is an asset to his community in Washington, fulfilling the American dream of independent businessman: He made a living through Doty House Moving. He wanted to teach his children his trade by allowing them to work beside him. Thanks to the Washington Department of Labor and Industry (L&I), his teaching the value of work to his children has ended.
You can read a more detailed version of Jude and Angela’s story on his Web site, but the basic plot is that Jude and Angela want to teach their children to be responsible, independent thinkers and doers. You can already figure out that with this recipe, their children are going to have a hard time finding a job in the planned global economy, not a place for independent folks. The more immediate problem, according to the L&I, is that their desire to teach responsibility is not certified, and furthermore, they are not certified; the Dotys, wonderful as they may be, are not at all a part of the socialistic school-to-work agenda of the government schools. Washington has a real problem with this lack of certification, this lack of state approval for Doty as a teacher of his own children. As the government schools scream their “Parent as Teacher” programs to the gullible masses, parents do not qualify to teach their children. Doty’s Web site states:
“Our state law requires homeschoolers to teach occupational education, but if I have my son run after a hammer or help as a ‘spotter’ while moving a house down the road at 5-mph, with police, overhead linemen, flaggers and pilot cars diverting the traffic, and not in the presence of other children, but with his father supervising, they call that ‘employment’ and an ‘unreasonable risk,’ claiming homeschool vocational training is not “bona fide’.”
If you’ve read John Taylor Gatto’s The Underground History of American Education, you know that compulsory government schooling is all about dumbing down our citizens so that our children will fit easily into the giant planned economy puzzle. In case you still think that school exists to help your child succeed as an independent thinker, worker, and self-sufficient leader, take a look at these words from Gatto’s book, available free online:
“[S]chool was engineered to serve a concealed command economy and a deliberately re-stratified social order. It wasn’t made for the benefit of kids and families as those individuals and institutions would define their own needs. School is the first impression children get of organized society; like most first impressions, it is the lasting one. Life according to school is dull and stupid, only consumption promises relief: Coke, Big Macs, fashion jeans, that’s where real meaning is found, that is the classroom’s lesson, however indirectly delivered.”
From Chapter 2: “An Angry Look at Modern Schooling”
We can see how harmful it is to the economy if no fewer than seven children grow up to emulate their hard-working parents and, perhaps, to be a bit more resistant to Britney Spears and SpongeBob SquarePants than your average adult. What if everyone does this? What if children learn more from their uncertified parents than from their certified change agent teachers at school? What if children decide that they can work, think, and do for themselves? Well, that would throw a gigantic cog in the U.S. economy, wouldn’t it? And with seven future government citizens at stake in the Doty home, we have seven children who may grow up to place more value on family and independent work than on governmental edicts and useless stuff. We can’t let that catch on! My goodness, the Doty children, if left to their own fertile selves, may grow up to breed even more responsible children. And then what? Consumers too smart to consume unnecessary crap and too independent to work for a private-public partnership could turn our wayward country back into the Great Republic that it started as. Now it all makes sense, doesn’t it? It is far too risky for the Washington Department of L&I to leave this family alone.
While the Dotys were trying to help their children to grow up with the thinking and working abilities of a George Washington or a Ben Franklin, both of whom were homeschooled, the Washington government had a different plan:
“Governor Christine Gregoire, formerly as Attorney General, acknowledged that a parent could train a child in ‘work-place skills and experience’ like the schools, but unlike the schools and other nonprofit businesses such as Habitat for Humanities, her office claimed the parents cannot receive ‘an appreciable benefit from the student’s work,’ without it being ‘employment,’ and that running after a hammer was “an appreciable benefit.’ The [Attorney General’s] office will prosecute the parents if ‘the activities are more than just a learning experience or a parent teaching skills to a child, but a situation where the minor is contributing to the profit of the particular enterprise’.”
The Department of L&I defined crime in a strange and unusual way for the Doty family, stating that Jude failed to make his children full employees of his business, refusing to pay workers’ compensation and such for them. Never mind that Jude Doty took a stand and said that his children were his children, not his employees; when the department looked at the Doty family, they decided to change how they looked at family employment. Jude told me earlier this week that this new vision of the Department of L&I goes against previous decisions: “All the case and statutory law I have found defends the right of the parents to work with their children.”
If you own a business and think you’re immune from such treatment, think again. If your child brings in mail regarding that business from the mailbox to your office, you could be forced to stop that child from bringing in the mail or lose your child. If that sounds too strange to be true, take a look at the Doty family’s Web site; that scenario happened to a developer’s family in Yakima and the child had to stop bringing in mail and packages. There was an especially tragic ending to this developer’s family’s story—after being forced to stop work, his child began running with the wrong crowd and died. And if you think the Dotys’ case is some aberrance that would never happen to anyone else, Jude told me this week that he “recently heard of three other homeschooling pastors and contractors that got cited for working with their sons.” After realizing how easy it is for the government to punish families that work, it’s easy to agree with Jude that “the risk to youth that are denied work opportunities is far worse than any work.”
Throughout January of 2003, Doty was “watched around 30 hours a week by [Washington Department of Labor and Industry] inspectors.” One month later, he “received fines of $34,000 for ‘employing’ two of his children, then 11 and almost 14.” According to the state of Washington, this caring father subjected his children “to an ‘unreasonable risk,’ primarily working on [his] own property.” Things escalated from there, with Doty refusing to acquiesce to the bullying of the L&I and the L&I continuing to cite and fine him for allowing his children to work, including my personal favorite, one for $1,000 per day for “no parent/school authorization.” Say what?!? The Department of Labor and Industry deemed Jude Doty a “repeat offender” and “felon,” saying that his use of children as employees was unfair to other companies and promising to “level the playing field,” the department placed a lien on his properties and seized everything from his family van to his bank account. Mission accomplished: field leveled. But does anyone actually believe that these fines were about leveling the field?
And lest we forget, I must stress that this whole ordeal is in the best interest of the children. How else could you explain the wonderful appearance of one of my own personal favorite government agencies, Child Protective Services? Jude writes the following account on his site:
“On January 31st, CPS agents, working with L & I, tried to abject my son, Zach, while he was with me in the L & I building. Next, L & I got a Court Order to keep my children off all work sites, off all equipment, and less than ten feet off the ground and it ‘directed . . . all persons in active concert . . . to remove’ my boys from any work site or equipment! Remember, I owned the work site! Can you imagine that a neighbor or police can now forcibly remove your children from your family business and private property because they worked with their dad?”
Indeed I can! But that’s just me. Many people I talk with believe mainstream media’s reports that CPS may occasionally have some troubles, but that they’re mainly out there to help keep children from being abused, whatever the definition du jour of abuse is. I’ve heard and read so many stories from mothers, and from some fathers, who have lost children to CPS, mostly through unscrupulous CPS tactics, that I’m personally surprised that CPS waited so long to try and get their grubby little hands on the Dotys’ son. What surprised me a bit, but only a bit, was CPS’s collusion with the Department of Labor and Industry. Looking at the proverbial big picture, though, it all makes sense. With this school-to-work thing in the government schools, coming soon to or already in your state, we’ll see a lot more cooperation between these two agencies in each state. And we’ll see a lot more punishment for parents who are teaching their children strong morals and hard work.
When I talked with Jude earlier this week, he said that CPS is no longer bothering him, as long as his boys aren’t working with him. Well, that’s awfully nice of CPS, isn’t it, to stop threatening to take away a hard working family's children? Let’s think this one through: CPS, sponsored by our tax dollars, spent time and money trying to take away a child from the family that God gave him, with the mother who had nursed him as an infant and the father who was trying to teach his sons to work; CPS planned to separate this seized child from his siblings, and to give him to a foster caregiver who had no relation to the child whatsoever. I’ve heard too many stories about CPS to think that they would ever stop at one child per family; so they would eventually get the other six. That’s time and energy for the first child’s removal times seven. This so-called abusive situation, in which a father was doing what most every dad did 200 years ago, could generate a lot of paperwork and give some social worker lots to do for a few days. We can certainly see how this ploy by CPS was in the best interest of the child! In addition, the foster caregivers would have taken classes and, unlike the Dotys, been certified. Now it all makes sense! The Dotys may be wonderful parents of seven children, but again, they lack certification! If this last sentence scares you, it should.
Having my own children whom I love and care about too much to send to a government school, I can’t help but fear being in the Dotys’ shoes one day. I wonder if I would be as optimistic as Jude Doty after losing my home, my business, and almost losing my children. That’s one thing about CPS and the Department of L&I’s coordination in abducting property and children—when you almost lose your child, everything else seems minor.
When I spoke with Jude on the phone, he sounded almost cheerful, as if he has so much to be thankful for. Thanks to the combined efforts of the Washington Department of L&I and the Washington CPS, he, his wife, and his seven children have gone from living in their dream home to living in a 32-foot motor home and yet there was only optimism in his voice. I couldn’t help but think of Job after talking with Jude Doty. You know Job, who lost almost everything and yet, remained loyal to God. Thanks to the Washington government, Jude Doty has lost a lot also, but he has not lost his faith in God, or in himself and his family. I wonder if Jude Doty’s optimism puzzles those lemming CPS and L&I employees in Washington state.
The plot thickens when we know that many states have recently added a requirement in which students have to do a community service project as a requirement for graduation. If you’re like me, you first heard about community service when it was divvied out to first-time criminals as a punishment in lieu of jail. As if we needed further proof that schools are modeled after prisons, many government school students now must complete--and let’s not fool ourselves here, they’ll find a way to reel in private and homeschooling students as well-- this indentured servitude in order to graduate. Does anyone remember what the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says about indentured servitude? Well, the Constitution is so last century anyway, isn’t it? Now you can see how Jude Doty, a firm believer in the U.S. Constitution, really is messing up Washington state’s little planned economy, by taking his children out of government slave labor and actually doing the job of teaching his sons to work.
I can’t help but think that Jude Doty will make a fabulous Yakima City Councilman. Can you believe after all he’s been through that he’s running for that very office? If I were in his position, I’d be so tempted at this point to put my proverbial tail between my legs and give up. But Jude and Angela Doty and their family are not giving up. I regret that I live outside the town and can’t vote for Jude. We would all do better to have people who feel the same way as Jude in office: “Any attempt for government to control or regulate the parent/child relationship or working youth [is] dangerous to our freedom, our future, and even our lives.”
In addition to running for city council, he’s hoping to fight the state and have at least some of his business property returned to him. Jude Doty is a man of integrity, a modern-day Job. It’s easy to sit on our padded computer chair, admire, and feel sorry for Doty and his family; it’s so easy to ask, “What’s the world coming to?” But that kind of navel gazing avoids the most important question: “Whose family is going to be next?”
Ervin (360) 458-0668
© 2005 - Tricia S. Vaughan - All Rights Reserved
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Only after reading John Taylor Gatto’s The Underground History of American Education did Tricia Smith Vaughan begin to realize how important it is to homeschool her children, especially when they are young.
Tricia has written for the Los Angeles Times, Durham, N.C.’s Independent Weekly, and Raleigh, N.C.’s News and Observer. Before she became a mom, she taught first-year English at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. She writes about homeschooling and other family issues.
Web site: www.comicmom.com
The perceptive reader can already feel the ever-reaching tentacles of the pharmaceutical industry reaching into every crevice of this utopian plan. Diane Flynn Keith notes: