Well, these words came to life on Tuesday when the Tennessee Wellbeing Check Toolkit was released by the Governor and Commissioner of Education Peggy Schwinn . It was a complete surprise to most people. House Speaker Cameron Sexton was just on WWTN with Brian Wilson, confirming that it caught the members of the General Assembly completely by surprise.
On Wednesday Rep. Scott Cepicky posted:
Today our education committee was informed of this well-being program. We firmly oppose this type of data collection and overreach by the state government. We are working right now to get a repeal of this program. This mandate from the government coming in and talking to our children is totally unacceptable and I will work to oppose any form of this program being forced on our children and families. If you are asked to participate in this program please let me know.
And then Facebook ‘blew up’ as parents became aware of this proposal and started reviewing the Tookkit . They were greatly alarmed by the intrusive content.
Click HERE to see one of the original versions. I say ‘one of’ because the first original version that I printed out INCLUDED HOME SCHOOL STUDENTS. That was removed and then later the entire document was taken down.
The opposition was so great that Commissioner Schwinn was on WWTN with Brian Wilson Thursday morning. You can go HERE to listen to her trying to explain the ‘intent’ and walk this thing back. The original Toolkit has been taken down and a revision is being written.
Many don’t think this proposal can be ‘saved’ and that it should be WITHDRAWN.
The Tennessee Star reported, “Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles says, “NO!!!” to Gov. Bill Lee’s Big Brother-style child wellbeing program that plans to send government officials to families’ homes to do welfare checks of children.
The Tennessee Department of Education says it released a toolkit on child wellbeing checks to ensure the needs of children are being met during and after extended periods away from school. It is promoted as protecting children.
The department earmarked $1 million in COVID-19 funds to set up regional overseers to work with districts, which are encouraged to apply. A grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will give funding for eight regional staff members to work across the state.”
To read full article: https://tennesseestar.com/2020/08/14/people-speak-out-against-big-brother-style-child-wellbeing-check-run-by-tennessee-department-of-education/
This is the original announcement which includes the names of the Task Force members:
Tennessee Department of Education Announces COVID-19 Child Wellbeing Task Force .
Frankly it is very scary that 38 people sat around a table to develop this proposal and didn’t see a problem with the content?
SOME OF THE CONCERNS ARE:
A wellbeing liaison shall connect with each child in the county and/or a caretaker of a child to…
Each Child in the county but in some kind of government data base?
Child: birth through the completion of grade 12 if enrolled in school or 18 years of age. School-age children includes those who are enrolled in public schools, private schools, homeschooled, homebound, etc.
Birth through?? …private schools, homeschooled…..? By what stretch of the imagination should the schools be in touch with babies and young children not yet in school and homeschooled students?
Care Taker: it is preferred to talk with each child as directly as possible,
This is just one of many suggestions that reference interviewing children without their parents present. Reminder: These are minors who, except in very special circumstances, should not be interviewed except in their parent’s presence.
Local administrator has complete autonomy in determining a process that will work best for the community.
This program clearly won’t be uniform and leaves it open to questionable activities.
Data -Complete roster of all children (birth through grade 12) in the city / district / county. Ideally, categorized in the following way:
Enrolled in school (identify which school attending including charter schools and local private schools)
Children too young to attend school
The four items below could be used to put pressure either on the parents or the students to participate. Parents might wonder, it they refused, would they be ‘flagged’ in some way, would that bring extra attention/oversite to them or their children?
Data Management System to:
document if a child has received a wellbeing check (Yes / Unavailable / No Permission)
Surveys to either be completed by the wellbeing liaison or by individuals
If the survey is not completed, then call the household
Is there any introduction or explanation you want to provide students to frame the purpose of the wellbeing check and inform them that all students will be receiving a check?
-Is there any additional whole group
THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE PROGRAM HAD THIS ABOUT FUNDING:
The department is setting aside $1 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding to provide regional support for districts in implementing safe and healthy practices in schools. Details of how districts may apply will be shared with directors of schools in the coming days. In addition, a CDC grant will fund eight regional staff will be hired to support this work across the state.
EVERY federal grant comes with REQUIREMENTS!! WHAT are the requirements on Tennessee for this money???
What can you do to halt this overreach into your fundamental rights as a parent? Use our system to contact the Governor and the members of the General Assembly.
Bobbie Patray has been the President of the Tennessee Chapter of the Eagle Forum and lobbyist at the State Capitol since 1987. Bobbie’s Life Verse: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 Bobbie was born in Goodlettsville, TN, in August of 1940. Her Dad, Charles Oakes, was a manager for McClellan’s Dime Stores who traveled around setting up and opening new stores, which meant that she lived in six states and sixteen towns before she started school. During those pre-school years she did some professional performing and stage plays. When it was time to start school, Dad, Charles and Mother, Jill, moved the family back to Nashville where Bobbie attended the first grade. The following summer Charles took a job with Genesco and moved the family to Starke, Florida, where Bobbie attended elementary school. Junior high found the family in Richmond, Virginia, but high school saw a move back to Starke where Bobbie graduated from Bradford High School in 1957. Future husband, Ron Patray, was a senior when Bobbie was a freshman at Bradford. When she was a senior, Ron returned from an overseas stint with the Air Force and they started dating. Bobbie attended one semester at Florida State University then returned to Starke where she and Ron were married February 28, 1959. After working about 18 months Ron started school at the University of Florida where Bobbie worked to put him through BS degree in Electrical Engineering (’64) and a Master’s Degree (’65). After graduation they moved to Huntsville, AL where Ron took a job with IBM at the height of the space program and where daughter Sherri came along. The family was very involved in the life of the church, teaching Sunday school, singing in the choir, studying sign language, etc. It was in the mid-1970s that the wife of the principal at the Christian school where Sherri attended gave Bobbie some materials to read. They were about the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. That opened the door to a world that had been completely foreign to Bobbie’s experience and background “ the world of politics and public policy. She joined Alabama Eagle Forum where she was active until the family moved to Lexington, KY in 1979. Bobbie joined with other conservatives to start a chapter of Eagle Forum in Lexington, where she served as president until the family moved to Nashville. The last three years in Kentucky, Bobbie also served as a legislative aide in the Kentucky General Assembly. The Patray family arrived in Nashville in August of 1986, where Bobbie became President of Tennessee Eagle Forum and started at the Capitol in early 1987 as a full-time lobbyist. She has served on a number of boards, committees, and organizations promoting pro-life, pro-family public policies and has received some awards along the way. God used the casual act of a friend to change Bobbie’s life. He took someone with no political background, education, experience or training and planted into her heart a passion for and commitment to promoting and defending Biblical principles in the market place of ideas while working to pass conservative legislation and public policies. Bobbie feels so honored and blessed to do what she does and is more excited and passionate about this work than she was 40 years ago when she started. The Scriptures God gave as a basis for what became Bobbie’s life’s work: Nehemiah 4:14 “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” 2 Chronicles 14:11 “LORD , there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O LORD , you are our God; do not let man prevail against you.” Who, Me? And the Lord said, “Go”. And I said, “Who, Me?” And He said, “Yes, you!” And I said, “But I’m not ready yet, and there is company coming and I can’t leave the kids, and you know there’s no one to take my place.” And He said, “You’re stalling.” Again the Lord said, “Go!” And I said, “But I don’t want to.” And He said, “I didn’t ask you if you want to.” And I said, “Listen, I’m not the kind of person to get involved in controversy. Besides, my family won’t like it.” And He said, “Baloney.” And yet a third time the Lord said, “Go!” And I said, “Do I have to?” And He said, “Do you love me?” And I said, “Look, I’m scared. People are going to hate me, and cut me into little pieces and I can’t take it all by myself.” And He said, “Go!” And I sighed, “Here I am Lord, send me.”