Thursday, August 01, 2002

A Slate columnist says, in connection with Congress killing the TIPS program to create a gigantic federal snitch system:

And before the angry libertarians start screaming, let me just suggest that we already have precisely such a reporting system in place in this country: In every state in the union, laws mandate that certain professionals report suspicions of child abuse, neglect, and sexual or emotional mistreatment to the state. These laws haven't created an Orwellian society of snitches. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that deputizing the doctors, nurses, teachers, and social workers who work with kids each day has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of child abuse cases that come to light and has done far more good than harm in the effort to protect our children.

Slate's Dahlia doesn't cite her supposed evidence that mandated reporting of child abuse has done more good than harm. I don't believe it. It has already turned us into a society of snitches where physician and teachers can no longer be trusted. In most cases where a child is removed from the home, the child gets even more abuse elsewhere. I suspect that even child abuse reporting cause more harm than good.

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