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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Norway: Parents Against the State

BBC World Service - The Documentary, Norway: Parents Against the State

"Eric's daughter was removed from her family on an emergency care order. Barnevernet - that's the child protection service - said she was suffering serious psychological harm because her parents couldn't meet her emotional needs. What they said was that her mother was depressed and her father Eric was 'simple'. That's actually the word... odd for a 21st century professional to use, scribbled on a social worker's note that I've seen. I'd say that Eric is a shy, slightly innocent seeming man and he's plainly clever enough to speak pretty fluent English which, despite what you might think from this program isn't what Norwegians normally speak...

What seems shocking was that Eric was never clinically examined by any health professional. And no doctor or nurse at the public health clinic saw any symptoms of harm to his child. On the contrary... the baby was reported to be doing well...

We trust the state... We are in many ways naive. We think that our state is good...

[There are] international reports that Norway is the best country to live. And when I analyse cases, normally you have to first investigate, then you analyse, then you decide, and then you act. What is really shocking is that too often they do exactly the opposite. They act first. They pick up the child, take it out of the home, and then they investigate. And then they take the formal decisions. Performing like police, being critical. Looking for mistakes in order to support the view that your child cannot remain with you...

[On a spiritual] When he once played it among other non-religious songs to entertain the children at his daughter's school, he was told it wasn't acceptable in a secular institution. And the couple say that there were other hints that the school thought that they were dangerous Bible-thumbers. 'We think they have some prejudice towards our faith. They have this idea that we're punishing our kids because of our belief. Or that we believe that we have to punish our kid or something like that...

What has shocked me in Norway is hearing from many parents - not just aggrieved ones who got into trouble - that they're scared to seek advice from health of welfare workers because they think that any sign of uncertainty will be used against them"


When you have a moral panic over children...
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