• Open Wide! State Forcing Dental Qualification To Attend Public School While Community Schools Take Focus Off Academics

    January 30, 2024
    2 Comments

    I'm told the dental lobby in D.C. and Maryland is very powerful and that they grease the palms of many of our politicians. I had no idea.

    Based on Maryland's House Bill 167, their efforts have been successful. The bill entitled the "Public Schools Student Health - Certificate of Student Dental Health" will require that:

    BEGINNING IN THE 2026–2027 SCHOOL YEAR, EACH STUDENT
    ENROLLED IN A PUBLIC ELEMENTARY OR SECONDARY SCHOOL IN THE STATE SHALL
    SUBMIT TO THE SCHOOL A CERTIFICATE OF DENTAL HEALTH ON A SCHEDULE
    ESTABLISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT.

    2024 Regular Session - House Bill 167 First Reader (maryland.gov)

    Yes, you read that right. Now before you can take your little ones to school you must provide, along with the proof of a multitude of vaccinations, a certificate saying your child has been to the dentist. Plus, the State is going to demand that you take your child to the dentist on their approved schedule.

    One could say that the vaccinations MAY have a purpose in protecting all children from communicable diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, etc. (Although many say that these vaccines do more harm than good.) But, how does having a dental checkup benefit the "greater good"?

    It doesn't, unless of course you are a dentist. Or a member of the Maryland Dental Action Coalition, who not only wants the state to pay for dental care for low-income residents but wants all parents to have to prove they have taken their child to the dentist before they enter school.

    The Commission, along with the legislator submitting the bill, Del. Andrea Fletcher Harrison (D-Prince Georges County), states, "People feel good when their individual oral health is being taken care of.”

    Delegate Fletcher really has her finger on the pulse of the population, doesn't she? Who hasn't said at one time or another, "If only my individual oral health was being taken care of, I could really be happy"?

    I am being facetious.

    I'm not denying that dental health for children is important. However, since when do the schools get to tell parents to take their children to a dentist or they can't come to school? What's next, certification by a podiatrist? Will certain dentists friendly to the State regime be designated as the "preferred dentists"? You laugh but it has happened in the past.

    What will happen if your child misses his/her six months checkup? Is he/she booted out of school?

    Who knows.

    Of course, since it will be a requirement, there will be expanded free dental health programs. Except free means the taxpayers pay for it.

    Dental Plans - Maryland Health Connection

    Pages - Maryland Healthy Smiles Dental Program

    It's likely that your school health office will soon be joined by a dentist's office as well. All these services delivered during the school day, taking the focus off learning and diminishing the hours students will be in the classroom. Maybe that's why the Community Schools Model need to provide "extended learning time" (i.e. longer school days) and "extended school year" (year-round school).

    All of these options and services are part of the "Community Schools" concept. For those who don't know, the Community Schools designation for a school makes it a "one stop shop" for all kinds of services. As the State of Maryland says in its description, " Community schools provide a wide array of wraparound services that enhance students' ability to be successful. "The examples they give are:

    • Extended Learning Time
    • Extended school year
    • Safe transportation to and from school
    • Vision and dental services
    • Expanded school-based health center services
    • Additional social workers, counselors, and psychologists
    • Additional mentors and restorative practice coaches
    • Healthy food in and out of school.
    • Access to mental health practitioners.

    These are not the only services they will provide. There are plans for adult education for the families of the students, job placement services for family members, and rental assistance.

    Think we are exaggerating about rental assistance? Look at House Bill 370 which describes rental assistance for students in community schools:

    2024 Regular Session - Senate Bill 370 First Reader (maryland.gov)

    The bill goes on to describe a variety of the "wrap around services" in these community schools.

    IDENTIFYING STUDENT HOUSEHOLDS ELIGIBLE FOR THE
    RENTAL ASSISTANCE FOR COMMUNITY SCHOOL FAMILIES PROGRAM
    ESTABLISHED UNDER § 9.9–104.1 OF THIS SUBTITLE AND AIDING IN THE
    ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROGRAM AT THE COMMUNITY SCHOOL;

    And also this description:

    A. Tutoring;
    2 B. English language learner courses;
    3 C. Early childhood development and parenting classes;
    4 D. College and career advising;
    5 E. Employment opportunities;
    6 F. Citizenship education;
    7 G. Food pantries; [and]
    8 H. RENTAL ASSISTANCE,

    We have three of these Community Schools in our county. They get that designation because of the demographics of their school population. They also get much more funding than the other schools in the county and are designated to get the most experienced teachers as well.

    Here's the problem. We already have agencies funded by the State of Maryland and the Federal Government that provide these services. For example:

    Department of Housing and Community Development (Maryland)

    Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) (maryland.gov)

    Housing and Urban Development (HUD) (Federal)

    Rental Help: Maryland | HUD.gov / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

    Department of Human Services: (Maryland)

    Rental Assistance - Maryland Department of Human Services

    So, why the duplication? Why use schools to offer these "wraparound" services rather than the above agencies?

    The sponsors of these bills say it's too hard for parents to find these services. They say that parents neglect their children's teeth and have to be forced to get dental services. My thought is maybe these agencies should do a better job of getting the word out and educating parents about the need for dental care.

    The State prefers force.

    Offering these services in Community Schools will drastically increase the foot traffic by outsiders in the buildings since many adults who are not parents or who are "relatives" of students will suddenly be in the schools getting their "wraparound" freebies. I don't have to tell you the possible problems with that.

    Think that's crazy? A candidate for Mayor in Baltimore City has proposed the free school meals be extended to breakfast, lunch and dinner for ALL family members of students. Can you imagine if little Mary shows up for free breakfast with mom, dad, and all her aunts and uncles? It's going to get crowded.

    It's all about control. The State and the Federal Government are really determined to make things so easy for parents that the State can ultimately control ALL the decisions of parents. They can then become the "de facto" parents of those children and determine the "fitness" of parents to raise their own children.

    Think that's farfetched? Read this story:

    REPORT: Montana Family Accuses Govt Of ‘Kidnapping’ Teen Daughter After They Refused To Affirm Her Gender Transition | The Daily Caller

    The more parents suck up the "freebies" that the State and Federal Government give them, the more responsibility and decision making they give away. Of course, for some of them, this absolves them of any accountability for their children as well. Hard for many of us to imagine, but there are those out there who would gladly do that.

    The two bills above are just small pieces of a bigger scheme to kill parental rights in this country.

    There's an old saying, "Death of a Thousand Cuts." This is its origin:

    "A slow death by the torture of many small wounds, none lethal in itself, but fatal in their cumulative effect. This torture was a form of execution in ancient China, reserved for the most heinous crime."( Death of a thousand cuts - phrase meaning and origin (phrases.org.uk))

    Seems fitting, doesn't it? Even more so since it originated in China.

    It's a technique the Chinese were very good at. Seems our government is very good at it also.

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    Author

    Jan Greenhawk

    Jan Greenhawk is a former teacher and school administrator for over thirty years. She has two grown children and lives with her husband in Maryland. She also spent over twenty-five years coaching/judging gymnastics and coaching women’s softball.
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    Dana

    Great article! Thank you!

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