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ERIC Number: EJ898086
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug-30
Pages: 47
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-1207-7798
Racist Parenting and the Best Interests of the Child: A Legal and Ethical Analysis
Clarke, Paul T.; Heavin, Heather; Walker, Keith
Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, n109 Aug 2010
In this article, we use a recent Manitoba child custody case to provide a legal and ethical account of the notion of the best interests of the child. We explore the tension between the best interests of the child and parental rights to expression of a racist nature. We consider how the interests of different actors--the state, parents and children--are considered in the context of racist parenting. The parent-child relationship is salient in formulating and influencing acceptable and unacceptable thoughts, ideas and behaviours in children but the views of parents do not always coincide with what society tolerates as acceptable. We ask, when do parental views on subjects such as religion, race or politics reach the level of "legal unacceptability" such that a parent could face a loss of custody as a result of expressing or teaching these views to his or her child? We also consider the ethical frames which apply to this proposed fact situation to help us make sense of the best interests of the child principle where racist parental beliefs are at the fore. This article encourages advocates, care-givers, and adjudicators to work with Solomon-like wisdom for the best interests of the child by bringing to consideration the commonly taken-for-granted jurisprudential and ethical meanings and interpretations that are perhaps over-embedded and under-considered in the cliche-oriented notion of the best interests of the child. (Contains 11 footnotes.)
Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba. Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada. Tel: 204-474-9004; Fax: 204-474-7564; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada