I never doubted that political correctness could be used to stifle free expression, but I now have a chilling example of how it can be used to erode the rights of parents and the privacy of our homes.

Last week, the Triton Public Schools, the school system that serves my town and several neighboring towns in Massachusetts, made hundreds of high-school and middle-school students fill out a survey from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. It asked, among other things:

· Whether their parents are more likely to encourage them to make money than to do what makes them happy;

· Whether their parents think it’s important to be around people of different races;

· Whether their parents have friends of different races;

· How many times their parents have done things to make them less trusting of people of other races.

Another question asked the children to identify which groups their parents “talk about the mistreatment of”: African-Americans, Asians, Latinos, Whites or Other.

The students still haven’t received a direct apology, nor have their teachers told them that the survey could have given them the wrong message about ratting out their parents or about accepting the state of Massachusetts as a proper interrogator on private, family matters.

This dramatic invasion of students’ privacy was administrated by Triton Superintendent of Schools Christopher Farmer, who has since apologized under courageous and unwavering pressure from a heroic mom whose kids took the survey.

“I don’t take it sitting down when my family is harmed,” the woman told me. (She wishes to remain anonymous, saying she has received harassing calls and emails and fears reprisals against her and her children.)

“I’ve worked too hard to make sure they understand we stand up for one another.”

Well, thank God for her and any mother or father in America like her.

The students still haven’t received a direct apology, nor have their teachers told them that the survey could have given them the wrong message about ratting out their parents or about accepting the state of Massachusetts as a proper interrogator on private, family matters.

Psychologically, the survey had the potential to do more than collect private information about the thoughts and feelings of children and their parents.

It primed children to think it’s appropriate for the state to replace communication that should be reserved for their families. It not only quizzed them about their feelings about capitalism and race, but it essentially instructed them to “tell on” parents by rating them as mute (and, therefore, presumably racist) on racial issues.

It had the potential to drive a lasting wedge between the children and their parents.  

To my mind, Superintendent Farmer orchestrated the serious psychological abuse of hundreds of students. But rather than resign or be fired, he will probably keep his job. This is only further evidence, to my mind, that he and the people of the communities he serves miss or condone the grave act he committed — an act that clearly defines him as utterly unable to safeguard the well-being of public school students and their families.

Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team.