I haven’t covered the American nanny state in a while, but two articles recently caught my eye and I simply have to share.
The first one relates to two parents charged with “reckless endangerment of a child,” for letting their two boys play on a Cape Cod beach for an hour unsupervised.
Parents who let their boys, ages 7 and 9, play on their own for an hour at a family beach will be arraigned later this month on charges of reckless endangerment of a child.
Charles Smith and Lindsay Pembleton of Niagara Falls were vacationing with their kids on Cape Cod. The boys wanted to stay at the beach for a little longer rather than walk back to the nearby campground (which is, according to one commenter, accessible via a car-free path). The parents said okay, but told them they couldn’t go in the water, according to The Cape Cod Times.
By the time a lifeguard spot the children, they were—gasp—wet from the rain. What’s more, they were “standing around a food truck with no adults in charge.”
Thankfully, the police were called before any of that wetness and unsupervised food trucking could escalate into something worse.
Even though over 90 percent of sex crimes against kids are committed by people they know, not random beach inhabitants, the cop decided to file reports of suspected abuse or neglect in both Massachusetts and New York. And, for good measure, she also “applied for criminal complaints against them in Orleans District Court.”
Moving along, we find ourselves in Florida, a state which always provides a disproportionate amount of “this can’t be real” type stories.
From the Independent:
Before this week, 14-year-old Ella Fishbough had never been in trouble at school.
The cheerful, curly-haired eighth-grader’s undoing came when she learned that a male friend was having a bad day. As consolation, Ella put her arms around him in a hug.
“It was literally for a second,” the eighth-grader told Click Orlando. But that moment earned her a morning in detention — as well as a blemish on her formerly spotless disciplinary record.
Ella attends Jackson Heights Middle School in Oviedo, Florida, part of the Seminole County School District. The district’s code of conduct prohibits “inappropriate or obscene acts” including “unwelcome or inappropriate touching, or any other physical act that is considered to be offensive, socially unacceptable or not suitable for an educational setting.”
It is at each principal’s discretion to determine what kind of touching is inappropriate. According to WFTV Orlando, hugging was banned altogether at Jackson Heights this year, in addition to holding hands, linking arms and kissing.
Think that’s insane? It gets worse:
In a conversation with Fishbough, Jackson Heights principal Sarah Mansur-Blythe said the PDA rule will continue to be strictly enforced — even in the case of family members.
“I did ask the principal, ‘If something had happened in our family, and she needed to console her cousin, or her cousin wanted to console her, would Ella get in trouble?” Fishbough told Click Orlando. “She said, ‘Yes, ma’am. She would get a PDA.’”
This is conditioning plain and simple. To ensure students grow up to be thoughtless, submissive, terrified slaves as adults.
Similar incidents at schools across the country have drawn attention to the seeming rigidity of policies on public displays of affection. Almost exactly four years ago, two other Florida middle-school students, this time in Palm Bay, were given in-school suspensions for sharing a hug even though their principal said he believed their behavior was innocent.
Megan Coulter, an Illinois eighth-grader, gained a considerable following after the Associated Press reported in 2007 that she was labeled a “second offender” by her middle school for gently hugging two different people. Coulter was punished with two days in detention.
Many of these policies have been in place for at least the last decade, and some were approved by parent-teacher committees. But parents like the Fishboughs believe that the rules have been taken too far, to the point that Ella is now afraid to even touch anybody, Click Orlando reports.
She is scheduled to serve her detention this Friday morning.
Meanwhile, still no bankers in jail.
For related articles, see: