Where are the Parents?

The stories are becoming all too familiar. A young child does something utterly harmless, and the “authorities” come down on him (or her) like a SWAT team. Or school administrators announce some outrageous new “rule” that 20 years ago would have gotten them fired.

Recent examples include:

Two 10 year-old girls running a lemonade stand suddenly find themselves confronted by armed police officers, telling them that they will have to “close it down” because it “violates health ordinances” – are you kidding me? A lemonade stand?

A 6 year old chases his friend around the playground, pointing his finger at him and yelling, “Bang! Bang!” And the school administrators suspend the child and convene a hearing to determine “what to do” about his “disturbing behavior.”

A young girl brings a “Hello, Kitty” bubble maker to school and is suspended and “investigated” because the toy (which is pink and white) vaguely resembled a gun.

And in what is probably the most absurd case of all, a 6-year old is suspended after (are you ready) chewing his Pop-Tart into a shape that sort of looked like a gun!

Then there is the school that proclaimed that home-made cupcakes will be allowed ONLY if they are for the child’s own use. They can no longer be brought to school to be shared with classmates – if treats are intended for distribution to other students, only “store-bought” bakery goods will henceforth be permitted.

Along similar lines, yet another school has forbidden students from distributing invitations to their birthday party. Why? Because, since typically only the friends of the student are invited, that might lead to (horrors!) “hurt feelings” among those who were not invited. Liberalism gone wild.

Finally, school administrators at one school have declared that hugging any child other than your own will now be prohibited, even for teachers and teachers’ assistants. A child falls and hurts herself? Too bad. Don’t you dare offer her even the slightest reassuring touch on the shoulder – you could be looking at accusations of “inappropriate touching” or worse, “child molestation.”

Absurd? Of course. Outrageous? Without a doubt.

But the more disturbing question in every one of these cases is this: Where are the parents? Why are they not storming the school with (metaphorically) torches and pitchforks? After all, the parents clearly have the higher moral authority here – these are their kids. They also far outnumber the school personnel, and they pay the salaries of these snotty little bureaucrats. However you look at it, the parents have the right to demand accountability from “public servants” who have run amok.

Instead, most parents sit back and do nothing. Why? Some may be fearful of being targeted by authorities themselves. Others simply don’t want to “make waves” or stand out from the flock of sheep.  But tolerating tyranny only promotes more tyranny. You either fight it, or you are encouraging it.

And, no, I don’t care if it was your child who was the target or not. My children are grown, but if any child in my kid’s school had been the victim of this kind of quasi-fascist garbage, I would have stormed into the principal’s office, finger in his (or her) face, warning them in the strongest terms that such nonsense will result in their sitting in a courtroom. I’ve done it.

So I ask again, when such obnoxious incidents occur, where are the parents?