Friday, November 28, 2008

For the sake of the children... 

For the sake of the children is not a blank check.

You can read a good post on the dispicable situation of Lori Drew here. The short version - a grown woman created a fictional identity on MySpace to harass a classmate or rival of her own daughter. The young girl committed suicide apparantly motivated by the emotional distress of the MySpace encounter.

Now. Tragic. A young girl is dead. A mean person has been prosecuted and found guilty of several insignificant laws and faces little to no real legal consequences. The prosecutor warped the existing laws to attempt to hold the grown woman accountable for the child's suicide. And....

Am I the only one who foresees a Megan's Law crusade and possible enactment of the law to further protect children from cyber-bullying and hurt feelings and emotional distress and clog up the already clogged courts with terrible stories of woe and wrong-doing that cause untold suffering to families if only there were a law to stop these mean people from whatever.... yadda yadda... the children, won't someone please think of the children... boohoo....

There are already enough laws. There are already too many child-protection laws. There is no need for a Protect-our-children-against-mean-internet-adults law. The parents of this child could have averted this at any point. Extreme cases make for bad laws (or something like that).

For the sake of the children is not a blank check.

A less extreme example. Playground safety. I have spent the last week correcting faults on playgrounds cited by the MSDH Child Care Licensure Inspector. It has cost my customers a significant amount of money. In all cases, there was no underlying code specific reason for the corrections. The non-credentialed inspector cited three exemplary programs for faults on otherwise impeccable playgrounds because she wanted to protect the children. It cost my customers financially. Moreover, there are real consequences for allowing creep in code enforcement. Many programs have playgrounds that have no equipment. The cost of having equipment that met with MSDH CCL approval appeared to be too much. Other programs with more financial abilities are wasting funds chasing after the inspector's ideal of playgrounds.

For the sake of the children is not a blank check.

A lifetime ago, I was a director of a local child care program. Most of the preschool teachers resigned when I was hired. I learned much later that the cohort of teachers had ruled the program by bullying the director and the board of directors with "for the sake of the children" arguments. The teachers would plead with the parents that their concern was only motivated by the best interest of the children. One teacher told me she would consider staying if I would approve the purchase of matching tables and chairs for her classroom of 4-year-olds. The existing furniture was not broken. The existing furniture was child-sized and appropriate for the children enrolled in the class. It simply did not match. THe program was in debt. I told her that as soon we were able I would consider purchasing new furniture. She resigned.

For the sake of the children is not a blank check.

"There are ought to be a law" is too quickly invoked. A child commited suicide. Tragic. I will lift her family in prayer. But prosecuting that heartless witch for her sins is not legally defensible nor should it be allowed. Having the best interest of children as a basis for action does not automatically justify our proposal. For the sake of the children is not a blank check.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Wow I am generally opposed to graffiti. Most of it is not worth mention. Generally, it just defaces public or private property. It should be prosecuted when the damage is real.

However, this display is a combination of performance art and wow. I hope that the area used (especially indoors) was returned to good condition. I agree with the original poster's comments. The time and effort must have been unreal.



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