Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Nanny State Strikes Again

I am a parent, so one might think that I would be in favor of a scheme to give parents more control over their kids' food while in school. However, I'm also a person with an IQ above room temperature, and one who knows better than to treat my kids like inmates in a gulag.

So I'm appalled, though not surprised, at the city of Houston's plan to let parents forbid desserts to their kids. (Read the linked article, if you think I'm exaggerating.)

Hey, Houston parents, grab a clue: your children are not extensions of yourself. They are separate individuals, and must be treated as such. This looks like a classic example of feature creep: the system was probably created to keep track of kids with dietary restrictions (allergies, religious food rules, etc.) and then it was just too easy not to add more functions. But just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

If I were a Texas judge, I'd allow a "no dessert" restriction to be immediate grounds for juvenile emancipation; any parents micro-managing their kids' lunch that much have got to be overbearing control freaks in other areas of life as well.


Steve said...

Wait ... don't parents already micro manage their kids breakfast and dinner by choosing what to cook?

Andrew Wheeler said...

You can lead a horse to water, but -- unless you padlock the cabinets -- it's hard to completely control what a kid eats. (Particularly if he has friends.)

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