Warner Todd Huston
Nanny state update: New York school bans kids from riding bikes to school
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By Warner Todd Huston
October 2, 2009

America's kids are too fat. Right? Don't we hear that all the time? Isn't it a steady mantra from the left that America is suffering from an "epidemic" of obesity? So, shouldn't we want to encourage kids to get outdoors? Wouldn't it be a good thing if kids rode a bicycle to school?

Not to the nanny state in New York it wouldn't. Seventh-grader Adam Marino and his mother Janette discovered this unusual situation when Adam's school in Saratoga Springs threatened them with disciplinary action if the pair didn't stop riding bikes to school.

Why did the school assume it had the power to compel a citizen of New York to stop accompanying her son to school on a bicycle each morning? Apparently the school imagined that it owned her son from the second he stepped out of his door to go to school until he returned home later in the day. The state decided, therefore, that it could determine what conveyance that child is "allowed" to use to get to school each day.

The District also prohibits kids to walk to school, as well.

Of course, it isn't just the nanny state we are dealing with here. The truth is that lawyers are at fault, too. In some ways this school system is trying to protect itself from any lawsuit that might arise from a kid getting injured on his way to school, we must realize.

On top of that we have the school bus contractors that wouldn't be too happy if fewer kids needed their busses, too.

But here is the main point and it is one of liberty. What we have here is just another jack-booted government entity (this time the school system) deciding that it somehow had to power to tell free citizens that they were not allowed to ride a bike to school.

This is America. If I want my kid to ride a bike to school, I should have that right to make that decision. Liberty demands that I be afforded the right to permit my child to ride his bike to school if I decide he is responsible enough and it is safe enough to do so.

If I want my kid to get to school on a pogo stick, the state should have no right to tell me otherwise. Especially if he also enjoys the activity.

In the end, this report demonstrates some of what has gone wrong with this country. As Shakespeare's Dick the Butcher said in Henry VI Part III, first "let's kill all the lawyers."

© Warner Todd Huston

 

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Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston's thoughtful commentary, sometimes irreverent often historically based, is featured on many websites... (more)

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