“Crazies Are Out to Kidnap Your Cutie!”

Hi Readers — This is just an odd one: Some parents made postage stamps with their young daughter’s picture on them to stick on invites to her birthday party. Then the parents had some of the stamps left over, so they used them to mail  their bills. Some nut saw one of the stamps, noted the family’s return address and dropped the parents a letter saying that by putting their kid’s picture on a letter, they were ASKING SOME CRAZY PERSON to do “GOD KNOWS WHAT.”

Seems to me they were asking a crazy person to drop them a crazy note. Anyway, here’s the story, as it appears on the wonderful site, passiveaggressivenotes.com . Read it and creep (out). — Lenore

Outrage of the Week: Girl Suspended for Touching Pill

Hi Readers! Yes, you read that right. A middle school girl in an Indiana, Rachel Greer, was in the school’s locker room when another girl walked in with a bag of ADHD pills.  She put one in Rachel’s hand and Rachel said, “I don’t want this!” so she put it back in the bag and headed into gym class, according to this account.

But after the girl with the pills was discovered, she fingered Rachel and Rachel admitted the truth: She had indeed touched the pill — that she immediately rejected. And, thanks to those Zero Tolerance laws we spend a lot of time talking about here, she received a week-long suspension for drug possession: no ifs, ands, butts — or common sense. School officials apparently explained that if they didn’t enforce their drug policies strictly, no one would take them seriously.

Too bad that by enforcing their drug policies so stupidly, that’s exactly what’s happening. The administrators are a laughing stock. Or maybe a crying stock is more like it. — Lenore

Outrage of the Week, Cont’d: Kids in Developing Country Doing Better Science!

Hi Folks — Here’s an update from Bree, the Boulder, Colo., mom who sent in her daughter’s No-Science at the Science Fair rules (see post below). Turns out Bree’s parents are living in Myanmar (formerly Burma, as in Shave, as in something you do with a sharp object that children should never get anywhere near) and they happened to visit a local  science fair. Writes Bree:

They told me that not only was EVERYTHING on this restricted list allowed, kids there were actually outperforming kids here in innovation, outlandish ideas, and actual science!!  And they don’t even have electricity, computers, or potable water!  But they were allowed not only to experiment, but also to bring those experiments into their school.

The best part – no one was hurt by plants in soil.

What a relief! And I suppose that a little knowledge turned out not to be a such dangerous thing, either. Time to tell the folks in Boulder!  Or maybe they should just start studying Burmese.– Lenore

Myanmar kids make me hoppy! PHOTO CREDIT: Meneer Zjeroen flickr.com/photos/nuskyn/ / CC BY 2.0

Outrage of the Week: Boy Almost Suspended for Lego Gun The Size of a Cheeto

Hi Readers — I am ashamed to say this incident happened in my own city, New York. (Well, Staten Island, anyway.)

A Staten Island fourth-grader was reprimanded and almost suspended yesterday when the principal spotted him playing with a LEGO policeman and a two-inch-long toy gun during lunch, the Advance reports.

Under the city’s no-tolerance policy regarding guns in schools, PS 52 Principal Evelyn Matroianni brought 9-year-old Patrick Timoney to her office and called his mother to say the boy might be suspended for carrying the miniature toy gun to school.

Hallelujah, he avoided that fate, which I suppose should be considered a great victory. But a greater victory would have been a principal who figured that a teensy Lego gun is a teensy Lego gun and not the sign of a psychotic tween or threat to  the human race. — Lenore

Outrage of the Weekend Update (Re: Moms Punished for Helping Each Other)

Remember the Outrage of the Weekend? Two moms sharing a job were trading off taking care of each other’s kids. Or at least they were until this was declared illegal because they are not licensed day care workers. Well it looks like the authorities over there in jolly ol’ England are realizing this may actually be one of mankind’s stupider ideas. Take heart! Here’s the piece — a lovely essay in The Guardian.

Note at the end: “Unsurprisingly, given the debate this case has generated, the children’s minister has now ordered a review of the ‘babysitting ban.'” Huzzah huzzah! — Lenore

Outrage of the Week: Law Forbids Kids to Witness Wine Tasting

This is just too weird: Maine passed a law, about to take effect, that forbids stores from allowing any “child” to witness a wine, beer or liquor tasting. According to this piece  on the Maine Public Broadcasting Website:

…as of September 12th, the law will add new restrictions, designed to assure that wine tastings are conducted in a manner that “precludes the possibility of observation by children.”  Hudson [a wine shop owner] says she was unclear what that meant, so she asked a liquor inspector whether she could simply draw the blinds over her doors and windows during a wine tasting.

She says initially she was told no, as an under-aged passerby still might be able to catch a glimpse.  “If a door opened, even though there was a blind on the door, if a door opened in such a way that a child walking by — and a child is defined as someone under 15 — would be walking by and happened to glance in, they might be able to look into the store at that moment when the door is open and see an adult with a glass of wine in their hand.”

Imagine the life-long trauma of that!

Then it turns out the sponsor of the bill didn’t intend this to be the case — he only wanted to prevent kids from witnessing beer and liquor tastings in GROCERIES.

Like, uh, that makes more sense? No one under age 15 should see an adult taking a sip of alcohol? Because we elected the Taliban, fair and square?

I guess this guy assumes kids shouldn’t  pass any bars, either. Or turn on the TV. Or read, I don’t know, Dickens? Shakespeare? Or the Illiad? Unless, that is, now it takes place on the grapejuice-dark sea…     — Lenore

Outrage of the Week Demoted to Not-Quite-An-Outrage!

Hey, this is just terrific news! Eagle Place Townhomes in Colorado has lifted its ban that forbid ANY CHILD UNDER AGE 16 FROM PLAYING OUTSIDE WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION.

Let’s hear it for the power of the press!

An article in the Boulder Camera earlier this week highlighted the Townhomes’  bylaws that began, “While children bring such joy to our lives and we all love seeing them outside playing in their carefree world, we cannot have them unsupervised.” (Excuse me: Does that not sound EXACTLY like Dolores Umbrage in Harry Potter?)

Anyway, one a spotlight shone bright on the anti-kiddie complex, scholars (and TV news teams) started pointing out that  requiring parental supervision for all kids at all times is not even legal.  So now the complex is merely “suggesting” it.

Which, of course, is still insane. Still cover-your-you-know-what. Still a weird, sickening sign of the times — suggesting that every person under age 16 SHOULD have an adult by their side at all times. But it is LESS sickening than it was, which is why this Outrage of the Week has been demoted to, “Weird Sickening Sign of the Times of the Week.”  Woo hoo! — Lenore .