timely quote

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president.

Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nanny State in Oklahoma?

I'm going to go a little closer to home tonight. A local Democrat lawmaker wants to require schools to weigh children 16yo and younger, calculate BMI and send letters to the parents of children over or underweight. The scaled and related equipment would cost less than $3 million.

Democrat Representative Richard Morrissette says, ''If they're malnourished in some way, that is some form of abuse. This is not meant to be punitive; it's meant to help children."

But Think Of The Children! (tm)

He says that 11 other states have some sort of BMI program.

You know, I don't care what other states do. I know that here in Oklahoma, we want to raise our kids ourselves. It's my job as a parent to teach my kids how to eat. I don't need anyone, ANYONE, telling me how to raise my kids.
The intent of his legislation is to educate parents and to bring about opportunities for better health for children who aren't eating the right kinds of food, he said.
If Morrissette is so fscking worried about the childrens' health, why doesn't he take that $3m and put it in to DHS and get some good caseworkers. He can focus on the real child abusers.

Then, he can introduce a bill that would get pizza hut and taco bell and everything fried and no accessible fresh vegetables out of the schools. We have two major school districts where I am, and the food my kids eat at school is better than the other district, but still not worth much.

Then, he could re-institute physical education in schools. One hour a day would be plenty. Send the kids outside and let them run around. Let them play games. Get the phones and games and outside books out of school and send them outside to play.

But don't parent my children. If someone is abusing their children, take them away. Put the parents in jail. That's the law. It's a good law.

I want the teachers at my kids' school to be able to teach them what they need to learn. If that means they have to discipline my kids to get them to pay attention, so be it. Sometimes you have to get their attention. But they don't need to rear my kids. That's my job.

Of course, the case could be made that Morrissette is a racist. After all, repeated studies have shown that minorities have a much higher rate of obesity at almost all age groups. So I guess Morrissette is saying he wants to target minorities because they're overweight.

Also, obesity used to be a sign of wealth. These days, since it is less expensive to eat food that is bad for you, obesity is a sign of poverty.

So Morrissette is targeting poor minorities with his plan. He must not think they're very good parents. If I were one of his constituents, I wouldn't ever vote for him again.

Ok, I'm sure his thought processes didn't run to that particular logical conclusion. That's because I don't think he thought about it much at all.

Update:

I wrote my state Representative and Senator an e-mail about this issue.

I assume you’ve heard about Rep Morrissette’s proposal to force weigh-ins for children under the age of 16. His reasoning is that some underweight children could be abused. He wants to spend $3m on scales and related equipment. I heartily disagree with this idea.

Just to get it out of the way, that $3m can be spent in several different ways, any of which could benefit abused children.

If he is really concerned about obese or underweight kids, let’s focus on the root of the problem, not the symptom. Overweight kids already know they’re overweight. Instead of stigmatizing the children who are of “incorrect” weight, why don’t we focus on the wholly unhealthy food schools are feeding children. Or that most kids are no longer required to participate in real PE anymore, and most competitive games have been removed from what PE there is due to, “some kids would have to lose, and that’s bad for their self-worth.” If that’s it, consider that self-worth is built at home. Kids with two parents have better lives. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1571/is_/ai_14922840

In the end, this is a ridiculous proposal, which involves the state government in something that is none of their business. Personal responsibility has to come in to play somewhere, and that is something that can’t be legislated.

Thanks

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