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The Nanny State in a Blue Uniform


We need vigilant and active police.  I'll take them any day over the latest ACLU lawsuit.  But some things can be taken too far, and this is one of them.

It seems that police in the bustling metropolis of Elizabethton, Tennessee (population 14,176), have threatened a mother, Mrs. Teresa Tryon, with child neglect charges because she allows her ten year-old daughter to ride her bike to school.  The police note that the kid's route takes her along a "very busy road," and that a child was "struck and killed while riding a bike on the same street several years ago," prompting them to take extra safety precautions.

Fair enough.  The mother says he daughter is fine on a bike, but the police concern is legitimate.  So for "extra safety precautions," how 'bout this: "Hey Mrs. Tryon, the street your daughter takes to school is really busy, and there was a fatal accident there a few years ago.  You might want to reconsider whether it's safe for her to be biking there, or whether an alternate route would be better."

But threatening child neglect charges???  Give it a rest, gentlemen.  Child neglect is what Casey Anthony does for warm-ups.  The idea that it's "child neglect" for a mother to draw a different conclusion from the police about whether her daughter can be safe on a bike, even on a busy street, is absurd.  Stalin himself would have a hard time coming up with that one.

I don't know if there's any actual crime in Elizabethton.  Evidently not, given police priorities there.  But on the off chance that there might be some, maybe the police could attend to that.


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