Readers — Here you go. Latest overprotection nonsense! Enjoy (if that’s the word).
Dear Free-Range Kids: I thought this little story might be of interest to you. My oldest daughter (12) recently tried out for her school softball team. She made the team, which was a real accomplishment. Not only were the kids selected based on talent, but on attitude and enthusiasm as well. They’re all good students, responsible, and respectable. It takes that type of kid to make it on the team.
Although the softball season does not start until April, open practice has. The first day of practice, my daughter hauled her gear onto the bus (we live in a rural area 5 miles from school, so walking really does not work well). She has lots of equipment, because she is a catcher. However, it all fits into one bag that she places in front of her on the bus. It does not cause a space problem. A day later, we were informed at a parent/player meeting that softball bats are NOT allowed on the school bus, because they MIGHT be used as weapons. Even zipped up in an equipment bag: not allowed. So now, on days that she has practice, I have to make a special trip after school to drop her equipment off.
After doing a little research, I found that this appears to be a common policy at many schools. Riding the bus is a privilege, so I try not to let it upset me too much, but I still can’t help but question how crazy this rule it. Selected to play on the school team, but not allowed to transport her equipment on the school bus?
Welcome to America, 2009! Can’t keep kids too safe! Better to make them believe that anytime anyone is carrying anything that is not a cottonball, they are a menace to society. That goes for girls with bats and boys with Cub Scout eating utensils. And double for pen knives! — L