County government crushes little girl’s cupcake business

January 31, 2014
I said, no fun allowed!

I said, no fun allowed!

And you thought the Nanny State’s “war on child entrepreneurs” was over, after the Great Lemonade Stand War of 2010-11. I’m sorry to say, my friends, that the enemy, enterprising children who want to earn a little money, has opened a new front, threatening us all with the horror of unregulated micro-businesses.

Thank God, however, that the Madison County, Illinois, Health Department is there to protect us from the danger of unlicensed cupcakes:

After-school jobs are tougher to keep, apparently, than they used to be.

On Sunday, a Belleville News-Democrat story featured 11-year-old Chloe Stirling of Troy, Ill., a sixth-grader at Triad Middle School who makes about $200 a month selling cupcakes.

According to a report I watched on Megyn Kelly’s show last night, her parents, seeing Chloe was both serious at her new hobby and good at it, made her an offer: if she saves the money she earns through selling cupcakes, they will match it when she’s 16 and help her buy a car. Great idea, right? Chloe learns some skills and responsibility, how to set and meet goals, and, who knows, maybe she goes on to open her own bakery and creates jobs for other people. “Women’s empowerment,” know what I’m saying?

Winning situation all-around, right?

Well, Nanny State is right there to put an end to this nonsense!

“[The county] called and said they were shutting us down,” Heather Stirling, Chloe’s mother, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Officials told Stirling Chloe could continue selling cupcakes on the condition that the family “buy a bakery or build her a kitchen separate from the one we have.”

“Obviously, we can’t do that,” Heather Stirling told reporters. “We’ve already given her a little refrigerator to keep her things in, and her grandparents bought her a stand mixer.”

The elder Stirling said that she was willing to get her daughter any necessary licenses or permits to operate a business, but could not meet the health department’s other demands.

“But a separate kitchen? Who can do that?” asked an astonished Stirling.

When asked why they were curb-stomping an 11-year old’s business, martinets for Madison county started channeling Judge Dredd:

Health department spokeswoman Amy Yeager said they had no choice but to ask Chloe to close Hey Cupcake.

The rules are the rules. It’s for the protection of the public health. The guidelines apply to everyone,’ she said.

Sharon Valentine, environmental health manager at St Clair County (1) Health Department, added: ‘If we let one person do it, how can we tell the person with 30 cats in their home that they can’t do it? A line has to be drawn.’

The local health department had been tipped off to Chloe’s baking business after she appeared on the front page of Belleville News Democrat at the weekend.

Somehow –and you can call me “naive”– but I think the “crazy cat lady” scenario is a bit different than a grade-schooler in her parents’ kitchen.

Now, lest I sound like a foaming at the mouth anarcho-capitalist, I’m not averse to regulating food businesses for public health. Restaurants, commercial bakeries, butcher shops and so forth, sure. There is a legit public health interest.

Still, let’s be reasonable here. This is the equivalent of making little Julie Murphy cry in the name of enforcing regulations really meant for adults and real businesses. Asking the parents to buy an inexpensive license, which they were willing to do, and maybe submit the kitchen to a health inspection should be enough.

But “buy a bakery or build a separate kitchen??” That smacks of a petty bureaucrat being bored and needing some enforcement actions to show for the annual review.

And maybe a little bit of cartelism, too. Reason has written several good articles about how occupational licenses are used to limit competition.

Such as from little girls who are saving for their first car.

License required.

License required

Footnote:
(1) Not sure why the Mail reporter called St. Clair county, which is next door to Madison county. I guess from a UK point of view, all those American counties look alike.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Five-year old suspended for “playing Army”

December 19, 2013
"Armed and dangerous"

“Armed and dangerous”

They had to do it; the kid was armed — with a finger gun! (The horror…)

A 5-year-old boy was reportedly suspended from school after making a gun gesture with his hand on the playground.

His father, David Hendrix, was furious when he found out his son was issued a suspension for the gesture.

“He was playing army on the playground,” Hendrix told WBTV. “I just felt like the punishment was way too severe.”

Let’s try, “shouldn’t have happened at all.” I mean, do school administrators not have the same childhoods the rest of us have? Little boys don’t play Army and make finger guns in their world? They don’t yell “bang-bang!” and argue over who’s “dead?” Do children in their universe sit around in their onesies talking about health insurance? What goes through these “educators'” heads, except air?

I mean, my goodness. It’s not like the kid was armed with a Pop-tart, or something.

via Pirate’s Cove

(Photo source: Wikipedia)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Are Government Schools a Form of Child Abuse?

September 28, 2013

Not as satirical as you may think. Ending the monopoly of the teachers unions and education bureaucrats might be the best thing to happen to children in a long time.

International Liberty

I’m a big fan of school choice. If we bust up the government education monopoly and create a competitive education market, we’ll get a much better education system at much lower cost.

This isn’t just idle theorizing. The evidence shows that competition produces better results.

That will be especially good news for children from poor and minority neighborhoods, as even the Washington Post has admitted.

There’s even good evidence for school choice from other nations, such as Chile, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

And since we’re looking at international evidence, it’s worth noting that America spends more per student than any other nation, yet gets very mediocre results.

However, there’s also a non-educational argument for busting up the government school monopoly. Simply stated, we have to rescue kids from brainless school bureaucrats who impose crazy forms of anti-gun political correctness.

What am I talking about?…

View original post 616 more words


Tales of the Idiocracy: 7th-grader faces expulsion for playing with an Airsoft gun — at home. UPDATE: Expelled!

September 24, 2013
I said, no fun allowed!

I said, no fun allowed!

Yet another example of watery-kneed “educators” taking zero-tolerance way too far:

A suspended seventh grade Virginia Beach student will find out soon if he is expelled for the rest of the year for shooting an airsoft gun.\

Like thousands of others in Hampton Roads, Khalid Caraballo plays with airsoft guns. Caraballo and his friend Aidan were suspended because they shot two other friends who were with them while playing with the guns as they waited for the school bus.

The two seventh graders say they never went to the bus stop; they fired the airsoft guns while on Caraballo’s private property.

Aidan’s father, Tim Clark, told WAVY.com what happened next lacks commons sense. The children were suspended for possession, handling and use of a firearm.

At worst, you’ve got two teenage boys horsing around, maybe making mild jackasses of themselves. Something 13-year olds have been doing since the paleolithic, at least. It’s a parenting matter, not anything for “long arm of the school district.” And let’s emphasize this, they were on private property at least part of the time, and never on a school bus, nor at school. Since when does the school district’s authority extend onto people’s yards?

Of course, I’m not taking the kids’ story that they stayed in their yard and never, ever went to the school bus stop at face value. That would have been… un-13 year old-like. But it’s possible. Still, we’re talking Airsoft guns that fire plastic pellets. The worst their putative victims received was a stinger when their friends shot them in the arm and the back.

The real problem here is the overreaction of the authorities and the neighbor who called 911 on two kids with airguns. Check out the video report at the above link: the neighbor explicitly knew these were not real firearms. They just made her “uncomfortable.” Puh-leeze. Like my blog-buddy Sister Toldjah wrote:

Petty parent using law enforcement to solve a  harmless “problem” between her child and one of his friends? Sure sounds like it.

Even worse, though, are the school authorities threatening expulsion –which goes on the boys’ permanent records– over a massively overblown incident that didn’t even happen on school property and is none of their business. It’s a ludicrous overreaction on the part of stuffed-shirt officials and born of the anti-gun hysteria the Left loves to whip up, where common sense flies out the window and a spring-loaded gun firing plastic pellets becomes an object of fear and loathing, its bearer someone to be banished. Pathetic.

I mean, it’s not like they were armed with Pop-tarts.

via Bryan Preston

UPDATE: Preston with the “You’ve got to be kidding me” news. Unanimous?

The boys have been expelled from school by a unanimous vote. Unbelievable.

“VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A seventh grade Virginia Beach student previously suspended for shooting an airsoft gun has been expelled, WAVY.com has learned.

During a hearing Tuesday morning, Aidan Clark and Khalid Caraballo were expelled in a unanimous vote. Clark was offered the option of attending an alternative school, but his father, Tim, told WAVY News’ Andy Fox he will be homeschooled.

Caraballo will attend an alternative school.”

Unbelievable.

UPDATE 2: WAVY has corrected the story. The boys have received “long-term suspensions,” not expulsions:

During a hearing with a disciplinary committee Tuesday morning, Aidan Clark, Khalid Caraballo and a third friend were given long-term suspensions in a unanimous vote. The suspensions will last until June, but a hearing will be held January 27 to determine if they will be allowed back in school sooner.

I’m with the parents: this is a distinction without a meaningful difference. And the school administrators still need to be demoted to janitor.


Education: I don’t recall field trips like this when I was young

September 21, 2013

Nope. I remember going to museums, and zoos, and observatories. We even went to a farm, where we got to milk the cows, harvest some eggs, and pick some produce. For a little kid in grammar school, those trips were fun.

Then again, we were never treated like slaves and had abuse hurled at us by our teachers, unlike these kids in Connecticut:

It was revealed this week that a school from Connecticut took their students on a field trip last November where the students reenacted slavery and had their teachers call them the N-word. The Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy took a four-day filed trip to the Nature’s Classroom in Charlton, Massachusetts.

According to the parents, they were never told about the third day of the trip (when the reenactment took place).

“The re-enactment included having the students pretend to be on a slave ship, pretend to pick cotton, pretend the teachers were their slave masters, yelling the n-word at them and chasing them through the woods.”

This is a field trip taken by a group of 12 year olds! One of the parents spoke with a local news affiliate about the trip. She said, “The fact that they used the N-Word. How dare you say that to my child and call it an educational experience? How dare you say that to my child?” This same parent was shocked when the she found out this trip had been going on for years, but no one ever saw a problem with it.

And, yes, some of the children were Black. The stupidity required to think this would be a good idea is just mind-boggling. What’s next? Putting the kids in chains and staging a sale, so they can “develop empathy?”

Whatever happened to “let them read about slavery and explain to them why it was an awful thing?”

And this was in liberal, (supposedly) enlightened New England. Can you imagine the outcry if a school anywhere in the South did this?

These are the people we have teaching our children? No wonder home-schooling is becoming more and more popular.

via Wayward_Okie

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


One reason I may never visit New York City

April 23, 2013

This is what happens when you live in such a cultural cocoon that there is no one to tell you what a stupid idea your stupid idea is:

File this under “EW!”:

When Jada Shapiro decided to raise her daughter from birth without diapers, for the most part, not everyone was amused. Ms. Shapiro scattered little bowls around the house to catch her daughter’s offerings, and her sister insisted that she use a big, dark marker to mark the bowls so that they could never find their way back to the kitchen.

“My sister wasn’t a huge fan,” she said on Thursday.

But “elimination communication,” as the diaper-free method of child-rearing is called, is finding an audience in the hipper precincts of New York City.

Ms. Shapiro, who is a doula, a birth and child-rearing coach, says it is practically now a job qualification to at least be able to offer diaper-free training as an option to clients. Caribou Baby, an “eco-friendly maternity, baby and lifestyle store” on the border of artsy Greenpoint and Williamsburg, has been drawing capacity crowds to its diaper-free “Meetups,” where parents exchange tips like how to get a baby to urinate on the street between parked cars.

Parents are drawn to the method as a way of preserving the environment from the ravages of disposable diapers, as well as reducing the laundering of cloth diapers and preventing diaper rash. Many of them like the thought that they are rediscovering an ancient practice used in other cultures, though they tend to gloss over the fact that many of those cultures had never heard of Pampers. But mostly, they say, they like feeling more in touch with their babies’ most intimate functions.

“I think for a lot of parents, the motivation is just to be more in tune with what their kids’ needs are,” Adriane Stare, proprietor of Caribou Baby and herself a diaper-free mother, said on Thursday, about a week after holding her most recent meetup. Another meeting was written about on Thursday on the news Web site dnainfo.com; the next is May 14.

This is one of those things that happened before Rome fell, right?

When I think of getting “in tune” with a child’s needs, I think about things like food, shelter, clothing, love, confidence-building, instill good values… Not teaching it the right way to take a whiz between parked cars.

(And what of the poor schmuck who later picks that route to get to his car?)

Nincompoopery like this makes me think of “Green warriors” who want to preserve rural villages from the ravages of technology, so they can continue to live in virtue, close to nature… and then you go ask someone in that same pesthole village if they’d like to have refrigerators, electric lights, air conditioning —and diapers!— and they’ll look at you like you’re nuts for asking and answer “Heck yes! When’s the delivery?”

Sometimes civilization is a good thing.

Even in Manhattan.

via Jonah Goldberg

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


NY school district: “We’re sorry for teaching Jews are evil”

April 12, 2013

School has certainly changed since my day:

An upstate New York school district is reportedly apologizing — and mulling possible disciplinary action — for a high school writing assignment that asked students to “argue Jews are evil” while making a persuasive argument blaming them for the problems of Nazi Germany.

The Albany Times Union reports that some students at Albany High School were asked to research Nazi propaganda before assuming their English teacher was a Nazi government official who had to be convinced of their loyalty. In five paragraphs, they were required to prove that Jews were the source of Germany’s problems, the newspaper reports.

“You must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich,” the assignment reportedly read. A third of the students refused.

Wow. I’ll be charitable and assume a stunning lack of sensitivity and plain good sense on the instructor’s part. There are, after all, good uses for exercises that ask the student to explore and defend the other side or other points of view. But when you’re talking about one of the most monstrous atrocities in the history of humanity –the Holocaust– the only point of discussing the attitudes that lead to it is to criticize them and show their utter evil, not to learn how to be an apologist for them.

Yeah, I’d say this teacher deserves at least a suspension, if not termination, but someone should pointedly ask that school district why they don’t supervise their employees’ lesson plans more closely.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)