Summer has passed and public safety officials in Iowa, Maryland, Georgia and Wisconsin are no longer stamping out the threat of small children operating dangerously unregulated curbside lemonade stands.
That's about the extent of the good news.
Unfortunately, fall means children are back in school; back in the tender embrace of the education bureaucracy, meaning that all manner of zero-tolerance nonsense is emanating from schools across the fruited plain.
Case in point: The principal of a Gastonia, North Carolina elementary school suspended a 9-year-old boy when "a substitute teacher overheard him tell another student a teacher was cute." This is defined as "inappropriate behavior" and making "inappropriate statements."
Chiquita Lockett said her 9-year-old son, Emanyea, spent the last two days at home.
Lockett said the principal of Brookside Elementary called her Wednesday to say the incident was a form of “sexual harassment.”
Lest you think this crackdown is an isolated incident, another is in the news, this time in Boston:
The news of the North Carolina boy’s suspension comes as a Massachusetts elementary school is investigating a first-grader for sexual harassment after the boy struck another boy his age in the groin.
The mother of the accused 7-year-old tells the Boston Globe that her son was fending off another child, who had choked him in an altercation on the school bus on Nov. 22.
Let's recap on the raging and heretofore unnoticed epidemic of pre-pubescent sexual harassment: complimenting a teacher in a private conversation is verboten, at least if you're a boy. And 7-year-olds can't have a non-sexual schoolyard tussle--the real infraction is sexual harassment on the part of the first-grader administering a groin punch, but not on the part of the child delivering the choke hold. Got that?
I suppose the silver lining is that at least the choke-hold isn't yet considered some form of bdsm move.
I see two problems here: 1) the sexualization by certain adults of practically everything; and 2) bureaucratization replacing common sense. And there is perhaps a larger problem: the citizenry putting up with this sort of petty tyranny.