Just when we think America cannot devolve even more deeply into a nanny state – it does.
A decision by public schools to ban balls and certain sports prompted radio host Alex Jones to embark on a faux petition drive asking people on the street to support a law requiring protective helmets while walking outdoors. Some folks acted shocked when the petitioner gave her spiel, but a multitude of people thought mandating helmets while walking sounded like a fine idea.
The result? A total of 14 out of 20 people at the University of Texas signed the petition and thought a mandatory helmets for walking law should be enacted.
The nanny state petition was entitled, “Compelled Helmet Use for Misfortunate Public.” Even though the anachronism for the group was CHUMP, no one caught onto the lark. In addition to the helmet law to protect people from themselves, the petition also supported the creation of “special walking lanes” so folks could more safely maneuver while texting on their cellphones.
As seen on a video, the undercover journalist explained very clearly what signing the petition meant. The woman also told those who signed that a helmet law would “help keep insurance costs down.” She also stated, “We have socialized healthcare now, so everyone’s responsible for everyone.” Such slogans prompted additional signatures, even when the petitioner added that a fine for non-compliance would be issued.
“Of course, tickets for anyone without helmets, God speed, we can do it,” one woman who signed the petition says.
Tickets for walking is not that far-fetched: Fort Lee, New Jersey, is fining people who walk across the street and text $85, as Infowars.com noted.
Meanwhile, officials at Weber Middle School in Port Washington, New York, decided that soccer balls, baseballs, footballs, lacrosse balls, and basically any type of ball except those that are Nerf and lightweight rubber are just too dangerous for playground use by children. Also off-limits during the classroom break are games of tag and cartwheels — unless adult supervision is possible.
“We want to make sure our children have fun but are also protected,” said Weber Middle School Superintendent Kathleen Maloney.
Maloney also stated that playground injuries can “unintentionally” become very serious.
The school said in a press release, “With children in close proximity to each other it is not safe for them to be engaged in unstructured play with hard balls.”
Of course, American children survived playing football or baseball at recess and turning flip-flops in the grass without adult input for decades. Critics, though, say these children are being deprived of the ability to be kids — the way we all were kids. During recess in years past, children devised the rules of their own games, chose their own teams, and learned to work out conflicts without an adult stepping in and forcing them to utter “I’m sorry” when they didn’t really mean it.
In the past, when a schoolmate broke an arm playing on the monkey bars, teachers and a school nurse tended to her until an ambulance arrived. The parents’ first inclination was to thank the staffer — not to call a lawyer and initiate a lawsuit over dangerous equipment and a lack of supervision.
Earlier this year one New Hampshire school district banned dodgeball out of concerns over violence and bullying. The vote was 4-1. Board member Dennis Senibaldi was the sole person to oppose the ban.
“We have rules that are set in place to deal with bullying,” he said. “We don’t need to ban an entire round of games just to enforce those rules.”
Do you think America has become too much of a nanny state?