Pregnancy and Prom Patrols: What's Next? ...by Bill Knell
I remember the carefree days of my youth when I could run out of my house, jump on my bike and head off to a friend's house in a heartbeat. Today's kids will never have those memories. Before they can mount their trusty bicycle to head to points known or unknown, they have to prepare. That preparation involves putting on that helmet, those elbow and knee guards, and giving their bike a quick safety check to make sure that it's up to snuff in case they get stopped for an inspection by the local police.
In the politically-correct world of Big Brother gone viral, there are rules...lots of rules...and more on the way! The latest targets of 'concern' are Pregnancies and Prom Night. Someone in the U.S.Congress recently got it in their head that We The People were again up to no good and need more (and more and more and more) regulation. That means yet another law to protect us from ourselves. This time it's all about gender abortions.
For those not on the inside track of the latest 'problem to be solved by more laws' du jure, the gender abortion issue assumes that Americans have taken up the nasty third world habit of choosing whether a fetus should be carried to term based on its gender. Our fearless congressional leaders are determined to protect us from ourselves by passing a law that holds doctors responsible for making any decision to abort a child based on gender.
It seems that our serial lawmakers have become convinced that some physicians are willing to give into the whims of a parent or parents that are looking to bring a child into the world that meets their gender expectations. Now it will be interesting to see how something like that can be determined. If a woman goes to a doctor and asks for an abortion, will they have to fill out a notarized form, take a lie detector test or swear on a Bible that their decision to abort is NOT based on gender?
I should make it clear that I am opposed to abortion. I am also opposed to stupid laws that try to legislate morality, especially when they are completely without merit. Besides the fact that there does not seem to be many people out in the American population that will choose to abort a child simply because of gender, there is the problem of turning doctors into the thought police who are supposed to determine their patient's motivation for wanting to end a pregnancy. If they fail to properly do so, what court will convict them and how will a punishment be determined?
While I will be the first one to admit that many Americans are criminally stupid as evidenced by their continual need to vote for losers who feel that every aspect of our lives must be legislated, regulated and monitored by some government agency, I do not think that most U.S. citizens would make a decision to abort a child based on gender. In these daze of government encouraged gender neutrality it would not make sense anyway. Suppose you have a child who comes out as a boy and they decide to become a girl or visa versa? Or, suppose they decide to be gender neutral? Then all your plans go to blazes anyway.
Prom Night has also become the target of Big Brother inspired, multi-tasking Do-Gooders. First there was that recent war on Prom dresses and attire that was considered to be too revealing. Perhaps we should appoint an Amish dressmaker to supervise all prom clothing choices? Then there were those schools that wanted to regulate the choice of music being played or pre-screen DJs to be sure they wouldn't spin any nasty tunes. Well, I say let's resurrect those songs by the Brady Kids or The Partridge Family just to be safe. Next came the curfew. Home by midnight? Not in Big Brother Land. It's ten or you turn into a pumpkin. Now the Prom Police want random breathalyzer tests.
Most schools have a zero tolerance policy for alcohol use. Too bad they don't have a zero tolerance policy for pumping kids full of all sorts of prescription drugs to calm them down...but that's another issue. Back to the booze... I can understand how this sounds like a good idea. Each year thousands of teenagers die in car crashes involving alcohol or end up in trauma centers due to alcohol poisoning. However, the same can be said of students that die, become disfigured or paralyzed in car crashes due to things like legal or illegal drug use, texting while driving or horsing around instead of watching the road.
The truth is that most students come to a Prom sober and leave that way. The Prom Police are missing the point. The problems start at After-Prom Parties which often deteriorate into drug, alcohol and sexual debauchery. With that in mind, attention should be focused on that issue and I am sorry to say that teens who want to have what they consider to be a 'good time' will do so despite the best efforts of their parents, police, school officials or Big Brother monitors. If you do not want kids to get drunk, high or fool around, set the standard.
Children learn by example, so I say that truly concerned parents should set some. They should avoid the use of alcoholic beverages, tobacco and drugs. Fooling around is O.K. as long as its accompanied by a marriage license. Teachers can help by by being more discreet when they nip at the bottle in that bottom desk drawer, take their feel good Meds to cope with a classroom full of kids not on Ritalin, or feel up the student body (or bodies) in the back closet. No one seems as worried about all the child molestation going on in schools these days as they are about Prom Night breathalyzer tests and that should worry all of us.
I recall that there used to be these things called manners and morals. I know that most of those kinds of things went out of fashion with the rebellious 1960s, but maybe it's time to revive some. To have manners and morals you have to respect yourself, your parents, your teachers, authority figures and your fellow humans (regardless of gender or lack of it). Those parents, teachers, authority figures and fellow humans also have to display manners and morals and behave in ways that earn that kind of respect. It would all work together if we just gave it a chance and stopped trying to skirt the real issues that cause self-destructive behavior.