Should the police bust you if your kid pees on the sidewalk?

It his a case of heavy-handed police state brutality, or is it an example of one more over-entitled parent who can’t accept the consequences of living in a modern society with flushing toilets?

I saw this in ajc’s Momania blog, but here’s the original story, from The Sitr:

Here’s a story that will totally piss off anyone who has tried to potty train a toddler (pun totally intended). Philadelphia mom Caroline Robboy was given both a ticket and a lecture by a police officer this past Sunday evening because her 2-year-old potty-training son, Nathaniel, couldn’t hold it.

I kid you not. She told NBC10 that they were in a store with her two other children and elderly in-laws when the toddler said he needed to go. She asked if they could use the restroom, and they were “told no.” Upon exiting the store the boy couldn’t hold it and ran over to a pole on the sidewalk to get some relief.

When she saw what was happening, she tried to at least get him to move to a grassy patch, but it was too late. A police officer saw it and busted them, issuing her a $50 ticket for public urination.

She told the station, “He said, ‘I’m doing this for your own protection’ because God forbid there might have been a pervert out there looking at my son.”

Unbelievable, right?

Actually I’d think it’s unbelievable that the woman has decided to go to the media and make a public issue of it rather than paying the fine and chalking it up to experience.  Why do I get the feeling that I’ve met this woman before—the one who thinks the rules don’t apply to her kids?  Perhaps you’ve met her, too. Check out this Helicopter Parent with a rotor missing post from earlier this year.

Am I being too harsh? Perhaps. Happy Monday, everyone!




No food for you!

“That little common-sense chip — where was it?”

An excelletnt question, which a parent asks after an eleementary school refused to give lunch to her autistic son, a kindergartener, over an unpaid bill just a few days old.  Unfortunately, everyone has lived through or heard of such horrifying incidents.  Has this sort of thing  always occurred, and people are only now noticicing and spreading the news via the Internet–or is fluoridation to blame?

Read the details and gnash your teeth.

You might be middle income if …

You get financial aid for your children’s college education without falsifying data.

Hey, make up your own. Jeff Foxworthy I’m not.

Anyway, an article in today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution highlights the political confusion over what constitutes middle-class income.  I’m not here to pick a fight with Mitt Romney supporters–I really just want to link to this cool gizmo on the Wall Street Journal website that lets you enter your income and find out what percentile you are on the income scale. I’m pretty sure that a lot of WSJ readers were disappointted to find out they weren’t “one percenters.” Hey, better luck next year. By the way, it takes a lot of money to become an object of protest: $507,000, by my reckoning.

So it’s tricky to say what is and isn’t middle class these days.  Witness this exchange between Georgia Stephanopoulus and Mitt Romney.

“No one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is (to) keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers,” Romney told host George Stephanopoulos.

“Is $100,000 middle income?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less,” Romney responded.

His campaign later clarified that Romney was referencing household income, not individual income.

His campaign should have done more clarifying than that. I’m going to cut the candidate some slack here and assume that he was saying that the upper limit on middle income shouldn’t be placed at $100,000 because I’m feeling generous today.  In return, I ask Romney supporters to understand that Obama was talking about the roads to and from the factories when he said, “You didn’t build that.” OK, we’re even.

I’m sure that after quiet and calm reflection, Romney would believe that $100,000 was middle income. If not, then he truly is out of touch.

So what is middle.  The median household income in the U.S. is about $50,000. All of us know that families making $50,000 are struggling.  There isn’t much saving going on at that level, kids are eligible for Pell Grants at that level, and … why am I explaining?  I’m not out of touch.  At 50K, you’re having the WalMart/Target debate.

When we talk about the middle range statistically (percentile range 25-75%), we’d see a range between $20,000 and $86,000.  Now $20,000 is dirt-poor, and nearly a hundred million Americans are at that level or lower. (For God’s sake, let’s raise the minimum wage to $10.00 an hour).

Both Romney and President Obama have that magic number of $250,000 fixeed in their rhetoric as the upper limit of middle-classdom. But $250,000 in household income is 96th percentile.  That’s pretty top end.  How did the middle class get stretched out so far?  How did $250,000 become such a sacred number.

I recall seeing financial aid information from a top-end private university stating that financial aid begins for families making $250,000 — so it’s not just politicians who are enthralled by this number..  On the other hand, the Emory Advantage program has special no-loanprovisions for families making $100,000 a year and less. (Loans are replaced by grants.)

So, do you think a family with a $250,000 household income is middle class?  Feel free to post your own observations and data in the comments section.


Five stars: Recommended for teachers, parents

This five-star review for Chain Gang Elementary came in yesterday on Goodreads from Sandy Pfefferkorn:

Recommended for: teachers, parents

I just finished this book on my Kindle Fire on Friday and recommend it wholeheartedly! Jonathan Grant captured the bureaucracy of a school ruled by a controlling principal who refuses to give up control at all costs. Teachers will especially enjoy it as stay-at-home parent Richard Gray accepts the position of PTO president and battles the principal and her toadies as they try to keep people from “the apartments” from infiltrating their “school of excellence.” Although Malliford is an elementary school, teachers from all grade levels will recognize and empathize with what goes on. It is laugh-out-loud funny and sad throughout the whole book.

Champion’s family responds to FAMU’s audacious claim

Monday, Florida A&M University’s lawyers filed court documents claiming that drum major Robert Champion was a willing participant in the hazing rituals conducted by the school’s marching band members and therefore responsible for his own death. 

Thursday, Champion’s parents responded. Needless to say, they disagree.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:

“There was no choice of whether to be hazed or not,” Christopher Chestnut, the Champions’ attorney, said Thursday. “There was a choice of whether to succeed or not. And there was a sacrifice you had to make. And if you failed in that sacrifice, well now you’re on your own.”

Champion’s parents have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the university and vowed to continue fighting for a change in the culture of hazing, Chestnut said Thursday. The suit, initially filed in February, cited a charter bus company and bus driver as being at fault for the beating, which happened on a bus outside an Orlando hotel. In July, the lawsuit was amended to include FAMU as a defendant.

“Robert Champion can’t be a drum major this season, that was taken from him,” Chestnut said. “But he can be a drum major for justice now. This isn’t about money, this is about a cause.”

Read more.