Mandatory state-run parenting classes, cont’d

The proposal by New York state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., D-Bronx (earlier) is beginning to break out into wider coverage. I’m quoted in this report by Steven Nelson of US News:

Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies, blogged about the bill earlier this month and tells U.S. News “people see this not just as bossy, but as sinister.”

“Imagine treating every parent in New York as though they are on probation,” he says.

Olson says the bill would force parents to “show up and be re-educated” and “lectured about the shortcomings of how they are raising their kids and be inoculated with whatever the fad of the year is.”

“If you thought the public reaction to the soda ban was big,” Olson says, “wait until you see the public reaction to telling people the government knows better than they do how to raise their kids.”

Speaking of helicopter governance, if you’re near Washington, D.C. be sure to mark your calendar for next week’s (Mar. 6) talk at Cato by Lenore Skenazy of Free-Range Kids. Details and registration here.


  • But, “it’s for the children.” How could anyone be against this?

  • You seem a bit skeptical of the Brave New World being created. It’s all for your own good. If you don’t understand that, then try this:

    “Say Olson. Nice kid you got there. Be a pity if you never saw him again.”

  • Olson notes in his Cato post that Sen. Diaz is a minister. I can’t imagine a person more inclined to tell people how to live their lives than a liberal politician who is a minister. At least as a minister, people are given a choice as to whether they want to hear and heed his moral advice. As a politician, he wants to use the force of law.

    To say Diaz believes he knows better how people should live their lives seems a bit inadequate.