Schools and childhood roundup

  • Most kids find whole milk the most palatable and there’s now evidence that it can also be a healthier choice for many. So why should the federal school lunch program prevent localities from offering it? [ petition, Alice Park, Time 2016; Skeptical Cardiologist; Philip Gruber, Lancaster Farming] Don’t expect much from new changes to federal school lunch program [Baylen Linnekin]
  • Even when one parent’s a pediatric emergency room doc, a family can still be vulnerable to having their infant seized by Child Protective Services over ambiguous indicators of physical injury. A Wisconsin nightmare [Mike Hixenbaugh, NBC News; Lenore Skenazy]
  • Economist Emily Oster speaks on her book Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, from Birth to Preschool [Cato event video, joined by Julie Gunlock and Chelsea Follett, and related Cato Daily Podcast with Oster and Caleb Brown]
  • “A 2019 report found that the number of small family child care providers (one person caring for children in his/her own home) declined by 35 percent from 2011 to 2017. … Unsurprisingly, during this same time child care licensing requirements increased dramatically.” [Angela Rachidi, AEI; earlier here, here, here, etc.]
  • On requirements for “community service hours” before graduation: “My line is that community service is for convicted criminals, but high school students are innocent.” [Arnold Kling]
  • “Florida 6-year-old arrested, handcuffed for elementary school tantrum” [Ebony Bowden, New York Post in September] “Pointing a finger gun lands 12-year-old Johnson County student in handcuffs” [Mará Rose Williams, Kansas City Star]


  • The (public) high school I went to in California had required community service hours as part of the social studies/civics/history classes. I think it was ten hours a semester, but I definitely remember that it counted for ten percent of your grade. So it wasn’t technically required to graduate… But non-compliance was harshly punished.

    As you would expect, the most prevalent lesson it taught students was the benefits of some minor fraud in the name of skirting overbearing regulations. I (and most other athletes) got our coaches to sign off on “community service hours” for “helping” with the portions of games/meets/events we weren’t actively participating in.

  • Re: Wisconsin. One wonders why the prosecutor still has his law license.

    • The Wisconsin Bar Association is extremely reluctant to discipline prosecutors, and disbarment / revocation of law license is in the hands of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which again rarely disciplines prosecutors.

  • With respect to the six-year old in handcuffs . . . . have we as a society lost our mind?

    Child abuse.

  • In case people are not aware, in the arrest of the 6 year old in Orlando, FL, Officer Dennis Turner, the officer who made the arrest was suspended the next day and later terminated.

    Turner was a retired officer from the Orlando Police Department and a member of the OPD’s “Reserve Unit” which allows school resource officers to be hired from the ranks of the retired.

    Turner had a legal history of a child abuse charge in relation to his own 7 year old son in 1998 and a excessive force charge for tazing someone 5 times in 2015. Turner had retired in 2018.

    However, the linked article is only literally half the story. Turned had arrested another 6 year old boy from the same school the same day.

    “Charges” against both children were later dropped and school records expunged.

    Turner’s report of the incident with the young girl said the assistant principal had asked the girl be arrested and she would testify in court against the child. The woman later denied saying that and claimed the report was “inaccurate.”

    The OPD policy at the time was that an arrest of a child under the age of 12 must have the approval of a watch commander. Turner did not seek nor obtain that approval. It is for that infraction that Turner was fired.

    The policy has since been changed that before arresting a child under 12, the officer must obtain permission from one of four deputy chiefs in the department.

  • The milk issue illustrates one of my problems with Trump. He should have the Department of Agriculture say that what milk students drink is not the business of Washington. Don’t attempt to justify these policies on the grounds of effectiveness. Just say you don’t have the authority to make these decisions.

    I know. the federalists among us are fighting a rearguard action. .