and the school district's court fees assessed to them
That is what will really put an end to the frivolous suits.
NEWS HEADLINE 2: Elementary School Kids Increasingly Obese
I'd blame this on "television/game console as baby sitter" syndrome, too. When I was a wee lad, we would play outside after school and after dinner. We didn't plop down in front of the boob tube munching on chips and soda all day.
Oh, that definitely contributes, and hugely. But we don't need to make it even worse.
Welcome to America, land of the brave, home of the sued....
I think I can get behind allowing parents to claim damages if they can demonstrate that the kid was hurt as a direct result of there having been insufficient supervision. But sufficient supervision stops kids from doing things that are dangerous, like fighting and running in front of moving traffic, not things like playing. (Mustn't jump rope; you might hurt your wee knees and ankles.)
My state's favorite Democratic would-be president, John Edwards, made a career off of exploiting the unlimited medical malpractice liability. He won, er...can't remember the amount, let's say in the ballpark of $20 million...against a doctor that we knew because the child would not survive on its own and that was the estimated cost to care for the child for 18 years. The child died after 2 years. The enitre financial judgement stood. Oh, and the independent medical board found that the doctor had acted in a manner consistent with proper care, which really doesn't matter because of insurance she can never work again.
I'm not saying liability should be nothing and that all doctors are great, but the system is broken on both sides and I'm more inclined to trust people that take the hippocratic oath than (gulp! sorry) the judgement of the legal system. My apologies for taking this a little bit off-topic.
No, that's okay. Just having watched firsthand, from the other side, the appallingly bad medical care my sister received (which damn near killed her on a couple occasions), and knowing some doctors with incredibly arrogant attitudes, I am equally leary of handing over the reins.
Somewhere in the middle is a better system, based less on emotion and more on fact. We just don't have it.
I remember a time (remember, I was raised in the 60's) when if I got hurt by using a toy/thing inappopriately or before I was old enough for it, I was the one who got chastised or even punished for it, even as my mother was cleaning up the damage. Same thing if I didn't use common sense about how to use a thing and got hurt by it. The lesson stuck, I learned it was my actions and decisions that caused the end result, and I didn't (usually) do a repeat performance.
Today, parents sue the manufacturer or owner. :(
Yup. And it's a loss, that ability to play with sharp objects that we so happily enjoyed!
I find it interesting that more and more adults either cannot or do not know how to raise their children properly (here, Joey, watch more TV). Yet, the moment one thing goes "wrong" in the child's life (he skinned a knee! That's a life-threatening injury!), the substitute care-takers are the ones to blame for the child's experience.
If I have children I'm going to raise them just as I was before: usher them outdoors to play, jump and explore like little kids should.
I just hope they can find other kids to play with....
Sadly, i see this happeningh more and more because parents are afraid of getting reported to child services. In the field I work in I see so many parents incredibly paranoid when their kid is playing because they might bruise themselves. All someone has to do is take pictures of the kid and then take the parents to court. It happens a lot in foster cases. Then the parents get hit (no pun intended) for negligence.
That sucks. It's pathetic. Grr.
I'd like to point out -- completely undocumented, I'm sure you're Google capable of finding things like this -- that they're finding children who do NOT run and play not only become more obese (and at risk from all the secondary complications), they may have weaker bones from not having enough weight-bearing movement!!!
I suspect we'll find other problems; there's something ironic in the fact that children's mental childhoods are short-changed by divorces, presidential blow-jobs and nuclear threats, but we have no problem in having them grow up physical (and I suspect, immunological) weaklings because it's too much risk to have them play outside.
I'm not surprised by that. But it is so sad.
Ugh, yeah, that's ridiculous. I can't really add anything to what you and other folks have said already, but this pissed me off enough that I had to leave a comment.
I'm with you. If recess is "a time when accidents can happen", why not just ban recess altogether? Come on kids, sit in the corner and read a nice book. Everyone have their thimbles on to prevent papercuts? Good!
Oh, bless him, I remember that part of that routine. :-)
When I was a kid, we had a nine-hundred-pound television set on a TV tray! My dad's philosophy was, "Let 'em pull it down once. They'll learn."
"Want to stick your finger in an electrical socket? ... Yeah, hurt like hell, didn't it? Don't do that no more."
Ye Gods this gets rediculous. It wasn't that long ago that people just chalked accidents up to... well accidents.
Here in the UK, we have "The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents". Surely, by definition, an accident is something that cannot be prevented.
If a teacher punches a kid, sue their ass. If another kid punches your kid, get them suspended or expelled. If you kid falls on his face during tag, give them a hug and maybe a plaster and send them back out there again (if they want to go).
This is one of the major reasons I quit my law course, it's all so seedy and money grabbing and false. In the end we're going to be living very boring, risk free lives with a group of lawyers constantly watching for eveyr mistake you make.
Oh yeah... we've got that. And they're lawyers who call themsevles politicians.
2006-10-18 07:47 pm (UTC)
Your mention of the definiton of accident reminds me...
of one of my recent Nursing classes.
We were talking about health concerns related to various stages of development (SIDs for infants, heart disease for middle agers, malnutrition for the elderly) and an interesting thing was brought up.
For children and adolescents, the medical profession is moving away from the term "accident prevention" towards "reducing unintentional injuries" (keeping your water heater to under 120 degrees F, for example) based on the notion than an accident *is* purely unpredictable and unpreventable.
Not really important, just felt like sharing lol...
Add in the fact that kids will have no outlet for their excessive energy, except maybe in class, and the percentage of drugged kids will go up dramatically.
Fat, drugged/sedated, physically unskilled kids. Hm. And this is supposed to be the generation taking care of me when I retire? *shudder*
(There may also be some other issues involved, such as kids that don't get to play tag will have *pout*sob* self-esteem issues *wah*. I might be off-base on this though.)
I was awful at tag as a kid. I survived. But I bet that is part of it.
For many kids recess is the only opportunity they have to run around outside.
An increasing number of kids are in after school programs because they are in either a 2-working parent family or a single parent family.
Add that to the irrational and media-fostered fear many parents in safe neighborhoods have of their little darlings being kidnapped, or the reality of some of the unsafe neighborhoods and when the kids finally do get home, they aren't allowed to just go outside and play.
The predator fear leads many parents to either make their kids take the bus or pick them up from school, so they don't get even the minimal exercise of a walk.
Personally I think that if the kids get out at recess and run around like mad things playing tag or whatever, when they get back in the classroom they're better set to sit still and listen. Lack of adequate physical activity makes them fidget which prevents them learning and disrupts the class as well.
Well, if they have extra energy, we'll just drug 'em up!
It's a huge problem; I just hate to see another brick in the wall.