NJ teen sues parents for support. Call me cynical, but I sense this is really a battle of the dads….

An 18 year old NJ teenager is suing her parents for kicking her out and not paying her tuition.

The issues apparently revolve around Rachel Canning’s choice of friends and boyfriend, and her adherence to the rules at home. Smells like typical teen spirit to me. What makes this story titillating, though, is that she’s suing her parents for child support. Using the long arm of the law against your parents – the dream of rebellious teenagers everywhere. But is she right in doing so? Is Rachel Canning an unemancipated minor who should still be supported by her parents, or a selfish, entitled child?

For the moment, a judge has ruled against her petition for support. but has scheduled a hearing in April to decide whether she was “constructively abandoned“ or emancipated herself.

You know what? That’s all beside the point. My spidey sense tells me this just might be a battle of the dads.

Meet Sean Canning, father of Rachel. He has been Continue reading

Bulletproof whiteboards in schools: preying on fear and child safety to separate school districts from their dollars.

I just had the misfortune of turning on the tv only to see Piers Morgan interviewing someone about the use of bulletproof whiteboards in schools. (Of course, seeing him in and of itself was a misfortune – but, that’s what channel was on when I turned on the tv.) WHAAAAAAT??? What an utter absurdity: the notion that somehow all of our nation’s children will be so much safer if ONLY school districts would make an investment in these educational latter-day chalkboards-cum-shields.

As it turns out NPR did a story on them back in May. School safety consultant Kenneth Trump’s take: “The vendors may be opportunistic, but the people on the purchasing end aren’t thinking it through, either.”

It is a very poor risk assessment: the likelihood of a lone shooter coming into any particular school is small, and if he (it is invariably a he) gets that far – past door buzzers and scanners – the likelihood of a teacher being able to deploy the whiteboard as a personal shield in time is small to nonexistent. But, people do make money preying on and exaggerating other people’s fears.

The title of this post says it all.