Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Nanny State Update

I got a "nice" letter from the State of Illinois the other day and I'm still fuming about it.

You see, I have (another) new teenage driver in my family. Apparently, in the interests of keeping the streets safe, the State has a special program that allows parents access to their teenager's driving record. I'm sure our state officials thought this was a progressive idea when they rolled it out. However, being the curmudgeon that I am, I disagree.

This program is based on the assumption that parents and teens are so disconnected that either the parents have no clue as to what their kids are up to and/or that the teens will reflexively lie to them if they have an accident or get a ticket. So, in order to ensure that the parents are in the 'know', the state insists that the teens waive their right to privacy when they get their license so that their parents can go on-line and snoop on their kid's driving record.

Sorry, I guess I'm old fashioned, but I have a lot more faith and trust in my children.

What's even more galling about this is that the State thinks it's so important for parents to be able to check on what their teens are doing behind the wheel. But, when it comes to sex, the state if firmly in the privacy corner. A pregnant teen could seek and get an abortion and, as far as the State's concerned, the parents have no right to know about that. In fact, the State will help facilitate that teen getting an abortion behind the parent's back.

Just another example of how screwed up our society and culture is.


Donald said...

I agree 100% that the system is screwed up, but I can't get behind your idea that teenagers have a "right to privacy" when it comes to their driving record. The parents have a need to know if their charges are involved in an accident or get a traffic-related ticket. Of course, they also have a need to know if their sons or daughters are involved in an abortion.

R Ryan said...

Thanks for your comment.

I agree with you re teen's right to privacy and, obviously, didn't communicate it well.

Parents have the right to know what their kids are up to. That goes for who their friends are, what movies they see, who they are IM'ing and texting with, etc. -- and, all the more so when it comes to abortion.

What bugged me was the presumption in the letter that kids automatically lie to their parents and that the State needed to interject itself to enable the parents to snoop on their kid's driving record.

This galled me even more in light of the fact that the State takes the opposite tack on abortion and hides the fact that that same teen may have gotten assistance from their school in procuring an abortion.

Thanks again for your comment. Keep the faith!


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