The Not-so-magic Leap between Car Booster Seats and Child Sex Abuse

By Joelle Casteix
Worthy Adversary
January 1, 2012

I am not (usually) an angry person, but today, my head is about to explode.

I opened the paper this morning to find out that my son and every other child in the state of California must be in a car booster seat until age eight or until they are 4-foot-9. My son is five. He will turn eight at the end of the second grade.

Iím not going to go into the sheer hassle, expense and waste this will cause parents who carpool sports teams, have multiple young children, allow their children to attend field trips, encourage play date companions, etc. Nor will I mention that this legislation flies DIRECTLY in the face of Californiaís push for higher MPG cars (because many families will be FORCED to buy bigger cars for the four or five carseats that they must now cart with them everywhere. And you canít fit more than two car seats in the Prius).

But I will say this: I am my sonís parent. Not the State of California.

It is MY decision how to educate my child, how to feed him, clothe him, discipline him (and he is a very good boy), help him create his moral foundation, and/or take (or in my case NOT take) him to church. It is not the governmentís job. Period.

But wait, thereís more! My outrage gets a little more personal.

I have to wonder, what happens between age eight, when my kid is still stuffed in a car seat, and ages 9, 10, 13, or 15 when officials at JSerra and Mater Dei High Schools, Penn State and Syracuse Universities, and the Archdioceses of Philadelphia and Los Angeles deem that if my kid is sexually assaulted, it must be my kidís fault (or not really a crime at all)? My son goes from car seat occupant to sexual provocateur overnight? To add insult to injury, many of these officials and their paid spokespeople blame the victimsí parents for the fact that their children were raped.

What kind of world have we created when parents and children are blamed for crimes committed against them and made criminals for only wanting to parent our child the best way possible?

My modest proposal: Allow parents both the rights and responsibilities to parent their children (even if you donít agree with their perfectly legal decisions). Put predators in jail. Punish people who cover-up for abuse. Is it that hard?


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