“Contact with any nuts could be fatal.”
—Sign on the door of the house of a 6-year-old girl with a food allergy
It appears to me that if you want to see the Tea Party mentality in action, look no further than this, courtesy of Reuters:
ORLANDO, Florida — Some public school parents in Edgewater, Florida, want a first-grade girl with life-threatening peanut allergies removed from the classroom and home-schooled, rather than deal with special rules to protect her health, a school official said.
If you examine this story, it is a perfect example of what’s wrong with the spirit of the movement that has come to dominate right-wing politics, even if this story doesn’t directly have anything to do with the Tea Party per se.
Parents—some even putting placards in the hands of their own kids—are protesting the fact that their children are asked to sacrifice—washing their hands twice a day, for instance—so this little girl can attend school without fear of an allergic reaction, possibly including death.
“Parents said they feel their children are being stripped of their classroom rights,” Reuters reported.
Rather than use the opportunity to teach their children the value of looking out for others, these people are teaching their children to look out for themselves, the essence of much Tea Party thinking. The little girl apparently hasn’t been to school for days now, and who could blame her?
But the worst thing I saw, and the thing that reminded me of Tea Party protests, were a couple of placards visible on a video report on the Today show.
The first is this one:
You can see that the sign on the left—held by a child, for God’s sake—says:
School Board approved Clorox wipes for our kid’s faces. WE SAY NO!
Wow! What an outrage! Except that a school spokesman said the wipes are used to clean desks, not faces. Oh. But that’s okay. Just like at Tea Party protests, facts just get in the way of a good placard.
And there’s this sign:
The sign on the right appears to say this:
Who’s paying for all of (these) special measures?
Yeah, that’s all that matters, isn’t it? Never mind that the worst that could happen is that kids would get in the habit of washing their hands a couple of times a day and would learn the value of living in a civilization where we take care of one another. But, heck, that doesn’t compare with the miniscule cost involved, does it?
Nope. Not to these people, the real nuts in this story.
Here is the Today report: