Coming soon to New York: Mandatory state-run parenting classes?

Via Ace. “Not only would parents have to attend” if they want their kid to pass sixth grade, notes Walter Olson at Cato, “but for good measure the bill would require employers to bestow a paid day off each year for employees who are parents to do so.” Sounds good to some New Yorkers, as you’re about to see.

Here’s the bill, which you can read in 30 seconds. The state would put together workshops on 12 different subjects with parents required to attend four, one of which must be a workshop on sexual abuse. That’s the bill’s saving grace potentially; even Democrats who might otherwise balk at forcing parents to take state instruction on caring for their kids (are there any Democrats like that left?) will think twice before opposing a law that seeks to prevent child abuse. And for the ones who won’t balk, this makes for a nice foothold for future expansions of state oversight into largely private matters. Bloomberg’s much-mocked Big Gulp ban operated the same way. It was a small inconvenience in practice, but the principle is significant. That’s why it was worth his time.

Interesting tidbit about the chief sponsor, Ruben Diaz Sr.: He is indeed a Democrat but he’s also (somewhat notoriously in a very blue city) a Pentecostal minister and social conservative. He’s pro-life and voted against legalizing gay marriage more than once as a state senator. If anyone can build some bipartisan support for this in the legislature, he might be the guy.

New York News