Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Nanny State Strikes Again

Daniel Weintraub has written an interesting column about the (all-too-familiar) bureaucratic hurdles he had to jump through at his son's school in order to obtain a work permit for his son's summer job.

I recently had to deal with the same issue and couldn't help wondering: why is the public school system even involved with work permits? During the last month of school my daughter obtained a permit to work after graduation; there were a couple of training sessions before the end of the school year, but why was her job the school's business, particularly as she was about to graduate? And why does the school, and not the parent, have the say-so in whether or not a minor can be employed?

It seems to me that whether or not a minor holds a job is a decision that should be made strictly by parents. If the employment leads to any negative academic consequences for children who are in public schools, then at that point that should be between the parents and the school.

Yet one more example of public schools usurping parental authority.


Blogger Ugly Naked Guy said...

What? Huh? I never heard of such a thing. I mean, I know that if you are not yet 16 then you need a work permit, but why in the world would a graduate need one?

We are about to go through this with my son. he will be 15 1/2 in Sept. and some places will hire you at that age if you have a work permit from school. One of the things that I don't yet understand is the Catch 22 involved in this: You can't get a job without a work permit, and you can't get a work permit without a job!

9:18 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Our experience was that she landed the job, but then she couldn't actually begin working without the work permit from the school.

Apparently all minors under 18 are required to obtain a work permit in CA, unless you're not "required to attend school," i.e., a high school graduate. (You have to search through the Child Labor Laws booklet to find a chart with the graduation exemption.)

Apparently the permit was required because she was not yet out of school, although (confusingly) her employer told her that if she didn't get a permit before school got out, she'd still have to get one from the school or district in the summer, which conflicts with laws I've read on line. Maybe the employer is just covering all their bases? Since she had some training sessions scheduled before graduation, she went ahead and got it in June so she could attend training. It seemed so silly to us that she was going to graduate in a couple of weeks, yet the school had the authority to decide whether or not she could work!

Incidentally, private schoolers and independent homeschoolers (who in California operate as private schools) must also apply to the local public school district for a work permit, unless the public school district has granted the private school written permission to issue work permits. So there's no getting away from the governmental nanny in this area...just FYI.


9:47 AM  
Blogger Ugly Naked Guy said...

Well, I don't know about you, but I feel so good knowing the wisdom and caring of the government is behind us! :)

9:51 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

LOL!!!! Oh, yes, it makes me feel so much better. (grin) Laura

9:52 AM  
Blogger jau said...

I wish I understood the explosion of rules and regulations. I get that insurance rates are high and that people blame anyone they can, if something goes wrong. But it's run way too far amok. There's bound to be a pendulum swing the other way, don't you think?

9:55 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I hope that pendulum does swing back!

We desperately need somehow to comb through state and federal laws and weed some of the hundreds of overreaching laws out of there and start over from some point. :)

10:21 AM  

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