Texas Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, has personally mandated that all 6th grade girls must be vaccinated against a sexually transmitted disease that causes some forms of cervical cancer.
Parents can "opt out" for philosophical or religious reasons, but otherwise the vaccinations are mandatory for school attendance.
In issuing his executive order, Perry has thus bypassed not only parents (an "opt in" program would be more appropriate), but the parents' locally elected state representatives, some of whom are very unhappy with Perry's decree.
This is not an illness which can be caught merely by attending school, and Perry has no business unilaterally weighing the risks and benefits of a relatively new vaccination in place of each child's parents. If Perry is allowed to mandate vaccinations for a disease that cannot be acquired in the classroom, it's a short step from there to Big Brother making countless other medical decisions in place of parents. It's "for the children," of course. It always is.
Governor Perry obviously thinks that he, rather than parents, knows what's best for the state's 11- and 12-year-old girls.
And that mentality is one of the things that's increasingly wrong with politicians (and, I might add, many educators) in the United States.
P.S.: Look out, Florida, this school vaccination requirement may be coming to your state, too.