Free-Range Kids

Helicopter Parents Fight Sanity, Democracy in 'Strangers in the Schools'

If voters come into a school, then they could shoot the children.

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Voting
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Greendale, Wisconsin (population: 14,000) is considering a referendum that would prohibit the town from continuing its age-old practice of putting polling locations inside schools. The reasoning seems to be this: If voters come into a school, then they could shoot the children.

Yes, it's a ridiculous worry. So ridiculous, in fact, that I actually wrote a song mocking this fear. (Go here to listen to "Strangers in the Schools," set to the tune of "Strangers in the Night" by Frank Sinatra.)

But even more ridiculous than the idea that voters in schools pose some extraordinary threat to kids is what a group of Greendale parents and teachers want to do about it. Worried that the referendum might not pass if  too many non-parents get a chance to vote on it, they actually don't want the broader public to vote at all. According to Adam Tobias in The Wisconsin Reporter:

free-range-kids

Some parents and educators who spoke at a Greendale Village Board of Trustees meeting earlier this month indicated the referendum should not be placed on the ballot because taxpaying citizens who do not have children may tip the scales.

"I think there is going to be too many non-stakeholders that would vote during that referendum," said Jason Patzfahl…"Some stakes are higher than others. I think having two of my kids in the elementary schools makes me a little bit more of a higher stakeholder."

In other words, because non-parents may be more rational about a threat that has never materialized, as far as I can tell—namely, adults in a school on Election Day harming students—they should be deprived the chance to vote.

I suppose the thinking is that only parents care whether kids live or die. What a lovely town this Greendale sounds like!

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  1. I understand that Sandi once took a shit in Greendale, Wisconsin.

    1. And it apparently got elected to the school board.

    2. Haven’t seen her in awhile. Must be traveling. She should write a book.

  2. GREENDALE STRONG!

  3. Erm… they do realize that Election Day is a school holiday, right?

    1. It isn’t where I’m from. That may not be a universal thing.

  4. But your children are far more likely to be molested by teachers, janitors, coaches, and other school employees than they are by someone coming by to vote. Why not just ban teachers, janitors, coaches, and other school employees from schools?

    1. They’re even more likely to be molested by family members, so obviously all children must be put in state-run dormitories from birth to age 26.

      1. You jest, but…

      2. +1 Yeni Cheri

        1. GOD DAMN MONGORIANS!!!

          Tear down my shitty wall!

    2. just ban teachers, janitors, coaches, and other school employees from schools

      I like the way you think.

      1. Indeed, the cut of his jib…. I like it.

  5. It isn’t in doubt that the majority of voters are a danger to society, so….

    1. Have you seen how people vote?

  6. There are many people I trust more with a gun than with a ballot.

    1. There are many people I trust more with a gun than with a ballot.

      I find this true as well, but probably for a different reason: The same idiots I don’t trust with a ballot I can nearly guarantee will accidentally off themselves given a firearm.

    2. I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.
      – William F. Buckley

      1. I Agree. — Aalphonse A. Anonymous

        1. Me too!

          – Aaron A. Aaronson

  7. Someone should tell Mr Patzfahl that stakeholders are also known as taxpayers which includes parents without kids in school.

    1. I’d say that every voter is a stakeholder with regards to polling locations, and if he’s so terrified about his nighbors, maybe he’s living in the wrong community. We have a nice rest home for people with paranoid delusions he can check into…

    2. In Soviet Russia, stake holds you.

      1. Or is that in Vlad Tepesian Transylvania?

        1. nicely played.

    3. Someone needs to tell Mr. Patzfahl that since all taxpayers are on the hook for the school, all taxpayers get to decide how to use the facility ? and if he doesn’t like that he can take his precious snowflake out of public school and make arrangements that don’t depend on other people’s money.

  8. As a non-parent, I’d be cool with not getting a vote. As long as the parents would be cool with me not paying the school districts property taxes.

    1. You’re just a crazy damned anarchist. Why do you hate children?

      1. Well, judging by their parents these kids are likely to be a bunch of self-centered, entitled, assholes.

    2. It should go without saying, but if we went to a voucher system, and the school was private property, the whole issue goes up in a neat little puff.

    3. “As a non-parent, I’d be cool with not getting a vote. As long as the parents would be cool with me not paying the school districts property taxes.”

      This^

      Also not having to pay any additional taxes that might arise as a result of moving the polling place to another location.

  9. So basically, these parents want to continue to force the non-kids-having people to pay for their kids’ school, but also be frozen out of any voting about related matters, because they might have different interests. And they pretty much admit that, flat out, they have no problem with forcing people to fund their kids but not have any say in anything.

    Unbelievable.

    1. Unbelievable

      Well, they are products of the public school system, so….

      1. That’s no excuse. I’m a product of the public school system and I turned out OK.

        1. Citation needed.

        2. Zeb, do not insult us with your false modesty!

          ZebOK!

          1. My greater than sign apparently does not work?

    2. Unbelievable.

      Really? Seems about par for the course these days.

  10. “You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.”

    1. “God darnit, Mr. Late P Brooks, you use your tongue prettier than a twenty dollar whore.”

      1. Mencken:

        “When the going is good for him he robs the rest of us up to the extreme limit of our endurance; when the going is bad be comes bawling for help out of the public till. Has anyone ever heard of a farmer making any sacrifice of his own interests, however slight, to the common good? Has anyone ever heard of a farmer practising or advocating any political idea that was not absolutely self-seeking?that was not, in fact, deliberately designed to loot the rest of us to his gain? Greenbackism, free silver, the government guarantee of prices, bonuses, all the complex fiscal imbecilities of the cow State John Baptists?these are the contributions of the virtuous husbandmen to American political theory. There has never been a time, in good seasons or bad, when his hands were not itching for more; there has never been a time when he was not ready to support any charlatan, however grotesque, who promised to get it for him. Only one issue ever fetches him, and that is the issue of his own profit. He must be promised something definite and valuable, to be paid to him alone, or he is off after some other mountebank…

        Yet we are asked to venerate this prehensile moron as the Ur-burgher, the citizen par excellence, the foundation-stone of the state! And why? Because he produces something that all of us must have?that we must get somehow on penalty of death.”

  11. They try to sell the rest of us taxpayers on school funding based upon the “community” good and benefit, but when I might vote against them, I am no longer a “stakeholder”.

    hmmmmm

  12. “I think there is going to be too many non-stakeholders that would vote during that referendum,” said Jason Patzfahl…”Some stakes are higher than others. I think having two of my kids in the elementary schools makes me a little bit more of a higher stakeholder.”

    Fucking AWESOME.

    I’ve got a stake for you to hold, you simpering twat.

    1. I want you to hold it between your knees.

      /Jack Nicholson

      1. +1 of 5 pieces

    2. Breeding a couple little yard apes makes me special !

    3. Cool, so now we can limit presidential voting to active duty military, since they, you know, are a bit more of a higher stakeholder in who the Commander in Chief is than the average citizen.

      We can have all kinds of exclusionary fun with this.

      1. Yes, active duty military and AARP members

      2. JOIN UP! DO YOUR PART!
        SERVICE GUARANTEES CITIZENSHIP!

        WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE?

    4. “Some stakes are higher than others. I think having two of my kids in the elementary schools makes me a little bit more of a higher stakeholder.”

      Apparently some of us are “more equal” than others.

  13. Keep kids safe, demolish public schools!

    WHOSE WITH ME!?

    1. I’LL WIT U

      1. I WAS EDUCATE IN A PUBLIC SCHOOLZ.

          1. Their, their. Know kneed to lard it overt hymn.

  14. I suggest we just let the teacher’s union decide what to do. They know what’s best and they’re…… TEACHERS

  15. We should eliminate the risk to the children of people coming to high school sports events just to ogle the cheerleaders and other miscellaneous underage talent. Only parents with children in the game should be allowed to watch.

    Presto! No more stadiums!

    1. And students over the age of consent in those states where kids over the age of consent are still in school.

    2. +1 High School Volleyball team

  16. since parents have “a greater stake” in all this, then they’ll pay a higher property tax than those with no kids or with adult children, right?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Sometimes, I make myself laugh.

  17. It amazes me how batshit retarded suburban parents are. The very same people who will wax philosophical about community and how it “takes a village to raise a child” are now in the process of completely destroying civil society and any sense of community in the name of saving their snow flakes from the child molesters.

    They are creating a society in which no stranger or anyone outside of the immediate family will ever interact or take any interest in a child’s welfare. How they think that is going to turn into anything but a complete disaster is beyond me.

    1. How they think that is going to turn into anything but a complete disaster is beyond me.

      They aren’t “thinking” at all, John. You know this. It’s all FEELZ!!11!

      There are no unintended consequences. EVAR.

      1. You are correct, they are not thinking. Meanwhile, they heard their kids into organized activities like little league, which are basically honey pots for actual deviants.

        Kids are almost never molested by a stranger. Kids are molested by people they know. Deviants don’t troll the playgrounds or the schools. They go to work for the schools and the little leagues and the churches. And they hunt for kids who come from broken homes and are generally neglected by their parents and are looking for attention.

        There are two rally good ways to increase the risk of your kid getting molested; get divorced and let mom and dad give a parade of strangers access and close friendship with their kids; or dump your kid off at little league or church camp to let them raise them. Not doing those two things would require parents to actually give a fuck and look at their kids as something besides trophies and put their kids’ needs above their own. And that is really hard. Better to ban voting from schools so we feel safer.

        1. Also most of those “deviants” are not really deviants, well at least not to start. But you put normal adults with healthy sex appetites around all those physically mature but emotionally unready (or even in some cases perfectly emotionally ready, just illegal) members of their preferred sex and things are going to happen.

    2. Yep. And when the band needs fundraising to play in the Rose Parade, the childless people of “the village” should tell them to pound sand. Same with the local high school sports teams. And when the school wants more funds for books, or new cafeteria equipment. Tell ’em to fuck off.

      1. So you DO hate kids! I KNEW IT!

      2. Yeah, I never give money to these fundraisers. And as a former high school nerd, I REALLY don’t give money to the sports teams..fuckin’ jocks.

        1. Come back when you are collecting for the chemistry club!!!!

          /shakes cane

    3. There’s a TV commercial on now that is apparently from the POV of a little girl riding the school bus for the first time. Finally an older boy shares his seat with her, reassuring her that it will all be OK. The tagline is something like, make a new friend today.

      I just want to scream at that teen boy, ARE YOU CRAZY ?! And the people that made the ad….you encourage a young teen boy to “make friends” with a first grade girl? How many kids are you trying to get on the sex offender registry ?

      1. I think it’s a good message. Someone has to resist this shit while there are still some sane people around.

      2. Reminds me of Curb Your Enthusiasm 7.9 – the Table Read. Larry makes friends with a 9 year-old girl.

  18. Reason #274 to home school.

    1. Reason #274,000 to home school.

      FTFY

  19. Greendale was settled in 1939 as a public cooperative community in the New Deal Era. Construction of the new town would create jobs and thus help stimulate the national economic recovery following the Great Depression.

    Greendale, which provided good housing at reasonable rents for moderate income urban families, was one of three “greenbelt” towns planned beginning in 1935 under the direction of Rexford Guy Tugwell, head of the United States Resettlement Administration, under authority of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act.

    Born of Prog-dom…

    In 1950 the Public Housing Administration gave Greendale residents the right to purchase their homes from the government. The transfer of ownership from the government to the people was largely complete by 1952.

    I…just….they…

    Apparently this place has been full of people used to being told what to do.

    1. Holy shit. I guess i should have known such places existed, but I did not.

      8-(

    2. the new town would create jobs and thus help stimulate the national economic recovery

      Nihil nova sub progressium

    3. That’s history. They don’t seem to lean strongly one way or another these days. Their congressional rep is Paul Ryan, their state Rep is a Democrat. In recent elections, Greendale leans ever-so-slightly blue, but historically have been on the fence for decades.

    4. This only applies to the houses that are “Greendale Originals”. The bulk of the housing stock in Greendale was built in the 60s and 70s.

      Interestingly, the Greendale Originals built by the government were supposed to have basements but don’t, because the plans were inadvertently switched with the plans for the houses in Greenbelt MD. Your government at work.

  20. Some parents and educators who spoke at a Greendale Village Board of Trustees meeting earlier this month indicated the referendum should not be placed on the ballot because taxpaying citizens who do not have children may tip the scales.

    If only there were a term for that, perhaps a term from American history.

    1. RACISTS??

      1. +1 The “Rich”

  21. I vote in the nearby elementary. Did when I was in Louisville too, at my last house.

    Both had “in-service” days on election days. No kids around.

  22. Watching the Simpson’s marathon this weekend, I watched the episode were the town wants a bear patrol and storms Mayor Quimby’s office. Helen lovejoy wails that somebody should think of the Children. I immediately thought of Lenore. Sad that something the Simpson’s was parodying almost 20 years ago is now considered a sound thought process.

    1. One person’s parody is another person’s instruction manual.

  23. Dear Greendale Parents: Go start your own school.

  24. Here in the People’s Republic of California, I vote in the middle school, just down the road. I’m shocked that these progressive types, here, haven’t found this panacea that the enlightened citizens of Greendale have found.

    1. Schools simply make the MOST sense. One’s generally within walking distance to everybody and they all have auditoriums that can easily be converted to a polling place for a day.

  25. This is totally fucked up.

    How arrogant do you have to be to assume children will be the FIRST shooting targets of pissed off voters? The whole reason the polling places were put in schools in the first place is because people thought that was the LEAST likely place pissed off voters would shoot people.

  26. So ridiculous, in fact, that I actually wrote a song mocking this fear. (Go here to listen to “Strangers in the Schools,” set to the tune of “Strangers in the Night” by Frank Sinatra.)

    Exposing our children to badly written filk songs is far more dangerous than exposing them the shooting rampages. At least the children that got should were allowed to die with dignity.

    1. I have read that the Chairman of the Board was none too fond of Strangers in the Night.

      Although I continue to love me some Francis Albert Sinatra, I continue to love both his rendition of the tune and when I play it on the piano. It is just the type of tune I love to play in a crowded hotel lobby that features a baby grand – of course I am seeking the admiration of leggy cougars who happen to be checking in or lounging around the lobby.

  27. Is it just me, or does anyone else suspect that the parents in this cade have become uneasily aware that their Precious Snowflakes are so annoying and bratty that anyone encountering them will feel a justifiable urge to pesticide?

  28. I should have a lot to say about this… but all I can come up with is: um, what?

    America, Land of the Fear, Home of the Craven.

  29. If the schools are no longer property of the public as a whole, then perhaps only people with school-aged children should be taxed to support them. Make the public schools supported by user fees and then the parents can choose to exclude whomever they like. As a gay man with no aspirations toward parenthood, I would welcome the reduction in my annual property taxes.

    1. User fees? What kind of racist monster are you?

  30. “I think having two of my kids in the elementary schools makes me a little bit more of a higher stakeholder.”

    I think you should maybe go back to elementary school. You seem to have missed the grammar part.

  31. This has always puzzled me too. In this current climate of assuming that everyone everywhere is a sex criminal serial murderer, how is it that these very same worry warts no only allow polling in schools but it’s elementary schools and middle schools to boot. But I can’t think of any other public spaces large enough to do this AND where all sorts of people milling around wouldn’t get in the way such as a firehouse. I guess we could send everyone to the national guard post but that’s unbelievably out of the way (18 miles, next to the airport)

    1. Churches, but then someone will be offended.

      VFW halls, elks lodges, Masonic Temples, and the like would also work but you’d likely have to pay for the use of the space.

      Hell if it came to it pretty much every city of any size has multiple hotels with convention space that could be used but again you’ll have to pay for the use of the space.

      1. My polling place IS a church, actually. Then again, I live in a rural town SW Ohio, we don’t have much others besides Christians here.

  32. “…they actually don’t want the broader public to vote at all…”

    More progress from the Progressive heart of Wisconsin.
    It is hard to believe that these people have not regressed since Bob LaFollette.

  33. I agree that ONLY stakeholders should have a vote – it’s the same argument that one should not be taxed without representation. But let’s extend the stakeholder argument further: those who’ve no stakes in school funding, don’t have to fund it via taxes either. Then those with the stakes, pay for what they get. And I think in that case, they’ll chose to not pay for it.

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