Monday, June 25, 2012

Always Wear Sunscreen

Stories like this one make me want to strangle someone.  What we have here is a couple of kids who were at school and they went on a field trip.  They were outside for five hours, but the children were not allowed to put on sunscreen.  Why not?  Because according to either the "school policy" or the "statewide law" (it's a little unclear as to which means of asshattery was involved her) "...teachers are not allowed to apply sunscreen to students and students can only apply it to themselves if they have a doctor's note."  What the actual eff is going on over there? 

According to the Huffington Post, a one Jesse Michener of Washington had two of her children come home from a school field day with sunburns that were so bad that they "hurt to look at".  After seeing pictures of the kids, I'm going to have to agree with that assessment.  Behold!


The kid on the left looks just miserable.  Not that the kid on the right has fared any better.  But holy canoli, is that a bright red sunburn she's got there.  Ms. Michener has documented this incident on her blog, "Life. Photographed." She says that after contacting the principal and asking why her children were not provided with sunscreen for the outing, the response "...centered around the the school inability to administer what they considered a prescription/medication (sunscreen) for liability reasons."  And this is where my head starts to explode.  See, if you buy something in the store and you don't need a (wait for it) prescription in order to purchase it, then it is by definition NOT a "prescription".  And since when is sunscreen considered to be a "medication"?!  It's sunscreen, for cryin' out loud!  But wait!  There's more! 
In the telling of this tale of administrative idiocy, she mentions that during said field trip, "...their teacher used sunscreen in her presence and that it was 'just for her'."  Oh, so the teacher knew enough to put sunscreen on herself, but wouldn't put any on the children for fear of some sort of liability repercussion?!  You have got to be kidding me?  How much of a sheeple is that teacher?  Good Lord.  Follow the policy to the letter of the law or else!  Never mind whether or not it's an asinine rule that will do more harm that good!  That's what it says, so God forbid if you actually do some thinking on your own and do something about it!  Nope, just let those kids get massive sunburns and then you can sleep well at night knowing that you followed the ridiculous rule because that's what you are supposed to do!  Good job, moron.

Now, maybe you're sitting over there and I haven't quite incensed you just enough yet.  Maybe you're sitting there thinking, "Well, if they couldn't wear sunscreen, they should at least have worn a hat to keep the sun off of their faces."  You'd think that, wouldn't you?  But guess what?  No, really.  Go ahead and guess!  I'll wait.  Did you guess?  OK, if you guessed that hats are not allowed at school even on field trip days, step forward and claim your prize!  That's right.  They don't allow hats and they don't allow kids to use sunscreen unless they have a prescription and put it on themselves.  (Have you ever seen a little kid put on sunscreen?  Let's just say that they're not very good at it.  You know why?  Because they're little kids!  They're not good at much!  They haven't been around very long!)

As you can imagine, this received quite a bit of attention, mostly from Ms. Michener being angry as hell that she had stupid people in charge of her children during the day.  She actually received a call from the Director of Elementary Education in Tacoma Public Schools. According to her blog, "...a new law – just on the books since June 7 – allowed for districts to make their own distinctions about what is and isn’t allowed at school with regard to sunscreen and other over-the-counter medications."  And while all of that is fine and good, let's just back up a little bit.  At some point, I'm guessing that more than one person came up with the previous policy.  And more than one person had to have said, "Yeah, I think that's a good idea.  I think it's good that the kids need a prescription from a doctor in order to put on over the counter sunscreen.  And if they're out in the sun for an extended period of time and they don't have a prescription, I think it's a fabulous idea that they not be allowed to use any.  I completely agree with this policy.  Let's implement it immediately!"  And they DID.  Who ARE those people?  They need to be removed from their jobs because they are so concerned with "liability" that they can't DO their jobs effectively.  What sort of liability could their be with sunscreen?  Is the kid going to be too slippery for a little while?  I don't get it. 

People that are in positions of authority and decision making who only go by the rules in the book should not be in those positions.  It goes without saying that if something is going to be run by the rules in a book, then why bother having the person there in the first place?  Just follow the rules and things will be fine.  There's no need for personal intervention.  It's all right there in the book.  We are fast becoming an over-regulated society which is void of people who are able to think for themselves and on their own.  Couple that with a bunch of morons who make non-sensical rules and regulations in the first place and it's a recipe for the sort of disaster that Ms. Michener's small children got to experience first hand.  Doomed, I tell you.  We're doomed. 

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