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June 27, 2022

Letter: 12-year-olds in control?

I saw on an internet news post that California was considering allowing 12-year-olds to take the Covid vaccine without their parents’ permission. I thought, even in California this couldn’t possibly be true, then I saw it in the paper and spoke to several people who said, yes it is. I hope and pray with every fiber of my being that it doesn’t pass and become a law. 

I also thank God everyday that my children are all over 18 now. I am not even concerned about the vaccine part, and I am not going to speak about forced or mandatory vaccinations or whether or not the vaccine is or isn’t effective. My main concern is what this law really means.

For much of history, parents were basically “in charge” of their children until they left to get married or struck out on their own to make their way in the world. Even then, parents are always parents (I called mine every Sunday until they both passed away), but generally speaking when you took a spouse or started your own home the “control” went from the parent to the new adult child. 

Then somewhere along the line society changed that to 21, then during the Vietnam war era it became 18, then eventually 16, and now with this proposal 12. Think of that, you bring a child into the world—you nurture, support, teach, provide for and love that child then the government strips you of your parental rights at age 12. That is what this proposed law is saying: We the government know better than you the parent what is best for your child, and we are now going to take four more years away from you. 

The clear message is that vaccinating your child is good, but again it’s not about the vaccination issue. The clear intention here is that a 12-year-old can make their own decisions about what they will or won’t do. 

I don’t know about you, but at age 12 I was in no way, shape or form qualified to make my own decisions. I also know that as a parent I absolutely have the right to set the moral tone for my family. 

Now in fairness to the other side the argument comes up about kids whose parents are “absent,” or abusive or “fanatical.” My response to that is first, if the parents are abusive or neglectful there are organizations and policies in place, CPS, mandatory reporting, etc. If the parents are absent, (meaning not involved in the kids life, or are self-absorbed with their own) are there other caring adults, teachers, coaches, neighbors, clergy? 

Lastly, for the “fanatical” parents, what is the definition of “fanatical”? I’m sorry but an experimental vaccine with maybe 18 months of research behind it, and probably less than 12 months on children is not a “sure thing.” 

A big question I have is, will the law work both ways? What happens if the 12-year-old kid doesn’t want the vaccine and his parents want him or her to take it? What happens if the child doesn’t want to go to school? Do they get to make that decision at 12? What happens if the child doesn’t want to eat their vegetables? Become a vegan? Doesn’t like having to do “chores”? So are we then “emancipating” 12-year-olds? 

I have to believe, and certainly hope and pray that the overwhelming majority of parents on both sides of the vaccine issue can see that if this law passes a whole “Pandora’s box” of problems comes with it. If you are opposed to this idea I highly encourage you to contact Robert Rivas and Anna Caballero and let them know.

Randy Logue


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