We see programs today encouraging kids to ride bikes to school — just like the Beaver did years ago — but the Nanny State in Elizabethton, Tenn., apparently thinks that a mother can’t be trusted to decide whether her 10-year-old daughter is mature enough to ride her bike to school.

The mother says she’s been threatened with being charged with “child neglect” for allowing her daughter to bike a mile to school and back each day. Teresa Tryon tells her story:

“On August 25th my 10-year-old daughter arrived home via police officer, requested to speak to me on the front porch of my home,” Ms. Tryon said. “The officer informed me that in his ‘judgement’ it was unsafe for my daughter to ride her bike to school.”

Ms. Tryon called the mayor’s office and the chief of police office in order to determine what laws she was breaking by allowing her daughter to ride her bike to school.  Her daughter’s route to school was reasonably safe.

Major Verran of the police department returned Ms Tryon’s call.  She said he told me, “He had spoke with the District Attorney’s office, who advised that until the officer can speak with Child Protective Services that if I allow my daughter to ride/walk to school I will be breaking the law and treated accordingly.

She asked, “What law she would be breaking, to which the answer was ‘child neglect.'”

The state doesn’t believe you are competent to make decisions for yourself. It doesn’t believe you can make decisions for your children. If you aren’t following the herd and doing what everyone else today is doing, you will be punished.

The blog post about this doesn’t say what the girl is doing in the meantime, but the woman was told that her daughter had to ride a school bus. Heaven forbid the daughter learn some responsibility and get exercise. It’s a good thing the girl is getting an early-life lesson in the arrogance of police officers and other state authority figures who want to make arbitrary decisions for you.

Note: This story comes via The Agitator, which ought be on your list of daily reads.