It's tough being under age 18. There's no privacy.
That's just the way it is and should be if it isn't when raising a child. Parents should know what their child is doing, who their child is hanging out with, what their child is reading. It's that last one, though, that has drawn a bit of attention lately in the Legislature.
The Senate this week passed a bill, Senate Bill 269, to give a child's parents or legal guardian access to that child's library records. The bill apparently didn't materialize out of some great concern that children are reading loads of books they maybe shouldn't be. Rather, some parents simply complained that they couldn't find out when their children's books were due and couldn't pick up books that had been put on hold by their children.
It seems like a sensible bill that also allows inquisitive parents to see what their children are up to at public libraries.
But it does raise a few concerns that could perhaps be discussed when the House considers the measure.
One concern, raised by a Fairbanks librarian, is that the bill doesn't define ''parent.'' With many families breaking up in acrimonious divorce, perhaps it would be wise for the bill to specify that the parent should be a custodial parent so as to avoid troublesome interference from the noncustodial parent.
What Senate Bill 269 aims to do is offer parents another small tool for doing a difficult job. Other than making a minor adjustment, the House should pass this bill.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
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