FARGO — It's right there in the North Dakota Administrative Code. Title 33, Article 6, Chapter 5.
SCHOOL IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS
a. Minimum requirements for children attending early childhood facilities, head start programs, and preschool educational facilities shall be age-appropriate immunizations against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, haemophilus influenzae type B disease, varicella (chickenpox), pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B.
b. Minimum requirements for children attending kindergarten through grade twelve shall be age-appropriate immunizations against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (chickenpox), meningococcal disease, and hepatitis B.
Mandated immunizations. Of your children. By the government.
America's other states have similar laws.
Health mandates, y'all. Right there in black and white.
So next time you hear anti-vaccine or anti-mask "protesters" stirring up trouble at a local school board meeting, claiming that it's a parent's right to make health decisions for their children and that by gum "the government" isn't going to tell them what to do, know that the government has already told them what to do.
As the government does in almost every aspect of our lives from birth. Laws, regulations and restrictions are passed at every level of government from local school boards to the U.S. Congress.
This is why they have no credibility. This is why their childish, self-centered whining — while using their kids as props — is worthy of being ignored if we weren't forced to listen to it. Because that's what we're good at in America — giving a super-minority a seat at the table and handing them more power than they deserve.
Not that their opinions shouldn't be heard. Not that they don't have a right to say their piece. But when they purposely intimidate — and in some parts of the country offer thinly veiled threats — that's a bridge or three too far.
And we the media, we're not much better. The best way to get on TV or have your views published by the newspaper isn't to be the reasonable majority, it's to be the loudest and most disruptive voice you can be. Even if your views only represent 30% of the population. Or less.
Yet we inflate their importance.
We're living in the dumbest of times, sparked by the explosive growth of Facebook and the political rise of Donald Trump and his followers. Ignorance, once viewed as a liability, is now a proudly held virtue among a decent chunk of the right.
Combine that with misplaced anger and the belief that they should get everything they want and here we are — at a point where wearing a mask and getting a shot are seen by the idiot 30% as one step away from fascism.
As the insanity continues and local school boards continue to bear the brunt of the bullies, always remember the North Dakota Administrative Code. Title 33, Article 6, Chapter 5.
The government has made health decisions for your children for decades, for the good of the whole, and we've all survived just fine.
Readers can reach columnist Mike McFeely at firstname.lastname@example.org