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no sense. To avoid an unlikely harm — unvaccinated kids getting a serious case of COVID — the schools wanted to impose an almost-guaranteed harm by excluding thousands of students from the classroom, kneecapping their education. At best, this is playing chicken with the well-being of children; at worst, it is thoughtless and cruel policy in stubborn pursuit of the goal of substituting the judgment of public-school mandarins for parents.

Already, roughly 40,000 students have dropped out or disengaged from L.A. schools this year, and the school board wanted effectively to match that via ham-handed enforcement of its mandate.

The same impulse to punish kids whose parents don’t want to go along is seen in vaccine passport policies, like that in New York City, that exclude unvaccinated children from a swath of activities in public places and from afterschool programs. It’s as if public officials got together and decided children hadn’t experienced enough social isolation already during the pandemic.

One can only hope there’s enough pushback from parents who value their judgment and authority over that of the politicians and administrators whose default is mandates over persuasion.

Rich Lowry is editor of the National Review.

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