I saw a news story recently where a mother was suing McDonalds to get toys removed from happy meals because of the potentially harmful effects of the food on her daughter and how the toys lure her daughter into this unhealthy diet. We also recently reported on a local high school student who's mouth was duct taped by a teacher to correct the students behavior. The parent in this case is considering suing the school district as well. I think the McDonald's case speaks to the power of advertising and TV, but both of these stories have something in common. They both are trying to assign blame for situations that really should be handled by the parents. We have tied the hands of educators to administer discipline in the classroom. Teachers complain about it, parents complain about it and while we wrangle with trying to control classroom behavior, China is sprinting ahead in educating the next generation. Now, I don't condone using duct tape to silence a student but we have to give school personnel the authority to keep classrooms orderly, and really more than orderly, the kids have to be quiet and pay attention and respect their teachers. In the happy meal case, our kids need to hear the word "no" occasionally; they need to taste defeat and even disappointment because if they don't experience it now, they will not be able to overcome it when it really matters. Parents have got to take responsibility and take the reins back from their kids and that will make for a better East Texas.