Some parents in a New York City suburb are upset because a local politician called police on two 13-year-old boys for selling cupcakes and other baked goods without a permit.
“The Journal News in Westchester County reported Monday that New Castle Councilman Michael Wolfensohn had called police last month. The newspaper says it requested the police report after receiving a complaint from a friend of one of the boys’ families.”
“Andrew DeMarchis and Kevin Graff had a brisk business selling cupcakes, cookies, brownies and Rice Krispie treats in a Chappaqua (CHAP’-uh-kwah) park.”
“Kevin’s mother, Laura Graff, says the teens are “good kids” who were scared by the police call.”
“Wolfensohn says rules are rules. But he concedes calling the police might have been a half-baked decision.”
Teens babysit all the time, make good money and aren’t required to have child care licenses. Lots of teens dog sit, cut lawns and do a variety of other services without the red tape of the adult world. Was this different because it was selling a good? Was it because it was in a public park? (Walsh talks all the time about selling snow cones at the ball fields. He thinks he would make a killing!)
Should kids be able to run “small” businesses without permits or business licenses required by adults? Should they report their income as taxable? (My mom used to make me pay taxes on my babysitting money. She’s an accountant.)
Should these kids be rewarded and praised for being industrious and entrepreneurial? Should they have to follow all the business rules adults do?