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Parents Who Post Back-To-School Pics Of Their Kids On Instagram Are Putting Their Children's Lives In Danger

kate_sept2004. Getty Images.

Our nation's children are returning to school. Proud parents from Maine to Malibu are peppering Instagram with photos of their adorable students toting monogrammed backpacks, their hair perfectly combed or curled, holding chalkboard signs with frilly messaging: 

Denise Balyoz Photography. Getty Images.

(This is a stock photo. To feature real kids in a blog is risky business. But there are legitimately 15 million+ photos on Instagram under #BackToSchool of children holding signs with their own statistics: "MAISIE'S FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN. I AM: 3-YEARS-OLD. I LIKE: BLUEBERRIES, RABBITS, PAW PATROL. MY HERO IS: JESUS." etc.)

While many of us see these posts as the boring, unimpressive checkpoints they are, a far more sinister and malevolent army greets them with drool dripping from their pointed fangs. I'm talking, of course, of the pedophiles for whom Back-To-School day serves as Thanksgiving. Don't believe me? Trust Sara Hockwell Smith, author and professional mother:

Read some of those warnings, people. This is not a fucking joke. If you think posting that photo of your son waiting for the bus to 1st grade isn't coming back to haunt you, think again. You're not just putting your kid at risk of ending up on the dark web in some doctored photo where that apple in his lunch box becomes a ball gag; you're setting yourself up for a gigantic lawsuit against your own daughter, which will likely cleave the family in two. Dad sides with daughter (Electra Complex), son sides with mom (Oedipal Complex). After all, why wouldn't she retain her own father, who is a practicing lawyer? He's down on the marriage anyway and HATED how mom was constantly featuring the kids on Instagram for her 415 followers. WHY keep papering the internet with our kids for so few likes?!! What does this lead to, Lauren? 

It's safe to assume that the majority of parents posting their kids' first day photos did not have the kids sign a release form. That's lazy, irresponsible, and opportunistic parenting at its ugliest. At best, you're teaching your kid to be cavalier with their own likeness. What about rights, term usage, application fees, renewals, residuals? Non-competes? Nothing to discuss? Yuck. 

Do your part to enforce responsible parenting today. If you see a photo of a kid wearing a school badge on a public Instagram account, flag the post and report the parents to CPS. It's high time we stop feigning appreciation for these kids' ordinary, unimpressive steps into education and start treating this day for the dangerous plague that it is.