What the D.A.R.E. representative tried to sell me on was not (as I would have guessed) donating to D.A.R.E. Instead, she wanted to sell me, for a mere forty dollars, an identity card for Grace that would include medical information about her and give permission to treat her in case of emergency. She showed me a sample card and explained that it was an "official" something-or-other. She then reassured me that the card wouldn't have Grace's full name on it, so if it fell into the wrong hands, I wouldn't have to worry.
This raised a number of questions for me. Some of them rhetorical, some genuine (actually, maybe they're all both rhetorical and genuine):
- If a child were to show up in an emergency with a treatable, life-threatening condition and no guardian present, would they deny treatment? I somehow feel like they wouldn't (it's also hard for me to imagine just how Grace could end up in such a scenario, but I understand that in order to get into the proper D.A.R.E. mind-set I am to imagine the worst of all scenarios in the worst of all worlds...)
- Is there in fact a subset of plastic-like-identity cards that are "official"? What makes them so?
- Why would I be afraid of someone finding out my daughter's name? Aren't names public information? Is there anything scary that can happen to her with her name known that couldn't happen to her with her name unknown? (I've heard the name worry come up in a web context. A number of students have told me they're allowed to have facebooks/myspaces/etc., so long as they don't use their full name, or their last name, or what have you. I presume that the fear behind this is that someone will see their picture, decide to stalk them, and then, knowing their name, be able to track down their home address, etc. Are there other things about names that I should be afraid of that I don't know?)
- Why is D.A.R.E. selling medical-alert-ish identity cards? (Note: I couldn't find anything about this on their website, nor could I find the cards -- is it possible the D.A.R.E. table in Arlington center was actually entirely a scam? seems unlikely...)