It’s been a rough summer for entrepreneurial kids. July brought two stories of lemonade stands gone wrong: one was robbed, and the other was broken up by police who mistakenly thought it was in violation of city ordinances. And now a group of Girl Scouts has lost their right to sell cookies from their own driveway. This morning, Patch reported that a well-publicized law suit by a group of Scouts in Hazelwood, MO defend their right to do so was thrown out by a St. Louis County Circuit Judge.
Some background from New York Times: Two Scouts, sisters Carolyn and Abigail Mills, were selling cookies from their driveway this summer, as they had been doing for years, when a neighbor complained of noise and traffic. Hazelwood city officials told the girls, 16 and 14 respectively, they had to stop because their cookie stand violated zoning restrictions. The Mills, with the help of their mother Carolyn, applied for a business license but were refused, so they decided to sue the city. They pursued the suit until Friday, when it was dismissed by the court.
Jezebel’s Anna North wrote vaguely in support of the Scouts’ suit, though she admits that she finds the concept of Girl Scout cookies “a little strange.” She argues that “turning girls into little salespeople isn’t quite as wholesome as, say, teaching them different knots.”
Hazelwood has a weirdly litigious record when it comes to children’s rights. The town’s school district was sued by a student in the 80’s for censoring the high school’s newspaper, in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1988’s Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, the Court decided in favor of the town. It was the first time the Court had ever allowed a school to censor student publications for education reasons.