Would ‘Free Range’ Parenting Work In Bozeman?
The world is a dangerous place. School shootings, police shootings, attacks with vans and automobiles, drive-by shootings, all seem to permeate the news on a daily basis.
The world has changed. When I was a kid I rode my bike all over town and my parents never had a worry in the world about my being in any danger.
Now things have changed. We have become an over protective society when it comes to our children. We never rode bikes with helmets, elbow pads, or knee pads.
Parents who allowed their children ‘free range’ could find themselves having a meeting with child protective services and charged with child neglect.
Utah Has Had Enough
While safety is a major concern of all parents the powers that be in Utah have decided it’s time to let kids be kids.
The Utah governor signed the bill into law that redefines the guidelines for determining child neglect.
Governor Gary Herbert responding to the new law said, “Absent evidence of clear danger, abuse or neglect, we believe that parents have the best sense of how to teach responsibility to their children.”
Utah children will now be allowed to play in their yards without supervision, walk to and from school alone, or be left alone in a car, without the parent being charged with child neglect.
Some Final Thoughts
Regardless of how this law is written I think most parents will error on the side of caution.
No responsible parent would give their child cart blanche in all activities.
If the child is responsible and observant, then let them walk to and from school alone. If they’re not, then supervision might be needed.
Would a law like this work in Bozeman? We do have a relatively low crime rate. Would you let your youngster head off to the local park alone? Walk to and from school alone?