The Federal Government Has More Faith In Free-Range Kids Than Many Parents

Would you let your five-year old walk home alone?

by Jillian Rose Lim
Originally Published: 
every student succeeds act

If you can’t drop your kid off at the bus stop without a litany of true crime stories playing out in your head, it might be because the world is a scary place or you might just be watching too much Netflix. You know who has a little more faith in humanity than you? The federal government.

A provision in the new Every Student Succeeds Act (the thing that replaced No Child Left Behind in December) states that your kid can now trek to and from school alone “on foot or by car, bus, or bike” — at any age you deem appropriate. This little legislative nod of encouragement is the work of Utah’s Republican senator Mike Lee, who is now every Free-Range Parent’s BFF. But, while it’s nice to know the federal government thinks you’re a solid parent and your kid will be just fine, the measure is really just a symbol of the growing backlash to helicopter parenting. Whatever you choose to do, you’re still bound by state and local laws.

Flickr / Paw Paw

Those can be frustratingly vague when it comes to child welfare, as the Meitiv family of Montgomery County Maryland discovered last year when they briefly lost custody of their kids because they let them walk home from a park by themselves. So, unless you plan to keep Lee on a legal retainer, make sure you know how the local cops feel about your kindergartener walking home from school before setting them free. That, or just move to Japan.

[H/T]: The Atlantic

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