Hi Readers — Another day, another dose of wacky overreaction. Luckily, this one comes pre-analyzed by a reader named Kim, who describes herself as the “mom of a 5-year-old girl who is determined to raise her to be even more Free-Range and self-confident than I was as a kid.” A noble goal — and, as you’ll see — a lovely write up of a ridiculous event. – L.
Dear Free-Range Kids: IÂ Â was goingÂ to mention this article in a brief comment inÂ response toÂ your post about the grandfather who wasÂ falsely reported as a pedophile, butÂ theÂ furtherÂ I read, the more I realized that there was just too muchÂ to speak on in just a few lines.Â So I’m sendingÂ you this link so you can read it for yourself:
I won’t rehash the article here, but I do want to pointÂ out a few things that bothered me about the story:
- This isÂ southeastern PA, and it is the middle of January.Â News flash, people…it’sÂ cold outside!Â The guy was wearing a sweatshirt whenÂ he went out for a jog.Â Kudos to him for exercising!Â (I’ll bet he won’tÂ be jogging byÂ the school again anytime soon, though.)
- Now, ifÂ the sweatshirt was one of those hoodie/zip-upÂ maskÂ kinds, I canÂ understand that it mightÂ lookÂ a little freaky to a kid, but still…a third grader in our church’sÂ SundayÂ School was wearing one last weekendÂ too, and he kept zipping itÂ upÂ over his face.Â No one,Â as farÂ as I’m aware, reported his presence to the police.
- The guy wasÂ JOGGING by the school, not lurking in the woods for theirÂ entire recess period,Â potentially scoping out victims.Â AndÂ he didn’t actually have aÂ gunÂ inÂ the first place.Â Says the local police chief,Â “We are not sure where [the children] came up with the idea of a man carrying a gun.”Â Ummm…perhapsÂ fromÂ 1) their active imaginations or 2) from hearing theÂ adults around themÂ constantly talking about how dangerous the world is, even in the boring old ‘burbs?
- “…parents, teachers and administrators of Souderton Area School District live with the notion daily that something tragic could happen in the district.”Â Â Yeah.Â Or something tragic could NOT happen inÂ the district, just like it didn’t happenÂ on the day in question.
- Seriously…six or seven different policeÂ and fireÂ departments, includingÂ ambulances, EMSÂ teams, and K9 units were called out, surrounding neighborhoods were searched,Â the school was put on lockdown, and everyone just shrugs it off as an unplanned practice drill?Â Â Am I the only one who thinks this kind of response mightÂ have been just a teensy bit excessive?Â They hadn’t reported a crime in progress, after all, just a potentially suspicious looking person in the vicinity.
I could rant on and on, but I’m sure you can do a better job of pointing outÂ the same things that are botheringÂ meÂ about it. – Kim
Lenore here: No, actually, your rant pretty much covers everything that my internal rantometer was pinging on, so thank youfor our daily sanity check!
Aghhhhh!!!! Call the cops!Â Â