This is a comment posted on the public Facebook page of the Meitiv’s Montgomery County Councilman at large. He has since taken it down.
In case you can’t read it, it says:
Hans Reimer: Comment from a friend. “I just want to tell you that we have close friends in that neighborhood, and they and other neighbors there have been worrying FOR YEARS about the way this family let those kids wander around the urban environment alone (starting when the kids were much younger than they are now). I don’t know if you know the family , but the neighborhood believes something is really “off” about this family and these kids may be in danger. Just because the press has made them out ot be heroes doesn’t mean the kids are safe. My two cents.”
What’s wrong with spreading gossip?
1 – It’s gossip.
2 – It implies that if someone doesn’t agree with another parent’s childrearing practices (and who ever does?), this is reason enough to consider them legally suspect.
3 – It turns neighbors into the secret police.
4 – It turns an old-fashioned childhood — kids “wandering” around the neighborhood! — into neglect.
5 – It turns all of us against each other. If the neighbors are concerned for the kids and see them all the time, that means that there IS a neighborhood of people looking out for each other. Why not celebrate that instead of turning it into character assassination of the parents?
6 – There is nothing wrong with kids being outside, unsupervised, with their parents’ permission. It may be unusual to see kids outside now, but that is because we have become so convinced that if children are not supervised, monitored, or kept indoors 24/7, they are in immediate danger.
That is simply not the truth. Kids have always spent a portion of their childhoods away from direct adult supervision, and it is only at this one, odd, trembling moment in time that we have become convinced that the Evil Eye is waiting to pounce the minute mom waves goodbye and the kids walk to the bus stop.
We live in the safest times in human history, according to Harvard’s Steven Pinker.
Crime is at a 50-year low in America.
Most of our OWN happiest childhood memories did not occur when our moms and dads were right beside us.
So remember the Free-Range Kids and Parents‘ credo: Children have the right to some unsupervised time, and parents have the right to give it to them without getting arrested. Or maligned. – L.