Cleveland Kidnappings as Latest Reason Not to Let Kids Interact with World

Readers — Yesterday, on Google plus, I put a link to my post dnrtrrdzne
about the 7th graders
who weren’t sure whether to help an 84-year-old who asked them to bring her a  package from her driveway. I said that when we teach kids across-the-board “stranger danger” we aren’t making them safer. We’re stunting any kind of common sense and street smarts we’d like them to develop, by making them scared of absolutely everyone.

Here’s the one response that got me shaking:

Lenore: I usually agree with you. Unfortunately, this time, you’re dead wrong. The boys should’ve gotten a well known and trusted adult to take the box into the woman’s house.

Look to the three girls that were taken in Cleveland as proof that you can’t trust adults on anything.

Dead wrong? That is classic “worst-first thinking” — thinking about the very WORST case scenario first, no matter how exceedingly rare, and acting as if it is the most relevant.

I spend a good part of my day combating this mindset. (And a good part of my night trying to sleep when I suddenly remember an instance of it that drove me nuts.) (Then I spend a good part of my day trying not to fall asleep….)

So if any of you have great rejoinders that actually work, I’d like to add them to my arsenal! – L.

Haunted by exceedingly rare events?


56 Responses to Cleveland Kidnappings as Latest Reason Not to Let Kids Interact with World

  1. Chris May 29, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    And don’t forget you shouldn’t ever let your kids go outside. Kids who go outside can get struck by lightning and DIE.

    My friend lets her kids go outside as long as the forecast has a 0% chance of rain, but I think that’s just bad parenting. Sometimes the forecast is wrong!

    You can’t be too safe.

  2. derpdedoo May 29, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    Why don’t we just nuke the planet and kill off the entire human race (and everything else while we’re at it). Only then can we know the children will be safe.

  3. LTMG May 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    Extrapolating, we shouldn’t trust the writer of that comment since he or she is an adult whom we do not know. Very suspicious, he said sarcastically.

  4. Linda Wightman May 29, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    I doubt it would actually work, but the immediate rejoinder that came to my mind to, ” Look to the three girls that were taken in Cleveland as proof that you can’t trust adults on anything,” was ” actually, it proves the exact opposite.” It was a caring adult who helped the women escape. What if he had refused to lend his cell phone? It was caring adults who responded to the 911 call and completed the rescue. It is caring adults who are helping the women recover.

    What the Cleveland scenario proved is that you shouldn’t get into a car with an unknown adult, which is pretty much accepted even by the staunchest free-rangers. Actually, even that wasn’t all that dangerous back in the days when people didn’t risk being thrown in jail by offering to take a lost child home … but I agree it’s a prudent precaution now, since the good folks have been scared away.

  5. Dave May 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Seventh graders are pretty big. I think they could handle are situation that might arise from a 84 year old women. Is this person serious. Aren’t 7th grades like 12. Really they should have been reprimanded for not helping and elderly woman in need.

  6. LisaS May 29, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    Linda’s point is close to the right one, except that for one of the girls, the kidnapper was a member of the family’s social circle – his daughter and one of the kidnapped girls reportedly went to school together.

    Our rule: never accept rides from people without my prior and/or immediate approval (part of the reason we have cell phones), and never without other kids except from a very select few people. This protects both my kids and the other adult.

  7. Warren May 29, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    Of course my kids have to go out into the big scary world. Because if they stay in the house any longer, the chances of them being killed by a close family member (ME) go up exponentially with every minute.

    Like Grandpa used to say, isn’t there some traffice you could be playing in.

  8. Cyndi May 29, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    The reason kidnappings work (in the rare cases when they happen) is because no one knows where the victim is. The comeback in this case is that the woman did not approach a solo kid; she approached a group. If at least one kid stayed behind, he or she would have been able to tell the police where the others went. Not that that would have been necessary.

    But this is the classic “stranger danger” solution. It’s what responsible adults do when meeting someone from online (especially a date) for the first time. They tell their friends or family where they’re going to be and when to expect them back. And if plans change, they call.

  9. anonymous this time May 29, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    Yeah. Well, Ted Bundy put his arm in a sling and asked women to help him with stuff, then he killed them.

    Honestly, I say this frequently, that if someone wanted to deceive me, and they were really good at it, or I was having a weak moment, well, that would be the end of me. The scenario I can dream up is a guy in a uniform, possibly with a sidearm, yelling at me that I can’t walk where I’m walking, and directing me into a place where no one can see, then BAM, the chloroform, the van, the end.

    The chances of this sort of thing? Nigh on impossible, so I go about my business. Have I heard of such things happening? I have. Have I taken the most basic precautions (don’t willingly get into a vehicle with someone I haven’t carefully vetted, don’t walk alone through parking ramps at night, don’t walk alone at night in certain places at certain times)? Yes. And have I totally and completely accepted the randomness of life, and yet decided to venture out into the world anyway? Yes.

    Why is it any different for children? If someone REALLY wants to do them harm, well, chances are, they’ll come to harm. But that’s so damned rare that I’m not willing to counsel my kid to mistrust everyone in every circumstance and have a blanket rule about anything that doesn’t involve a vehicle, like helping people with stuff now and then. Someone asks for directions? Says, “Hey, sonny, could you help me move this box?” I want the first impulse to be “Yes, I’m happy to help.” I want the second impulse to be asking one’s self, “Am I pretty confident that this is all on the level? What are the actual odds that this person means me harm?” And to proceed accordingly.

    Kids are especially vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the whole world and his wife are out to prey on them.

    It just doesn’t.

    Just because something COULD happen, and we can dream it up, doesn’t mean we should go around acting AS IF it’s going to happen… and imminently. That’s just delusional… imagining that you can superstitiously avoid any loss or sadness in life by shutting yourself into situations that you imagine are “safe.”

    We’re never completely “safe.” So live anyway. Live fully. Live, not dangerously, but consciously, accepting reasonable risks in exchange for the wealth of joy and delight that we get from being here now.


  10. Warren May 29, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    I still struggle with the idea of even worrying about predators, rapists, and the like. Not once while raising my three hoodlums did I ever think about anything like that. If they were late, my natural assumption was they lost track of time, just like I did. Even when it was time for Dad to go looking for one or all, I knew where to look, and usually never had to try more than two spots.

    Gotta love the deer in the headlight look when they recognize Dad’s truck, lol. They knew they were busted, and they knew they still had to walk home.

    Like I said, never once when giving permission to go somewhere, or during or after did abduction or sex crime enter my mind. I do not understand how people can think about that as a reason to worry, or deny an activity.

  11. EricS May 29, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    Here’s a simple one.

    “The boys should’ve gotten a well known and trusted adult to take the box…”

    “… proof that you can’t trust adults on anything.”

    So which is it? If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust? And it’s not so much about “trusting” adults or strangers. It’s about having common sense, based on education and awareness. We used to call this back in the day “street smarts”. Almost every kid in my neighborhood had it. We all stuck out for each other. And we knew creepy from just being old. In essence, we KNEW our neighbors. We learned to trust our own instincts, and it served as well through out the years. Many of us I’m sure, teach that same street smart to our own kids. Mine doesn’t trust just anyone. He makes them earn it.

    Remember, EVERYONE we know now, was at one point a STRANGER. If we didn’t give trust, we’d be all alone, locked in some room with a foil hat on our heads. lol Use COMMON SENSE “dead wrong”. Cuz your dead wrong. 😉

  12. marie May 29, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    Lenore: I usually agree with you. Unfortunately, this time, you’re dead wrong. The boys should’ve gotten a well known and trusted adult to take the box into the woman’s house.
    Look to the three girls that were taken in Cleveland as proof that you can’t trust adults on anything.

    Lenore, are you asking what your response should be..before or after you stopped laughing?

    I got stuck on “well known” and am still laughing.

    Was the person who said this “well known and trusted”? I can’t think of anyone who would take this person’s advice as sensible. I do wonder if someone was just yanking your chain.

    Shake it off. Like dandruff.

  13. Uly May 29, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

    Three young women, perhaps, but three girls? Sure, two of them were minors, but how many of us really call 17 year olds children? Heck, I wouldn’t even have called the youngest a child to her face at the time she was taken!

    Sorry, off topic, I’m just sick of hearing them called “girls”. Two of the three definitely weren’t then, and certainly none of them are now.

  14. Ben May 29, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    “Look to the three girls that were taken in Cleveland as proof that you can’t trust adults on anything.”

    How about this: Look at the millions of adults who interacted with kids and causing nothing bad to happen at all on the very same day as proof you can trust some adults.

  15. Donna May 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    One bad person did one (well three) bad things and suddenly we can’t trust anyone?

    Further, where is the connection. I don’t know all the facts in the Cleveland case but I think I would have remembered if any one of them were kidnapped after being lured into the house by an old woman asking her to move a box. Not sure what one of these things has to do with another.

  16. Yan Seiner May 29, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    I had to stop and think… Three girls in Cleveland? What 3 girls? I don’t remember a kidnapping of 3 girls in Cleveland….

    And I do like the “well known and trusted adult” followed by “you can’t trust adults on anything” in the next sentence”. Taking that to the next level, the evil old witch with the box has already anticipated this and is in cahoots with the “well known and trusted adult” that the children will run to. I guess the children should just rise up and kill all the adults.

    Wasn’t there something about “You can’t trust anyone over 30” back in the 60s?

    Logic has long since left the building along with Elvis.

  17. Nosy Nellie May 29, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    I think the woman makes an EXCELLENT point. You have clearly not thought this through: **Someone** will most likely win a million dollars in the lottery this week. Therefore **I** am going to tell my boss to kiss my @$$!
    Now you see the bright side of this type of logic. =)

  18. Parallel May 29, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    I saw a video recently that really made an impact in a rather odd way. It was a compilation of recordings from Russian dashboard cameras (dashboard cams are very common there due to attempt insurance fraud…with a cam the driver can prove what actually happened.) This compilation was focused on random acts of kindness (stopping to let animals cross the street, helping other drivers out of snowbanks, etc.)

    So many of these videos were of big, strong Russia men LEAPING out of their cars to help little stooped grandmothers across the street. Why is this relevant? That video would be my rebuttal. Those men didn’t just learn respect and care for the elderly when they hit eighteen…they were taught that behavior from a young age. Isn’t that the kind of people we want our kids to grow up to be? Or do we want them to become men who drive on by because they’ve been taught every white-haired old lady is secretly a knife-wielding manic (or harboring one in her purse?)

  19. ebohlman May 29, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    “Look to the kid in Pennsylvania who died of pneumonia after his parents chose to pray over him instead of taking him to the doctor as proof that you can’t trust parents to raise their own children.”

    Note that in this particular case, the kid was the second of their children to die in those circumstances.

  20. lollipoplover May 29, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    When we live in perpetual fear of crossing paths with the very rare sociopath that could harm our children, we run the risk of turning our own children into sociopaths.

    Though no person is born with this disorder, the sociopathic personality disorder does involve a history of persistent anti-social behavior during childhood before the age of 15 and if left untreated, this disorder continues into adulthood too. Main characteristics of sociopaths are that they have no conscience and an inablility to treat ofhers as human beings….like teenagers refusing to help little old ladies who just need a hand with a box. Potential future sociopaths…wrap your head around that one. How can you teach your own NOT to care?

  21. Nicola May 29, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    I agree with anonymous this time: if someone wanted to abduct me or kill me (or my kid, or anyone for that matter), they could figure out a way to do so. I’ve often said that someone would just have to ask my daughter to help her find their puppy, and she would be gone, gone, gone.

    I think it’s good to know where your kid is, to know that they know basic safety and that they should trust their instincts. That said, I strongly believe that if someone encountered my kid out and about (walking our dog) and decided to steal her, they could come up with a scenario that would tempt her away. I hope they couldn’t, but I bet they could. I just give her my cell phone and hope that doesn’t happen. I’m not willing to instill total fear in her of other people.

  22. Beth May 29, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    I have to wonder how this person who believes “you can’t trust adults on anything” lives from day to day. Does she not send her children to school? Does she basically never go out in public because of all those untrustworthy adults? Does she have no friends?


  23. Papilio May 29, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    Now wait a second. A “well known and trusted adult” – is that from the boys’ perspective, or should this adult be well-known to and trusted by the old lady? And what if the boys can’t find an adult all three of them trust? And what if that adult doesn’t trust the boys, or the old lady? This is getting far too complicated…

    Lenore, I’m a bit surprised this kind of common stupidity still affects you, even to the extent that you have trouble sleeping! Wow. Poor you. Maybe it helps to write a (long, frustrated, angry, sarcastic) response to such letters without sending them, just to get rid of those emotions before you go to bed? (Or do you use this blog for that?)
    For later: sleep well!

    @derpdedoo: Hey, the least you could do is only target the paranoia affected parts of the world! Although, wait, I rather see Lenore ‘dead wrong’ than ‘dead, period’ (‘see’? yes, vivid imagination here), so maybe you could just limit your blood thirst to the actual helicopter parents? Thank you in advance! 😀

  24. Natalie May 29, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    Why reply with a snarky rejoinder which would not only alienate this person but those who think like them – remember, we are all trying to do the best for our children. I see no reason to mock and taunt others for trying to do the right thing just because they see what’s right as different than you. There’s enough stress with parenting already.

    I would instead ask this person, what is different this time? They say that they agree with you most of the time. Ok, they’re on the same page with you saying that kidnapping by strangers is such a remote possibility that it’s negligible. Therefore, it should not dictate how we raise our children. So what’s different about this post? And why does Cleveland make a difference when there are already high profile kidnapping cases out there?

    That is how I would reply. Snarky rejoinders are just preaching to the choir, and the choir will cheer you on, but you want to reach out to others. So a little consideration is in order.

  25. JG May 29, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    Rejoinder? That’s easy. You could say,

    “…sooo, everyone agrees that ‘you can’t trust adults on anything’ these days. So how do we know that YOU can be trusted? With the majority of the kidnappings and almost all of the sex abuse suffered by children being perpetrated by family members of people the child knows, have YOU been checked out to make sure your child is safe with YOU?. These days, it seems like parents are a terrible risk. Perhaps we all should be investigated, before our children are allowed to live with us. And we know, people who obsess about certain things (race, homosexuality, drugs) often harbor hidden problems of there own with these issues.”

    I’m not helping you make any friends, but how do you know the people asking you these questions aren’t raping and assaulting their own children? And then, they have the nerve to ask you why YOU’RE so reckless?

  26. Emily May 29, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    >>Now wait a second. A “well known and trusted adult” – is that from the boys’ perspective, or should this adult be well-known to and trusted by the old lady? And what if the boys can’t find an adult all three of them trust? And what if that adult doesn’t trust the boys, or the old lady? This is getting far too complicated…<<

    @Papillo–It's not really that complicated. I bet the person who made that oxymoronic comment probably thinks that NO young person should ever walk to school without being escorted by a "well known and trusted adult," such as a parent. Of course, I don't agree with that–I started walking to and from school when I was in grade three or four, and my parents were on the bubble-wrappish end of the spectrum.

  27. DD May 29, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    If we don’t teach our kids to use their common sense and intuition, how will they be functioning, productive adults? Many professions require people to enter into “stranger’s” homes, such as Realtors, Plumbers, Interior Decorators, and Social Workers. I have had a job like this for 20 years. When I take student Interns with me in the field, they are terrified to talk to people they do not know.

  28. Heather May 29, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    Sometimes an old lady needing help is just an old lady needing help.

  29. Kiwimum May 29, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

    OK this is something driving me nuts recently. My daughter represents her school in a sport which has events in rural locations up to an hour out of town, and as i am available I am often the driver for her and 2 or 3 others. We usually pick up from the school, but coming back late in the afternoon on rainy days I am happy to drop the kids home if they live reasonably on the way. I have great difficulty getting them to tell me where they live! I asked my daughter about this, and she said “We’re always told not to tell anyone where we live”.??? These kids are aged 14-17 and their parents have already signed a school form naming me as the activity driver. My daughter is in the car. But its like squeezing blood from a stone to get them to tell me which street they live in, let alone the house number so I can pull over in the right place! Note: they do not say – oh just drop me off at the school so i can walk.They consent to being dropped home (who wouldn’t when its pouring) but they can’t seem to get their tongues around their address.

  30. This girl loves to talk May 29, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    for the Cleveland example – people keep kids home because of the kidnapping? well that almost the same as what happened to those poor women.
    Kept indoors for 10 years. Are we going to become the perpetrators?

  31. pentamom May 29, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

    “Yes, look at the three [girls] in Cleveland. They weren’t three boys being asked to help an obviously frail old lady move something four feet, they were three women lured into cars by an able-bodied man.

    So what does that have to do with this?”

    Kiwimum — sometimes it really sounds like all this stranger danger stuff has effectively sucked the brains right out of kids.

  32. Jynet May 29, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

    Pentamom nailed it. “Yes, lets look at your example and compare the ways this ISN’T similar…” is always a great response.

    Done right it validates them (in a small way) making them feel listened to and therefore more open to listening to your view point.

  33. bmj2k May 29, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

    “proof that you can’t trust adults on anything.” Anything? I can’t for her child to grow up and become one of those untrustworthy adults.

    But on topic, that is ridiculous. The Cleveland kidnappings had nothing to do with the situation she described. You may as well say that the cancellation of Star Trek is proof you can’t trust adults. If you are already predetermined to be paranoid and delusional anything can be validation.

  34. Alex R. May 30, 2013 at 12:23 am #

    It’s really simple. One kid goes and helps the 84-year-old and the other kid(s) stay outside with their cell phones. If the kid helping the 84-year-old doesn’t come back in ten minutes the kid on the cell phone first calls the kid who is inside, then calls parents or the police. Even for the most cautious parents, this problem has a simple solution which kids can implement.

  35. hineata May 30, 2013 at 1:18 am #

    Well, Lenore, I’m not sure using the Cleveland case is entirely unjustified. After all, my girl’s ‘bestie’ attempted to use it to avoid catching the bus down here in Wellington, which makes a lot of sense, as you can imagine….(Didn’t work, BTW!). Whatever floats your boat, LOL!

    @Kiwimum – gosh, that makes me cross. I thought we were virtually the last bastion of commonsense in the English-speaking Western world, but obviously the poison has spread. I would have been tempted to have dropped them back at the school and gotten them to walk home, if they haven’t got the good sense to supply an address.

    I’m also interested, BTW, in the fact that you have sheets naming you as the driver. Like you I’m often free to drive kids to venues, and whoever turns up to drive just takes whatever kids are standing there. No sheets. I think maybe the fact that we signed the sports forms at the beginning of the year gives carte blanche to whoever is available to transport. Didn’t realise schools were getting that strict.

  36. Donna May 30, 2013 at 3:19 am #

    As I am getting ready to head back to the states in a week, this makes me sad. I’ve missed many things about the states. This is not one of them. Maybe I should have put more effort into seeing how I could emigrate to New Zealand.

  37. Lola May 30, 2013 at 6:49 am #

    Look, let’s say the old lady had frozen groceries in those heavy bags, and she needed to get them in the fridge before they all defrosted.
    There was just no time to get acquainted with the kids, share a couple of jokes or whatever, ask after their families, about their schoolmates and hobbies and such, get to know them well and build a long-lasting friendship right then and there, so she was finally entitled to ask a small favour of them, don’t you think?
    Fortunately, I live in a society where doing favours isn’t something reserved exclusively for best friends, but just plain COURTESY. You should try it; it certainly makes life easier (for both the elderly with defrosting goods on their doorstep, and confused preteens).

  38. Gary May 30, 2013 at 9:14 am #

  39. lollipoplover May 30, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Gary, with a one of those trackers on their head, I doubt either of these teenagers could lift a heavy box for an elderly lady. So weak, so weak…

  40. Warren May 30, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    Remind this peson that one day they will be old in need of assistance, and will have noone to blame when no kid or teenager is willing to help.

  41. Gary May 30, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    I bet you if they could sync it up with their iPad, PS4, X-Box they sure as hell would give it their best.

  42. EricS May 30, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    @ Nicola: If your daughter was taught the correct way in dealing with people she didn’t know. That would hardly be an issue. When we were growing up, we had people asking us to help them, or going with them to the store so they can buy us candy. But we knew well enough that if it didn’t feel right, we wouldn’t go off with them. Sure we got tempted, but we never gave in to most. Of course, there were those that we felt were ok, and there was always more than one of us all the time. And in hindsight, I would say 98.9% of the strangers that showed us acts of kindness, or we helped out, were good people. We can’t control what others do, but we certainly can control what we do. Don’t teach your child fear. Teach them how to over come it. Teach them how to protect themselves. Teach them street smarts.

  43. EricS May 30, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    @Alex R. Exactly! Basic common sense. That’s all it takes.

  44. Leonard Ewy May 30, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    If my son at that age had not helped that lady and I found out about it, I would have made him go back and apologize to her.

  45. Randa Johnson May 30, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    I used to work with kids with developmental disabilities and I spent a fair amount of time encouraging parents to stay away from teaching “stranger danger”, and to teach kids instead to be wary of anyone acting strangely, including relatives and friends, and to defend themselves when needed. I remember hearing a heartbreaking story that really illustrated the problem of teaching mindless fear of strangers. A young man with Downs was kidnapped at a mall, and taken out of the mall in front of dozens and possibly hundreds of people who might have helped him if he had asked. He did not ask for help, because everyone in the mall was a stranger, and in his mind equally dangerous as his attacker.

  46. Papilio May 30, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    @Emily: Well she did say she usually agrees with Lenore, so maybe it’s not that simple. Anyway, I started out with a (somewhat serious) question about who should trust the adult and then, for fun, switched on ‘panic mode’ and pulled it all into the ridiculously bizarre where nothing makes sense anymore. It’s just very sad that wasn’t clear to you!

  47. Tom May 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    I was born in 1948, so my childhood was in the 1950s. My parents, of course, told me never to accept a ride with a stranger. Fine. Then one day a man offered me one, and I turned him down.

    Some days later, my mom chewed me out because I didn’t accept the ride. It turned out the man was a neighbor-sort of. He didn’t live next door or across the street, but at the far end of the block. I didn’t recognize him, but my mom said i should have known who he was.

    Some times you just can’t win.

  48. anonymous this time May 30, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Tom, sounds like your mom felt embarrassed, and would have liked to support a sense of friendship with this man who offered you a ride. However, I imagine that on some level, she would have understood that you were following instructions.

    It’s awkward for parents AND kids. Social conditioning can be the downfall of us at times, if we have the rotten luck of running into someone who means us harm, and yet, acting as if everyone means us harm is not really very sociable at all. Such a conundrum! I err on the side of caution when it comes to cars.

  49. Hels May 30, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    OK, your doctor is an adult. Your accountant is an adult. Your pharmacist is an adult. Your lawyer is an adult. All those professions in fact require one to be an adult as part of the licensure. So, none of them are to be trusted? So, when doctor tells you to do something, you deliberately do the exact opposite? Or just don’t visit them? Or freeze in fear and wait for your mother to tell you what to do? But how do you know you can trust your mother? She is an adult too! Presumably.

  50. Warren May 30, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    Was right there with you untll you mentioned lawyers. Who in theiir right mind trusts a lawyer?

  51. Papilio May 30, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    @Hels: even this woman herself is an adult! :O

  52. Kay May 30, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    “Look to the three girls that were taken in Cleveland as proof that you can’t trust adults on anything.”

    This is so bass ackwards, how does she answer about Charles Ramsey? He did the right thing but is he lauded such a hero because NO ONE would have been brave enough to help someone crying for help behind a closed door? He could have walked away and ignored it like every other scared ninny out there and they would have been locked up another 10 years.

    I think anyone who wouldn’t let a middle-schooler help an elderly woman is just plain nuts.

    Why can’t people use their head anymore with a given situation? It’s not just zero tolerance schools, but a zero tolerance society.

  53. Highwayman May 30, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    “Why can’t people use their head anymore with a given situation? It’s not just zero tolerance schools, but a zero tolerance society.”

    What Kay said.

  54. railmeat June 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    My antennae are twitching on this one. The post in question (the ‘I usually agree, but now your dead wrong” comment) feels like a troll. She is *so* over the top in her objection (DEAD WRONG!! – YOU MUST FEAR ALL ADULTS!!) that I find it very difficult to believe that she *ever* has agreed with any of your positions, much less ‘usually agrees’.

    Nope. I vote troll. Let’s all take a step back now.

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  56. Mler June 29, 2013 at 12:43 am #

    Here’s the thing no one mentions: those girls took a ride from a man they didn’t know (or barely knew). Only one of those girls sort of knew the abductor.

    A free range kid, such as myself when I was a child, would have never taken a ride from a strange man. Let alone as a teenager. All 3 girls were abducted on that same street, and I guarantee you, those were NOT the only 3 girls he offered rides for.

    I’m not trying to blame the girls. Rather, to look at it from a free-range perspective: instead of teaching that strangers are bad or all good, lets tea lch our kids not to take rides from people you don’t know. This guy was not using physical force, he was preying on girls naive enough to get into his car. I’d want my daughter to be more street smart than that, and she sure wont get it sitting at home under my watchful eye

    Lets also remember that Jaycee dugard was kidnapped in plain sight of her father and classmates. Smart was abducted in her house. None of these things involved being a kid outside on their own