Hi Folks — Now that the notion, “How could anyone let their kids walk alone outside?” is back in heavy rotation, Â here teshfdzkta
is the blog post of a mom whose 12 year old son was brought home to her by the cops. He wasn’t Â in any trouble. He was simply scooped up because the cops didn’t think a middle schooler should be walking, by daylight, in an urban area. It freaked them out.
I always worry when people in power are scared of non-scary, formerly normal childhood activities.
As this boy was picked up in pretty much the same area that I’ve been staying in while I film my “Free-Range” reality show in Toronto, I can attest that it is not a scary nabe. It is bustling. But even if it weren’t, since when do police pick up boys who are doing just fine, walking home? From the blog post:
“I just wanted to walk homeâ€ he said dejectedly. â€œHeâ€™s not in any kind of troubleâ€ the first officer said cheerfully. But then more sternly added â€œbut he was walking on the downtown streetsâ€. â€œWe live downtownâ€ I said, becoming confused. â€œWhere is his school?â€ asked the second officer. â€œHeâ€™s in a camp this week, at the Jewish Community Centre – itâ€™s at Spadina and Bloorâ€, I said wondering why two policemen would think a kid was in school in the middle of July. â€œWell maâ€™am, we picked him up at Yonge and Adelaideâ€ he says, looking all strong and concerned. â€œYes, I said, he was walking home, is that a problem?â€. â€œHe was walking…. alone…… downtown……….!!!â€ the officer gritted his teeth at my stupidity and spat out. â€œHeâ€™s 12â€, he added as if this would make it all clear. â€œDo you not see the issueâ€ he spurted? â€œSo are you trying to tell me that because my child was getting exercise, being environmental and increasing his geographical skills, rather than sitting in the basement playing a video game, or hanging out in a mall, or sitting in a fast food restaurant filling his gutty wuts with hydrogenated trans sugar chemical slop, you were worried about him? Do you realize that at 12 he is old enough to babysit?â€ I asked.
Her fight is our fight: The fight against irrational fear, and a Worst-First mentality that assumes if a child is outside, he is likely to get in terrible trouble. When, in fact, the opposite is true. A child outside is a great thing for a city, a family, a kid. — Lenore