Readers! This just in from the middle of the country, where delusional do-gooders dwell:
Dear Free-Range Kids: Greetings! I live in Lincoln NE, which is a fairly level headed community for the most part. I was reminded of this yet again recently with an incident involving my wife…
Parking is nuts at our school (a good reason to walk), so one day my wife didn’t get there in time to get a good parking spot. She had to park somewhere else besides “the usual,” which ended up being in a drive up lane right in front of a play ground area. So, when my 2nd grader couldn’t find where she parked, my wife left the younger four in the car to go find her. After all, what could possibly go wrong for our kids, who were buckled in a car parked in front of a school patrolled by dozens of grade school teachers, parents, and other kids — right? Well, something did go wrong.
My wife returns about five minutes later to find three very worried teachers standing in front of our van. They each proceed to lecture my wife on the dangers of leaving children unattended in a car, citing two unknown individuals sitting on a bench at the school playground. They told her they were going to report her.
The next day, the principal of the school calls. This is why I like our level-headed community. He informed my wife that he wasn’t going to do anything about this, and acknowledged that we live in a “very paranoid world,” and that people often “over react” to things like this. Here’s the kicker that I hadn’t really thought of before. He also expressed the concern with leaving kids unattended in a public setting such as that, not because something might happen to the kids, but because the parent might get in trouble.
Hi — Lenore here: Great principal! While I love the idea of an involved community, I wish those teachers stopped to GET REAL! Who wants FOUR kids? What could POSSIBLY happen to them in such a public area? What makes two people sitting outside immediately SUSPICIOUS? And weren’t they — the teachers — actually looking out for the kids, as a nice community does? So why all the haranguing? Sheesh! — L