This post comes to us from the amazingÂ appellate and intellectual property attorney at Andrews Kurth LLP, Matthew ftadkzhbay
Dowd,Â whoÂ took on the Meitiv cases(s), pro bono, and won! Â He says he now gets to sleep in sometimes because his 11-year-old son and 7-old-daughter walk themselves to school.
Building on the Every Student Succeeds Act, by Matthew Dowd
On January 10, 2016, the Every Student Succeeds Act became law of the land.Â Lenore Skenazy [woo hoo!] has rightfully praised the new law as the â€œfirst federal Free-Range Kids legislation.â€Â The Act is an excellent indication that our federal lawmakers recognize the serious problem of local social service agencies and police departments prosecuting parents who allow their children to play outside.
But itâ€™s important to understand what the Act does and does not accomplish. Â On the positive side, it establishes that the U.S. Dept. of Education cannot â€œprohibit a child from traveling to and from school on foot or by car, bus, or bike when the parents of the child have given permission.â€Â Nor can the Department “expose parents to civil or criminal charges for allowing their child to responsibly and safely travel to and from school by a means the parents believe is age appropriate.â€Â The law effectively minimizes the chances that the Department of Education will come after parents who allow their children to enjoy healthy time by themselves.
That, however, was never the real problem. Almost all child neglect issues are controlled by state and local lawsâ€”not federal law.Â And the law will have absolutely no impact on the many horror stories Lenore highlights here.Â It cannot prevent state and local authorities from interfering with and harassing parents who are raising their children in a responsible manner, such as the Meitivs, the Hypes, and Natasha Felix.
The question, then, is what to do next?Â We must continue to educate state and local leaders about the harm caused by misguided child neglect laws and policies.Â We must continue to educate state and local lawmakers, friends, familiesâ€”everyoneâ€”about the substantial physical, psychological, and developmental advantages of â€œFree-Rangeâ€ parenting.Â (See also here, here, here, . . . the list could go on.)Â In many instances, state and local laws and guidelines can be be improved.
Beyond legislative changes, consider simple efforts:
– Ask your local officials, such as your mayor, councilperson, and HOA representative, and your PTA: What is being done to encourage children to play outside and experience age-appropriate independent development?
– Better yet, have your children write to them!
– Invite a speaker on Free-Range parenting to a neighborhood or school event.Â Lenore Skenazy and Danielle Meitiv are both excellent!
– Talk to your friends, and encourage them to let your children play together outside by themselves. Â Start small and then grow.Â Consider the Free Range Kid Project.
The key to effecting real change lies in our neighborhoods.Â The problem of helicopter parenting started locally, and it needs to be solved locally.
Lenore here: When you do any of these things, please tell us how they go! Here’s to movement movement!
Having your kids taken away by the state is a very powerful threat, and an even more powerful motivator. The threat scares the living crap out of parents resulting in a great motive to give in to the state, accept a plea to lesser charges and so on.
Then to justify their actions to the public, the state just says, “We are not interested in punishing parents. We are only interested in the health and welfare of the children.”. And since the public in general is stupid, that excuse by the state makes everything fine.
And yes, I firmly believe that a person can be intelligent, but people are stupid.
When more parents start to stand their ground and actually be willing to fight, things will change. Metivs are a prime example of it.
“But itâ€™s important to understand what the Act does and does not accomplish. On the positive side, it establishes that the U.S. Dept. of Education cannot ‘prohibit a child from traveling to and from school on foot or by car, bus, or bike when the parents of the child have given permission.’â€
It does not establish this. This was the law before the Every Child Succeeds Act, and the ECSA does not prohibit the federal government from doing anything of the sort. It prevents them from using the ECSA to claim the authority to do that. But, if any other law gives them authority, the ECSA does not override that other law.
“Nor can the Department ‘expose parents to civil or criminal charges for allowing their child to responsibly and safely travel to and from school by a means the parents believe is age appropriate.’
Once again, this was the law before the ECSA, it is the law after the ECSA. Nothing has changed.
“The law effectively minimizes the chances that the Department of Education will come after parents who allow their children to enjoy healthy time by themselves.”
The chances were 0 before… how much lower are they now? AFAIK (I didn’t do any research), the U.S. Department of Education has no Constitutional authority to come after parents, period.
My own little push of the silly school rules involves the public transit. My 8th grader gets a public bus pass for the bus for our homeschool partnership school. His brother is 5th grade, and he won’t get the pass until he is 6th grade. When I picked up the one for my older son, I asked about the younger riding the bus(and paying his own way)…I was told “ONLY with his brother.” I went home and looked up the rules for the transit system….age 6. The school wants to DOUBLE the age that a child can ride alone.
My goal is to have my sons together a few times, ride the bus to the library so that I don’t have to worry about if I am a little late at the doctor or dentist or something. (Kids are not allowed to be at the school without parents, though they probably would be fine if I called and said I was late.) After a few times, for the ride that is about 2 miles, and involves no changes….I will have the younger ride alone on a day when he gets done before his brother so that I don’t have to wait around. And after a couple times of just getting on the bus and going, I might just call in and tell them to tell him to get on the bus as I will be delayed.
I’m not familiar with the term “homeschool partnership school”… how does that work?
James, what’s your basis for your claims? the US DoE has a lot of power to issue regulations. It also can tie grant money to complying with certain regulations. Thus, prior to this new law, the Dept of Educ could issue regulations or grant requirements that would require state or local school authorities to limit the ability of children to walk to school. See for example the No Child Left Behind Act
This is as good a place as any to have this discussion. Except for Master Pollock, I welcome anyone’s input.
The conflict I had with my wife was initiated by FR principals, but the nature of it has more to do with logical vs. emotional thinking.
It came to be that last night we left our nearly 10-year old son home alone because of scheduling constraints (we are both comfortable with this). We both had places to be and he was home alone for less than an hour until I could get home to take him to his baseball practice. I was running late with my appointment, my wife was out at her’s. She was unable to contact me because I was busy, so she was concerned that she would have to cancel her plans so she could take him to his practice.
She mentioned the situation to a friend. The friend asked where are son was, apparently wondering if we had left him home alone. My wife lied and said that he was at a friend’s home.
We are in agreement that our son is capable of being home alone for short periods of time but she is reluctant to let anyone know that we would do such a thing, fearing legal consequences of having our son taken away. She says that having our son taken away would be the worst thing that she can imagine, so she is justified in this idea that she should not let anyone know of our ‘dangerous’ standards regarding child supervision.
Despite reading this blog and having very emotion based reactions concerning some of the things I read here, I know that having our 10 year old taken away from us because he is left home alone just is not going to happen. We are white, upper-middle class people living is a very safe and desirable community. I don’t doubt that there might be some pretentious housewife acquaintance that might feel it is her righteous duty to ‘See something, say something,’ but no one of authority is going to look at our children, our home, and talk to people who know us and take our children away.
While I appreciate that Lenore brings attention to these issues, the attention creates a sense that the FRK horror story is a common occurrence, much like the way nationwide reporting on any child predation case does. I also agree with the people on this forum that argue that the articles posted here can be misused to justify helicopter parenting, merely replacing the fear of child predators with the fear of legal repercussions.
Now I don’t care one way or the other if my wife wants to let people know that she has left our son unattended. But I told my wife that when she bases her decision on a fear of having our child taken away, it is the same faulty argument used buy those whose fear of child predation justify their overly cautious standards of child supervision.
She says, in not so many words, that because I use a rational argument to counter her emotional argument, I have basically told her that she is irrational and stupid, ending any further discussion of the topic even though we are in basic agreement in our ideas about the responsibilities we would like to give our children. But because she is concerned that some self-righteous person would cause our child to be taken from us, she fells that she is justified in limiting the actual responsibilities she would give them to those that would not draw the attention of such a person.
Enough about what happened to me this morning, but it has caused me to think about how this conversation relates to how one can promote FRK principals to those who insist that it’s crazy, and I’m feeling a little discouraged. I have been told that you can’t reason a person out of a position that they didn’t reason themselves into. A position arrived at emotionally can only be changed by an emotional appeal. But what possible emotional appeal can be used? We all know the emotional appeal that one’s helicopter parenting is damaging to a child’s development, but how can that argument possibly be used to change someone’s mind about a position they arrived at through a fear of harm coming to their child or the fear that their child would be taken from them?
When my ex threatened to report me to the “authorities” because I was allowing my 7-year-old to walk up the same side of our quiet residential street to go see if a friend could play, or walk the mile to school, or go to the corner store, I caved.
I wasn’t afraid that my son would be “taken from me,” but I was loath to put him in the middle of a horrible scene involving “authorities” and perhaps the courts. (Ex is a lawyer.)
It was a calculated decision. I mourned the loss of my son’s development potential, but by age 9 or so my ex was letting him do these same things and our youngest was allowed by him at a much younger age to do these things, so he “came around,” but not before convincing my son that the whole world was out to do him harm (the boy still, at age 15, weighing 180 lbs, has an irrational fear of being “kidnapped”).
Happily, our son has turned out to be a highly functional young man, and our daughter is, at age 11, mastering the regional transit system, alone.
But I still remember that day my ex threatened to turn me in for allowing our capable son the chance to venture into the neighbourhood on his own. He used fear to force me to shut down our son’s development. It was a terrible loss, but one I decided not to fight at the time.
There are degrees of loss. We all have to choose what works for us in that moment. I always left my kids to wait in the car if they wanted, or were asleep in their car seat. That was above reproach, as far as I was concerned. I did fear busybodies calling me out or calling the cops, but I didn’t let it stop me.
I chose my battles, and the kids turned out fine so far.
I want to arrange for Danielle and Lenore to speak where I live, just so I can hang out with them a little. Terrific women, and so inspiring to me.
How to prevent it?
Stop re-electing life-suppressing leftists/liberals to office who want to control and stomp on every facet of our lives, liberties, and pursuits of happiness.
When that happens (if ever) things will return to the halcyon happy days of the 1950’s.
Believe me – I was there and have watched society’s devolution with dismay.
My parents allowed me to roam Tokyo on my own, at age 9-11. I had an adventure every week. I am so thankful.
“Stop re-electing life-suppressing leftists/liberals to office who want to control and stomp on every facet of our lives, liberties, and pursuits of happiness.”
Stop re-electing life-suppressing right-wing/conservatives to office who want to control and stomp on every facet of our lives, liberties, and pursuits of happiness.
Honestly, this is something that crosses parties. Once you raise the flag of “its for the children” no one is safe, and everyone jumps on the bus.
“whatâ€™s your basis for your claims?”
You’ll have to be more specific.
“the US DoE has a lot of power to issue regulations.”
It sure does.
“It also can tie grant money to complying with certain regulations.”
It sure can.
“Thus, prior to this new law, the Dept of Educ could issue regulations or grant requirements that would require state or local school authorities to limit the ability of children to walk to school.”
Would you mind citing a (specific) example of them doing so? When, where, and what statutory authority?
Note: After the new law, the Department of Education can still do everything it wants to do on that subject, if they can point to valid statutory authority to do so. The amendment referred to doesn’t keep them from doing that… it only keeps them from using statutory authority in the Every Child Succeeds Act, so if they can find authority to keep students from walking to school elsewhere, that statutory authority is still valid.
Examples: Students can’t walk to school along a federal Interstate highway, because non-motorized traffic of any kind is not permitted on federal interstate highways. Students can’t walk to school by shortcutting through a military base without authorization from the base commander, because security. I’ll admit it, I’m having trouble thinking of more reasons why children wouldn’t be allowed to walk because of federal regulation… maybe railroads? They’re federally-regulated.
“‘Stop re-electing life-suppressing leftists/liberals to office who want to control and stomp on every facet of our lives, liberties, and pursuits of happiness.’
Stop re-electing life-suppressing right-wing/conservatives to office who want to control and stomp on every facet of our lives, liberties, and pursuits of happiness.”
Unless, of course, you are OK with life-suppressing right-wing/ conservatives controlling and stomping on every facet of our lives liberties, and pursuits of happiness, in which case, carry on.
There’s a bunch out in Eastern Oregon, right now, offering free land to all who want it… although technically it isn’t their land to give away, and there’s a SMALL chance the feds will eventually show up and fling all of the Bundinistas into federal prisons.
“Better yet, have your children write to them!”
Getting children involved in this process is one of the best ways to teach them basic civics and about their own rights as members of the community. Educate them on their rights as citizens in regard to law enforcement. Childhood play is a basic human right of all children. Period.
The best way to fight the laws and culture is to be proactive within your own community. Get to know your neighbors and neighborhood. Respect the laws of your community but also self-enforce each other so police don’t need to get involved in neighborly squabbles. Be kind to your neighbors and teach your children to do the same. You don’t have to agree on everything, but find a common ground so you don’t need to waste valuable police time on non-criminal activities, like children playing.
There are many great places to raise kids in the United States where neighbors DON’T call the police on young kids playing outside happily. It’s a sign of a GOOD neighborhood when kids can ride bikes and run around.
The kids in our neighborhood got together prior to the start of the school year 3 years ago to write up a request for crosswalks in our neighborhood as they planned on biking to school. Together they submitted a written request, including diagrams of roads and where they wanted the crosswalks (drawn in marker)to be painted and biked this request over to our township building. The went through the process with a very kind older gentleman who told my son that he would process the request and call him in a few days. He called him the next day and said it was approved. The township painted several lovely crosswalks, which these kids refer to as “their” crosswalks, and they get much use in our neighborhood.
They also learned that their voice matters and is valued and they can and do make changes, even small ones, that benefit their community. Empowering our kids to speak up and re-normalizing basic childhood play so that kids playing outside and squeals of laughter make our neighbors smile again instead of experience anxiety and dial 911.
The parents in my neighborhood were very mad when I started to let my 3rd grader walk to school by himself. We lived 3 blocks away from the school and we have been active in the community for many years. My 9 year old knew more adults than most adults. After realizing that I would not back down I noticed a trend. The helicopter parents would walk their children to my corner. When they would see my son leave the house they would then walk back home. As long a my son walked to school the other children were allowed to walk with him.
At first I was mad but I did not say anything because I noticed a good change in my son. He loved walking with the group and he loved being a “leader”, Walking with the other kids to school gave him confidence that I could never have given him. He had to learn for himself.
As always, I enjoy and benefit from reading comments. Could this website be modified a bit, or a new one created, so there are categories of posts. E.g.:
Was this parenting decision okay (get feedback)
Here’s what I got todo in my youth
maybe categories broken down, like, biking to school, etc.
Responding now to:
My parents allowed me to roam Tokyo on my own, at age 9-11. I had an adventure every week. I am so thankful.
Thanks for sharing that. Give more details when you get a chance.
My parents let me roam alone, on my bike or on foot, Maadi, the suburb of Cairo, Egypt, at age 11-12. It was 1973-1975. I just had to be back by dinner. There were dangers. Once a soldier chased me but the guard at an embassy intervened. Once an Egyptian teenage boy rode his bike up to mine and brushed his hand on my thigh and then rode off. In two years that was the only harassment. My friends and I explored a long abandoned house on the outskirts of the suburb (just desert beyond). The experience of that freedom was so formative for me that I insist that my children will have something at least faintly like it. Maybe not Cairo, Egypt, but at least they should be able to roam the manicured suburb of Boston, Newton.
James Pollock, not my particular school, but a good overview of homeschooling – public school partnership.
I feel like James Pollock and I are reading a completely different wording in this legislation than everyone else.
Everyone else sees the part that says “Nothing in this act”, right?
Wow you’re right. I now see your point. Every Student Succeeds Act is completely useless! Perhaps we can set Matthew Dowd straight!
@Colleen O’Connor- Thanks so much for sharing your story.
These little leaders we raise can act as good role models for their peers and normalize the sight of kids walking and biking to school as a choice for other families along the route. I do believe it’s contagious, seeing other kids walk alone and having your kid ask if he can do it too. The beginning of this school year, I noticed a boy who is 9 and was walked to school each day by his father. I’ve seen him a few times mid-year, and he now walks *alone* with 2 other boys his own age with a big smile on his face. I think they are now his best buddies and obviously live along his route.
“Stop re-electing life-suppressing leftists/liberals to office who want to control and stomp on every facet of our lives, liberties, and pursuits of happiness”
Actually Jack, as a fellow conservative myself, I hate to admit the fact that conservatives can be just as loony as liberals are when it comes to helicoptering kids. Perhaps in different ways. For example, liberals of the far left variety might want to ban youth football and wrestling citing that in THEIR observation these activities “encourage bullying” and are too rough and dangerous for our precious little children. Conservatives of the far right variety might want to restrict children from going out after a certain hour because there are so many pedophiles out there today who worship Satan, including the police chief, the fire chief, the principal of the school, etc., etc. who might want to involve your children in a big Satan worshipping sex orgy with a huge pentagram in the middle.
Of course I’m using extreme hypothetical examples here as MOST liberals and conservatives do not subscribe to this extreme form of nonsense but this generally is the thought process and outlook of people on each end of the political spectrum concerning kids, only in more mild ways than my examples cited above.
Helicopter liberals generally believe that children are more FRAGILE than they really are whereas helicopter conservatives believe that children are more VULNERABLE than they really are.
“Wow youâ€™re right. I now see your point.”
Somehow, I doubt that VERY much.
“Every Student Succeeds Act is completely useless!”
That wasn’t it.
Do you need it with a simplified vocabulary?
Senator Lee’s amendment to the Every Student Succeeds Act is completely useless.
See how these are different things?
“Perhaps we can set Matthew Dowd straight!”
It would be nice, although he should know better already.
“For example, liberals of the far left variety might want to ban youth football and wrestling citing that in THEIR observation these activities â€œencourage bullyingâ€ and are too rough and dangerous for our precious little children.”
Concussions have lasting impact. (No, I’m not anti-football, but I am “Say, coach, are you teaching them how to tackle in such a way that avoids head trauma?”)
” the police chief, the fire chief, the principal of the school, etc., etc. might want to involve your children in a big Satan worshipping sex orgy with a huge pentagram in the middle.”
Ah, the memories of my youth …
“Helicopter liberals generally believe that children are more FRAGILE than they really are whereas helicopter conservatives believe that children are more VULNERABLE than they really are.”
That’s a really good way of putting it. I just get so tired of people treating it like a conservative vs. liberal issue.
Sorry I misspoke. Every Student Succeeds Act probably does something. Congress managed to pass it. In this day and age, that in itself is miraculous! However this act has nothing to do with Free Range. It’s not even a symbolic victory. This helps Free Range no more than the laws of Farady.
“……although he should know better already.”
Matthew Dowd is only an attorney for intellectual property. He helps people to build a better mousetrap.
“I just get so tired of people treating it like a conservative vs. liberal issue.”
For people who are prone to partisan-type thinking, EVERYTHING is a partisan issue. WE of course are on the side of good and right and everyone our side is honest and true and noble, while THEY are evil and worthless and can do nothing right. Step out of line just once and you go from WE to THEY, no matter how many things you agree on.
Point out that Rush Limbaugh was a doctor-seeking, drug-seeking addict. A true fact, but a quarter of the room now hates you. Point out that Bill Clinton was a sleazy womanizer who cheated on his wife right in their own home, now another quarter hates you.
The trick is to completely ignore both factions on any subject more important than “say, what’s the weather like outside?”.
I agree with James on this one. I’m really against black and white thinking where there is only two sides. There is the ‘Us’ and the ‘Them’ side.
Cute children are on the ‘Us’ side and should be protected. However if that cute child takes a nude selfie and sends it to his girlfriend, he’s a child pornographer. He’s now a ‘Them’. Therefore it’s ok to punish him (and his family) for life. This is what happens when we ignore shades of grey or flock to any headline because it’s an attention grabber.
When it comes to law making, headlines rule the roost. Propaganda is a huge player. Whenever we try to change the law, the opposition will drag up an extreme example (that makes headlines) to shoot down the proposal.
For example if Joe Blow makes a bill that takes minors off the sex offender list then the headline will say JOE BLOW IS TRYING TO ALLOW CHILD RAPISTS TO GO FREE! (I’m exaggerating but not by much)
This sells papers and increases ratings. Perhaps you buy the paper but see through the story. You still bought the paper. Furthermore you’ll still purchase another the next day. I’m not saying that you personally will do this, I’m saying that the media has done the math and knows that they will make more sales then lose sales from the people that are fed up with this trick. They will continue to do this while it’s profitable. My question is why do we help them to make it profitable?
Here is another example of black and white thinking.
A child car seat should be put in the backseat. That’s because in the event of an accident, they are safer in that position. However, ‘IN THE EVENT OF AN ACCIDENT’ isn’t the only thing that can go wrong. Children sometimes die because they are forgotten and left in a parked car for hours. Being placed in the back seat gives them a higher chance of being forgotten.
Here is another example of black and white thinking. Children die in parked cars. Therefore any parent that leaves them in a car for even 5 minutes should be fined, jailed, or named and shamed.
Federal policy often influences state and local policies, and in the event of a parents being prosecuted locally, they can cite the federal policy as support to normalize free-range parenting and reform fanatical CPS behavior.
I teach at a high school that–like all schools I know of–has absolutely absurd rules. A student might stop at Starbuck’s on the way to school, but once he sets foot on school grounds–say, an hour before first period–then he is a prisoner, and dare not head to Starbuck’s under threat of suspension. Why? Lawsuits, of course. Once he sets foot on school grounds, the school is liable. If there’s going to be real progress, some sort of change to those kinds of laws is going to have to be at the heart of it.
“Federal policy often influences state and local policies, and in the event of a parents being prosecuted locally, they can cite the federal policy”
All of this is true. But… Senator Lee’s amendment to the Every Child Succeeds Act is not federal policy. (And if Senator Lee wanted to set federal policy, he and his staff know how to do so.)
Here is some guidance (a lot a material is here.)
“I teach at a high school thatâ€“like all schools I know ofâ€“has absolutely absurd rules. A student might stop at Starbuckâ€™s on the way to school, but once he sets foot on school groundsâ€“say, an hour before first periodâ€“then he is a prisoner, and dare not head to Starbuckâ€™s under threat of suspension.”
This is crazy. In Canada, where I went to high school, students just had to be in class. Where we went during lunch or spare periods was our own business. We would have resented having it any other way.
In fact, I wonder if this level of excessive control of adolescents might be a major reason why it’s become the norm that teenagers are simply expected to be surly and resentful all the time. I suspect if we gave them more age-appropriate freedoms and responsibilities, we’d find them a lot more cheerful and friendly with adults.
@ Roger the Shrubber
I have to say I think your wife was correct. Low-probability events do, in fact, happen, and as parents we should try to avoid them as long as we are not damaging our child’s development in doing so. That being said, it might be worthwhile to feel out your friends and see how they feel about free-range issues – it would be wonderful to have allies!
I think Mr. Kurth’s ideas are excellent, but I have a couple questions. First, who exactly is the opposition in our efforts and how do we neutralize them? We see a lot of pro-helicopter ideas being bandied around, but where do they originate? Are there parenting organizations we should be infiltrating/opposing? Which ones are the worst? Are there parenting magazines which are heavily pro-helicopter? Etc.
Also, do we need a pro-free-range organization, or a legal defense fund? Just a couple thoughts while finishing my coffee.
“who exactly is the opposition in our efforts and how do we neutralize them?”
They are squeaky wheels in our communities and schools. The ones who call the school or the police when they see something that alarms them, like children walking *alone*. Because they would NEVER let their child do that and therefore no one else should either.
We can call them busybodies, but too often they are given an audience because their motives are “for the safety of the children”. Everyone wants to save the babies and children. What kind of monster doesn’t want kids safe? Many of them would be called *great* parents because they’re so involved in their children’s lives. But don’t be fooled by their far-reaching efforts to be the best parent. Their presence alone does not guarantee a good outcome. I’ve seen too many children raised by these types of parents, kids never allowed to walk to school or have a sleepover or play outside without a parent. The outcome is sad- many have anxiety disorders and often too scared to ever be left alone. The constant supervision requirement backfires on parents when they want to finally leave them alone as they are now at the *right* age, but these teens struggle mentally and physically and need the adult to keep them safe.
How do you neutralize them? Show them by raising your own kids as capable, independent and resilient kids, the kind that parents complement for having their act together and who offer to help with dinner dishes without being asked. Playing outside with friends or going on a quick bike ride around the block is much cheaper than therapy for anxiety. Having healthy kids- both mentally and physically- should a goal of ALL parents no matter how you choose to raise them.
How did we get in such a mess?
No one is in charge. It’s as though we are on a large freighter and no one is at the helm. Instead, everybody is trying to protect themselves from bullies.
1. School administrators are bullied by insurance companies, and judges
2. Insurance companies are bullied by judges, and lawyers
3. Hospitals are bullied by judges, lawyers, and the press
4. Insurance companies are bullied by hospitals, judges, and lawyers.
5. Judges, police, politicians, the DA, and CPS are bullied by the press. That’s because WE give them that power. We are quick to condemn. We ostracize at the drop of a hat. We are gullible to any headline.
6. The Press are bullied by the general public. We are attracted to drama/outrage like moths to a flame. Websites die unless they resort to clickbait.
7. The general public is bullied by insurance, hospitals, police, school administrators, judges, the DA, CPS, the press, and James
This is a game of ‘seven square’ (like the one Izzy invented) The majority believe that the ball is in someone else’s court. That’s not the case at all. Everybody needs to back away. This is easier said than done because it’s the chicken and the egg scenario. (I won’t back off until you do first)
We condemn the press for many problems but WE ARE THE REASON THEY ARE SO POWERFUL!
Politicians are bullied by the press. Ok, 8 square
oops. I thought I was wrong but I was mistaken. I said it twice that politicians are bullied by the press. Oh well. It’s such a big factor that it needed repeating anyway.
Another thing that needs repeating is that the only reason why the press is so powerful is because we love it so much. If something tragic happens like a school shooting, we watch the same story hundreds of times. Therefore they adjust, manipulate and outright make up numbers to satisfy our hunger for drama.
Here is one of my cartoons about politicians hiding in a trench (like ww1) and the enemy is the press (that fabricate drama because we are so hungry for it)
Not surprisingly, James provides bad legal information. Mr. Down appears to practice in other areas besides IP, so I wouldn’t discount his assessment. It doesn’t appear that James has read any of the statute or understands how the government works. Why do you think this law only limits the Dept. of Ed within this statute? You do realize that this statute just reauthorizes and amends an educational statute from the 1960s?
It certainly isn’t foolproof, but it limits this department from pursuing certain policy and there are other provisions that limit spending to do these kinds of things. Regardless, I agree with Mr. Dowd that local,authorities are likely to be the problem, but we have also seen how federal law and policy can influence things that are commonly under local and state control.
“It doesnâ€™t appear that James has read any of the statute or understands how the government works.”
So, your assessment of these things is deeply flawed.
“Why do you think this law only limits the Dept. of Ed within this statute?”
A) Because I can read
B) Because I understand how the government works, and
C) The Lee Amendment is very specific about what it does.
“It certainly isnâ€™t foolproof, but it limits this department from pursuing certain policy”
Sorry to have to keep telling you this, but it does not do this.
(Besides the fact that the federal government has never pursued such a policy, isn’t likely to pursue such a policy, has no reason to pursue such a policy, and, here’s the fun part, probably doesn’t have Constitutional authority to require such a policy in the first place.
Other than that, loved your comment.
I find the high school examples interesting. At our local high school, and at the girls’ school, only the upper years are technically allowed out of grounds during school times. To my knowledge this has little to do with student safety (at least in a physical sense) – it has more to do with petty crime prevention and anti-truancy measures. It’s still irritating for the ‘kids’ concerned…..
It’s really as simple as reflecting back on your own childhood, and your parents, and your grandparents, and so on. What was good for generations past, is also good for this generation and future generations. It worked then, it will continue to work now and the future. So long as parents are smarter, not just “safer”.
If we remove our own fears towards our children, we will be able to start seeing what our children are really capable of. So one may be so paranoid that “age appropriate” is 17 or 18. While others who know and trust themselves, and their parenting capabilities, as well as their own children, see “age appropriate” at a much earlier age. Like 7-8 years old. And they wouldn’t be wrong.
Just as much as heli-parents have the right to hold back their children, FR parents should also have the right to let their children “fly”, as they see fit.
Unfortunately, when it comes to politics and the control they so much enjoy, it’s easy for state and local authorities to push their agenda. And harder for parents to be parents as we were meant to be. Again, this issue is not so much about the children, but rather what benefits the adults.
Colleen O’Connor – I am going to assume the parents were mad because their kids saw your son and may have asked, “Why can’t I go alone?” I am glad they finally relented, but it really baffles me how many people are afraid to let their kids walk down the friggin’ street.
I wish we lived in a place where our son could walk to school, but our township is so huge his school is pretty much on the border of another county. He can take the school bus by himself at 5 though and he has been looking forward to that.
And as for liberals vs conservative, both sides have issues when it comes to legislation regarding kids. Neither seems to trust parents and think they know best. And as someone who would most likely be called a liberal, I am tired of the labels being tossed around as if it describes everything. There is no way I am fully liberal on every issue and I can’t imagine everyone else is either whatever their political leanings.If we are all on this site, clearly we have some common ground.
This article gave me goosebumps. I’m so excited that there’s a prospect of freedom for the children of today. Like so many of my predecessors, my freedom to parent and my children’s freedom to roam has been taken hostage by local law enforcement and CT DCF;however, because of Lenore and this blog, I refuse to lay down and accept the label of neglect or some offer from the prosecutor to placate their distorted views and beliefs of parenting. I will fight along side the families facing similar scenarios and spread the message of hope and the clear understanding that there is strength in numbers.
We can do this! Stories like this reaffirm my faith in this process. Slow and steady wins the race.
I have court on Feb 6th, to fight this system and with all of you in my corner I have the strength and courage to stand and face my accusers with righteousness.
Thank you all.