More Outrage! 5th Graders Can No Longer Play Outside “Alone”

Hi adadfhkyfe
Readers! The other day my brother-in-law asked me if I ever got really “down” about our culture. I told him that usually I don’t — I get so mad about ridiculous rules and outlandish fears that I just blog in a blind fury and feel better.

But this story, sent by the folks at Kaboom, actually feels like lead in my soul. It’s about how yet another long-standing, joyous tradition — 100 unsupervised fifth graders frolicking outside on Friday afternoons — has suddenly been axed. Why? Oh, the usual, spanking new “safety” concerns. Sort of like the coffee ban discussed in the post below this one. Sort of like when Amtrak suddenly upped the age kids can travel solo from 8 to 13, not because of any incidents, but out of an “abudance of concern.”

If this is concern, I’ll take neglect. – L.

Once upon a time, an elementary school in Davidson, N.C. had a lovely tradition. On Friday afternoons, fifth graders with parental permission left the confines of their classroom to play on the Village Green. And the best part? They did it all by themselves!

But the school has decided to ban on the longtime tradition—even with an OK from mom and dad, students can no longer walk to the Green from school. Instead, they must ride home on the school bus or get picked up by their parents.

Read the rest of it here. And weep wherever you’d like. And then sign this petition. — L.

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65 Responses to More Outrage! 5th Graders Can No Longer Play Outside “Alone”

  1. Jessica Dalrymple March 7, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    I signed the petition at My fifth grader would need to be on medication if he couldn’t run around with his friends after school and had to sit inside with me all afternoon.

  2. Cynthia March 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    Signed the petition. I hope it makes a difference.

  3. TaraK March 7, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    I’m sure they’d be thrilled to know I sent my (barely) 5 year old 2 blocks down the street to the park with her 8 year old brother yesterday.

  4. Bob March 7, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

    Sometimes I think the whole world has gone stark raving mad.

  5. Andy March 7, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    Petition signed. Head shaking sadly.

  6. justanotherjen March 7, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    And of course the first two comments on the article were in agreement with the principal because the world just isn’t safe like it was when we were kids. *facepalm*

    As I was reading the article my 11yo (6th grader) came up and basically demanded I get her a poster board for her project due on Monday. I was like, “good luck with that.” Then I told her she was old enough to walk herself to the store (about a mile away) and buy it herself. In which she freaked out and said she was too little to go by herself. *big eyeroll*

    But in her defense she suffers from some pretty serious anxiety that we’re getting her therapy for. I’ll probably send her with her brother (10) and sister (9) with $10 so they can get the stuff she needs and some snacks. It’ll be their first solo trip although the oldest has walked to a closer store with friends a few times. It’s pretty common to see that around here.

    I was walking to the store one day with one of the kids and we ran into some kids from school who were biking to the same store–a 5th grader and 2nd grader…all on their own going to get milk so their mother could make dinner. No one batted an eye.

  7. cheryl beuning March 7, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

    My kids have the run of the “community” approx 6 square miles, which includes a major river on one side. If they are leaving the hood, they are to check out.
    Then they asked if they could go to town? Sure. Will you give us a ride? No, you can walk, 3 miles. OK!! They took off. I didn’t expct them to do it, but they did and have a dozen times since. Enjoy an Ice Cream, visit the museum, park, and library then head home (uphill).
    There have been a couple times they left heading home a little late and it got dark that I picked them up at the 1/2 way point.

  8. pentamom March 7, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    I rarely sign Internet petitions but I did this one. These people (meaning all the people in society with this mentality and enough power to impose stupidity on us) must be stopped.

  9. Sean March 7, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

    A ten year old on a green is just asking to be abducted. Are you in favor of abductions and child molesters L? [chuckle]

  10. cherokee49 March 8, 2012 at 12:07 am #

    @Sean, puhleeeze, we are talking about a large group of kids. Do you even have children? If child molestations and abductions by strangers weren’t fairly rare they wouldn’t be big news when they do happen. It is a fact that a child is more likely to be struck by lightening than either of the above scenarios.

  11. Suzanne March 8, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    I liked that the article said there was a group of 4 girls that were dropped off at the green by their parents. More of the parents from that school should do that.

    Actually, I don’t really understand how the school can demand that all children ride the bus or get picked up by their parents. I’m sure it’s because everywhere I have lived children have been premitted to walk to and from school (as long as the school has been informed that’s your plan of course.)

  12. Heather G March 8, 2012 at 12:18 am #

    I keep getting stuck on schools that don’t allow kids to walk to or from school. I can’t even form a coherent sentence about my thoughts on that. It’s one of the absurdities that serve as a red flag for other issues.

  13. Beth March 8, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    I want to know, as I always do when I read this kind of story, just where schools think they get the authority to tell kids where they can and can’t walk (or bike, or roller-skate) outside of school hours, off school property. If I were one of these parents, I’d pick my kid up, drop them off again two feet from the school property line, and drive away.

  14. cherokee49 March 8, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    LOL! Beth, maybe if more parents did just that, in protest of the situation, it MIGHT give the school a clue!

  15. cherokee49 March 8, 2012 at 12:48 am #

    Many cities nationwide have an annual event called “Take back the Streets”, where everyone meets at a designated area where there is food, fun and socializing in an effort to show support for getting and keeping crime off their streets and out of their neighborhoods, towns and cities.

    I truly believe we need to do something similar for our kids. Lenore has done a great deal to build a good solid base to “Take back our Kids”. We as parents need to back her up and spread the word. We have given birth to our children and as parents it is our responsibility and RIGHT to raise our children in a manner that they can learn to be independent, responsible, intelligent adults. Our kids deserve a happy, challenging and educational childhood and to use those tools to become productive, confident adults.

  16. LauraL March 8, 2012 at 12:52 am #

    Cherokee, Sean was *joking*, didn’t you see the [chuckle]?

    This is ridiculous. I agree, the parents SHOULD band together, pick up the kids and drop ’em right off! The kids will stick together and take care of each other.

  17. Harry Reeves (@ContraryOlSaint) March 8, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    More big gubmint neoconprogressive crap. This is just one more brick in the wall that has been built to make sure that the next generation won’t dare think for themselves.

  18. Heather G March 8, 2012 at 1:04 am #

    Beth, cherokee49, etc- I’d do it. If I end up sending my kids to the private school their father attended that is exactly what I WILL do.

  19. Sally March 8, 2012 at 1:06 am #

    I grew up in Davidson, taking advantage of the safety of the town to explore the green after school most Fridays. Davidson has always been the kind of town where everyone looks out for each other and almost no one locks their doors. If kids can’t even play outside there anymore, the future for my children is looking pretty hopeless.

  20. Donna March 8, 2012 at 1:25 am #

    Why exactly have we given schools the authority to control how kids get to and fro school and what kids do afterschool and off school property? Schools have no legal right to control these activities, so it is an authority that parents have given schools by following the demands. Why? Are we so meek today that we just don’t want to fight authority? Are we afraid of CPS? Are we afraid of making school difficult for our children?

    It is clear from this situation alone that pre-ban the parents of 100 children did not think there was anything wrong with allowing their children to go to the village green. The school said “stop” and they all simply stopped rather than protesting the usurpation of their authority. There is no mention of any battle over the ban or protest or even argument. The parents stopped and someone set up a petition and that is it – although a school has no true authority to enforce the rule at all. Parents are acting like sheep and are as much to blane for the situation at schools as the schools.

  21. Damon March 8, 2012 at 1:58 am #

    Of course I have positive memories of time with my parents from my childhood, but I feel like the defining times were the times I spent away from them. I recall feeling like our childhood imaginations had the most room to grow when there were no adults around, and even no one else period. I’m a karate teacher. I like structure, and think it has its place, but freedom is so invaluable! Being parented is work for a child. Imagine if we told adults they had to work every second except those when they were asleep.

  22. Andrew D. March 8, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    Signed the petition with the following comment:

    I wholeheartedly agree with this petition that the this new school policy is ridiculously unnecessary. I would also like to add, however, that it is presumptuous and intrusive as well. Since when do schools believe it is their responsibility to get children to their doors? Excuse me, but once they leave campus, it’s frankly NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS! If I give my child permission to leave school at the end of the day on their own, and inform you of this, that is the end of the story.

  23. SKL March 8, 2012 at 2:19 am #

    My kids are in KG at a daycare center, so hopefully this is not a trend for grade school (but would it surprise?). They changed the security system for signing your kids in / out. Before, there was a keypad and each family had a number code. My kids were punching themselves in as soon as they could reach the keypad. Now, a machine scans the parent’s fingerprint. So the kids can’t check themselves in, no matter what.

    I am planning on sending my kids to a parochial school in a residential area, where, to give them some semblance of “walking to school,” I thought I might drop them off at the other end of the street, gradually working up to a greater distance. Of course if they have a security system that requires the parent to be present, that will not be possible.

  24. EricS March 8, 2012 at 3:04 am #

    Again, it’s ALL ABOUT the adults and their feelings, and they use kids as their excuse. Ridiculous and pathetic. They are no more immature than the kids they pretend to be concerned about. If fact, I know many 8-10 year olds who have more common sense and compassion than a lot of adults. Probably because they haven’t learned to be ignorant, selfish, deceitful, and vindictive. Yet the adults who have these traits are the ones showing the kids this behavior.

  25. EricS March 8, 2012 at 3:07 am #

    @ Beth, I agree. But I’m sure your kid’s school will probably have something to say about that. Make up some new policy or something stupid along that line, to prevent you dropping your kid outside of school property. Like some schools who don’t allow the kids to walk to and home from school on their own. They HAVE to be picked up at designated pickup spot within the school. “Adults”. lol When will they grow up.

  26. pentamom March 8, 2012 at 3:40 am #

    Eric, they’ll probably try, but I’m having a hard time figuring out how they could enforce that one — you ARE picking your kid up on school property, and then you’re dropping them off….somewhere else. They might give you grief but I don’t see what they could do about it. I know they manage to get away with all kinds of crazy stuff, but this one might actually be bulletproof.

  27. Stephanie March 8, 2012 at 4:10 am #

    Seems as though a better solution would have been for the school to let the parents know to talk to their kids about behavior issues on the Village Green. Wouldn’t stop all the kids from misbehaving, but I think it would have been a much better way to deal with the problem.

  28. Lollipoplover March 8, 2012 at 4:11 am #

    Thanks, Lenore for sharing this steaming mound of dung that has been handed to these kids for no good reason. It is ALL about the adults and their fears. They are attempting to hijack the freedom of a great tradition. Petition signed.

    These kids are 10, 11, and 12 years old. They can’t be trusted to play nice for an afternoon? Does this Green have glass shards and hypodermic needles? Is there a steady stream of white vans with men holding lost puppy signs circling it?

    What will happen is this- in 4 years these kids will get their freedom in the form of a Drivers License. They will go batshit crazy with their new found freedom, drive beserk and crash their SUV, text and drive, and then you will say “This isn’t safe!” and restrict their driving until they are older. Oh, but then this is already happening…

  29. Sally March 8, 2012 at 4:21 am #

    @ Lollipoplover, The Green in question contains nothing but grass, trees, and benches. On one side there is a public library, on another there is a college, a third contains a church building, and the fourth side is main street. The speed limits of the surrounding streets are between 20 and 30 mph. Couldn’t be safer.

  30. Buffy March 8, 2012 at 5:03 am #

    @SKL, as befuddled as I am, like others, with schools telling us how our kids can and cannot get to/from school, having to scan a fingerprint to get your kids into school sent me almost right over the edge.

    What if….you’re part of a car pool? … have to get to work early and a friend or neighbor drops the kids off? I mean, it’s not like a kidnapper would grab them in the morning, and then still bring them to school.

  31. Lollipoplover March 8, 2012 at 5:49 am #

    @Sally- Thanks for the description. I had a feeling it was a great place to play, hence many years of kids played there. Had it been called the Badlands and was truly a scary place, maybe there could be a discussion about actual safety.

    I think the good citizens of Davidson, NC should be outraged, whether they have children or not. Saying it’s not safe for older kids to play in the center of your town= saying your town is not a safe place. This drives real estate prices down, especially among families. Not smart any way you look at it, especially in a recession.

  32. Ann In L.A. March 8, 2012 at 6:34 am #

    If a school is determining, against a parent’s wishes, where a child should be after the bell has rung, couldn’t the parent sue on the basis that the school is illegally detaining their child?

  33. Lynn Gilmore March 8, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    Get this, Lenore! Last night Paula Stitz, manager of the sex offender registry in Arkansas, put on a presentation about sex offenders and stated that even though in 2008, only 1% of the population had been convicted of a sex crime, she can’t go into Wal-mart without thinking there is a sex offender around every corner and watches her 13 year old grandson like a hawk and said she waits right outside the bathroom for him whenever he goes in. Don’t you think Ms. Stitz needs some educating?

  34. Susan March 8, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    Well from the article it sounds like it wasn’t just concerns about child safety.
    Some kids were shop lifting, wrestling and not behaving so well. Probably just a small minority of kids but it ticked off a small minority of business owners enough to complain .

  35. Donna March 8, 2012 at 8:15 am #

    I’m amazed at the level of control schools exhibit over their students off school hours. Waaaay back when I was in school, how you got to and from school was your parent’s business, not the school’s. If you were in a bus zone, you were assigned a bus but that was the extent of the school’s involvement. You were expected to be in school when the first bell rang and to get out when the last bell rang. Nobody at the school cared how you accomplished this.

    For 5th and 6th grade, I was a walker/bus rider/car rider, just depending on my mood for the day. I lived just inside the bus zone, but still a very walkable distance from school. If I felt like riding the bus, I rode the bus. If I felt like walking, I would walk, usually with a friend who lived in the walk zone. Sometimes my friend would be running behind and I’d ride in the car with her and her family. Same for afternoons. Sometimes I would bus one way and walk the other. Not once was I, or my parents, ever questioned about my mode of transportation to and from school. There were no forms for my mother to sign to allow me to walk. I didn’t need her approval to walk instead of riding the bus any particular day.

    A bell rang, everyone went out of the school and somehow we all made it home safely every single day without the school needing to approve the mode of transportation, see that we got on the correct bus or make sure someone was there to pick us up.

  36. Donna March 8, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    “Some kids were shop lifting, wrestling and not behaving so well. Probably just a small minority of kids but it ticked off a small minority of business owners enough to complain”

    Fine. Contact the parents and complain. Call the police if you must. The SCHOOL doesn’t have the authority to control how kids get to and from school or what they do in their off-school hours. The only thing allowing the school to force kids to take the bus or a car or go any particular place is the parents acceptance of the rule.

    Nor do I think there is any legitimate way to enforce this rule. The school has no ability to hold kids hostage. What if all the parents decided to not pick up the kids? I’m sure CPS would be called but what are they going to do with 100 kids? Could parents have the administrators arrested for false imprisonment if they refused to release the children from school?

  37. CS March 8, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    What, exactly, are the punitive measures that a school can take? Once the bell rings, all bets are off and the kids can do as they please the second they step off the property. If a parent or 5 would counter demand that the school prove ‘en loco parentis’ outside of 1530 hours, the schools would be faced to show how asinine they are on public record.

  38. Heather G March 8, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Wrestling isn’t a crime. Shop lifting is. However adults shop lift too, so should they be banned from the Village Green or would that be ridiculous? Deal with the children causing the problem, not have the school institute rules it has no right to enforce.

  39. CrazyCatLady March 8, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    So, parents with large vans and time should be signed up to (with parent permission of course) to pick up as many kids as will fit in the van, then drop them two feet over the boundary, holding up traffic if needed, to let all the kids out. Vehicle after vehicle doing this would be great.

    If the businesses don’t like the kids there, then ban them. If the kids don’t like being banned, they need to exert pressure on the “bad” kids to get them to behave. Yup, shopping is a privileged, as is the library.

  40. Jennifer J March 8, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    More craziness. I signed the petition.

  41. Librarymomma March 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    I signed the petition and asked some of my friends on Facebook to do so, too. These kids are almost teenagers, and allowing them to spend unsupervised time in a safe place is great training for when, in a few short years, they will be driving or going to college. If the authorities allow them to drive or go to college.

    I live in L.A., and every time I go to my local Whole Foods Market in the afternoon, I see crowds of kids (perhaps junior high age) shopping the the store, buying food and eating at the tables. And let me tell you, they might even have to cross a busy street to get there, and some of them are a bit noisy, but they are members of the community and have a right to be there just as much as I do. Allowing children to participate in daily activities and be around people of all ages is the true meaning of socialization, not sitting around a class room with 30 other people who are the same age as you are.

    I hope this ban is reversed soon. Children are a part of society, too.

  42. themommypsychologist March 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    Sign petition. Check.

  43. Sharon March 8, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    When my fourth grade daughter gets to play especially outdoors she is happy. Otherwise she is more snappy and harder to get along with. At her schoolon one of the last days of fifth grade the kids are dropped off (by bus) at a local pool and most walk back to school (about a mile) when it is over. I hope they let them do it otherwise I have to take a day off for her to go swimming.

  44. gap.runner March 8, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    My son, who just turned 13, often reads this blog. His reaction to this story: “I’m glad I don’t live in the States. Are they really that crazy there?” Germany, where my son has spent his whole life, is still very free-range. I hope it stays that way.

    I hope that the people in Davidson come to their senses and reverse the ban.

  45. Susan March 8, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    On the Amtrak thing – I bought Amtrak tickets online a couple of weeks ago, including adult and child tickets. Several times a message came up that children under 16 couldn’t travel without an adult. I thought this was odd since I had never received this message before, and I buy kids Amtrak tickets (with adult) a couple of times a year. Also, our neighbors send their boys, ages 10 & 12, alone on the Amtrak to visit relatives. (Maybe they caused trouble, and that was the reason for the rule change?)

    So has Amtrak upped their age of riding alone yet again, or is this only for trains going into NY-Penn, which, admittedly, is a big and chaotic station? I didn’t find anything in an obvious location on the Amtrak web site.

  46. Deb March 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    I cannot understand why the school thinks it has the power to behave like this and place restrictions on children who aren’t in their care during the hours in question. It’s not a boarding school, is it? That’s the only way I can consider the situation making sense to me!

    Unfortunately, the idea that parks are horrible places instead of the beacons of childhood they’re supposed to be is becoming so prevalent. A couple of weeks ago, some friends and family were in the main park in town for my partner’s birthday. While we were waiting for people to arrive, some kind of club turned up for some Sunday meeting. There was a huge range of little girls from about 8 up to 15ish and plenty of adults around organising activities. At one point, most of the group dispersed to deal with something and there were about half a dozen 12 year olds left gathered around the base of the tree guarding the rest of the supplies. One of my friends looked at them, said “They’re too young to be here alone! They’ll get raped!” I was shocked and asked what on Earth she expected to happen to a large group of presumably sensible children who weren’t doing anything wrong (except maybe chatting when they should be busy helping the team set up) in the middle of the day, surrounded by people. She never did have an answer…

  47. cherryclassic March 8, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    Kids walking to and from school has happended for decades, largely with any incidents. It should be up to the parents to decide what is best for their children and if they have signed a consent form then that should be enough for the school and the authorities.

  48. Neal Norvell March 9, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    My son is no longer at Davidson but he went there for five years. When he reached the fifth grade going to the green after school on Fridays was a big deal. He had the best time and I feel it helped him mature socially with the other kids. This tradition must continue!

  49. Accept Responsibility March 9, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    You folks are absolutely nuts. The school is not trying to regulate kids’ free time or tell parents what to do. Instead, they are trying to take themselves out of the issue entirely because these happy frolicking kids are causing havoc in the library, using foul language, and stealing from the local drug store. When you read the article posted on the Davidson News, the students themselves state they are doing these things. Why no outrage about these behaviors? Where are the parents? Oh, that’s right – busy playing tennis, or at the gym, or Starbucks, or… So the local businesses keep calling the school wanting them to discipline the students – the same merchants who have now left the school hanging in the spotlight without support. You don’t want the school to address the issues – then get busy and take on the responsibility yourselves.

  50. Heather G March 9, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Actually, Accept Responsibility, it has been said that the children causing the problem should be dealt with and also suggested that if local businesses find the students to be a problem they ban students in their establishments. The school enacting rules it has no right to enforce doesn’t solve the problem.

  51. baby-paramedic March 9, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    My school certainly regulated our before and after school activities – provided we were in uniform. This is because when we were in uniform we were representing our school within the community. Our school had certain expectations that continued even off school grounds, if we were in a position to be representing the school.
    The punishments they came up with for bringing the school into disrepute were pretty onerous too, meaning you were unlikely to participate in the negative behaviour for a while at least!

  52. CS March 9, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    Its is not the schools responsibility to discipline the kids after school hours no matter how inattentive the parents are, and no matter how whiny the local merchants are. The school only governs the students between school hours and in some limited fashion during school sponsored activities, that’s it.

  53. Donna March 9, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Act responsibly – A school only has the authority to discipline students during school hours and on school grounds or at some off-campus school function. Sending children to school does not give the school the power to discipline children after school hours in the library. The idea that schools have this power or responsibility idiotic. This belief, apparently conceded to by most American parents today, that the school has any authority to tell parents how their kids must get to and from school is equally idiotic. The school should have no more power to do this than my boss has to tell me how to get to work and where I can go afterwards.

  54. David March 9, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    Surely the school has no authority to decide what children should do after school hours. That is the parent’s perogative. If these children have their parents permission to go to this park after school the school has no power to stop them, or at least it should not have such a power. As for them going there unaccompanied, when I was in fifth year at primary school anyone who still needed their parents to collect them was laughed at by other pupils and told by teachers they needed to be more independent. Times have changed all right, but not for the better.

  55. Beth March 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    Accept Responsibility, do you have a link that proves that all Davidson 5th grade parents are playing tennis, or at the gym, or at Starbucks?

  56. Lindsey March 9, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

    WHOA! Accept Responsibility, you are not providing accurate information. You said “these happy frolicking kids are causing havoc in the library, using foul language, and stealing from the local drug store. When you read the article posted on the Davidson News, the students themselves state they are doing these things.” Um, no.

    I would invite everyone who wishes to know the TRUTH about this matter to read the articles on DavidsonNews.Net. Not only have the local merchants – two business owners, one store manager, the local drug store assistant manager – stated that there were NO problems from the kids, they are upset about the school’s unilateral decision. And there is not a single comment on any DavidsonNews.Net article (on their website or FB page) that is from a child stating that they had engaged in poor behavior.

    Bottom line is this decision was made by an interim principal who knows nothing about our community yet decided to overturn a longstanding tradition because she alone felt that 5th graders are too young to be outside without a parent. Here’s the link, folks. Read for yourselves:

    Here’s a link to all the articles on this matter (including a shout out to this blog!):

  57. pentamom March 10, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    Accept Responsibility, the problem with your argument is that the kids aren’t, and shouldn’t be, the school’s responsibility when they’re not in school. Once they leave the school (or aren’t otherwise under school authority, e.g. a field trip), nobody should be looking to the school to deal with ANY situation they create, in the first place. Therefore, since they should have no responsibility for the kids, they should have no authority over them, either.

    The fact that the parents may be neglecting supervision does not automatically make it the school’s problem. If you have an out of control child causing criminal mischief, there are people who can deal with that — they’re called police. If you have an out of control child causing a lesser form of mischief on private property, the child can be asked to leave by the property owner or his representative. The school’s involvement in a child’s life begins the moment they walk onto school property and ends the moment they leave. They are service providers with the authority necessary to educate, not another form of parents, with authority over the kids all day long.

  58. pentamom March 10, 2012 at 12:15 am #

    Beth, of course Accept Responsibility doesn’t have a link to that (not that your question was serious, I’m sure.) Accept Responsibility is a prime example of what I meant in my comment the other day about American parents who think it’s a personal imposition if they see an unshepherded child in public. Any child on his own must be there not because the child is fine on his own, or because he’s not fine on his own but needs to be dealt with appropriately, but because someone “isn’t doing their job.” So they should get off Accept Responsibility’s lawn.

  59. Heather G March 10, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    BTW, Accept Responibility, according to this no one seems to back up the idea that the kids have been behaving inappropriately. If the mayor, the police and the businesses in question all deny being a part of the change the argument fails to hold any credibility at all.

  60. Heather G March 10, 2012 at 12:58 am #

    Crud, I forgot to link the article. Sorry. Here you go Accept Responsibility:

  61. Beth March 10, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    @pentamom, I was being sarcastic.

    I get SO tired of the assumption that a) free range parents (of 5th graders, in this case) let their kids run wild without giving it a thought, putting them all in imminent danger, and b) if a parent does something for his/herself, like to to the gym, it is a sign of horrendous parenting.

  62. Anne B March 10, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    The ban has been overturned. Davidson fifth graders are back to walking to the Town Green on Fridays (with a singed letter of permission for a parent)! See updated article from DavidsonNews.Net.

  63. Marie Ocramid March 25, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    I stumbled onto this article and I have to say that it is a personal choice for parents if they want to let their children play unsupervised or not. I choose not to “free range” my children and that is what I feel best suits my family and i shouldn’t be judged for that the same way a free range parent should not be judged for their parenting style. However in this case the school may have had other reasons or maybe they were having legitimate safety concerns.

  64. CS March 25, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    The article indicated no such concerns, from either the police, the town, or the merchants. Pure smoke screen. I really don’t understand why parents think the world is oh so terrible now compared to when they grew up, so that they delude themselves into thinking that locking their kids up under their thumb is a viable alternative to teaching your children free thinking and independence.


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