doonesbury garry trudeau

Thank You Garry Trudeau for Today’s Free-Range Kids Edition of Doonesbury!

Doonesbury sums up a whole lot of our themes — and gives us a name check — in today’s funny pages! In case it’s too small to read, here’s what it says:

Alex Doonesbury (born Nov. 30, 1988, daughter of Mike and J.J.) is at her computer. It’s dinner time and she’s wondering where her twins, Danny and Eli, are. “They better not still be out at the quarry!”

Then she gets a phone call from Danny and demands, “Where ARE you two? It’s after six! You guys want unsupervised play after school, you have to hold up your end of the deal! With freedom comes responsibility! Got it, Danny?”

To which Danny interrupts to say, “Mom? Where do we live?”

“Virginia. Why?”

And we see Danny and his brother in a police cruiser, with Eli explaining to the cop, “We’re Free-Range Kids.” And the cop relying, “No kidding.”

A brief, Free-Range analysis:

1 – Garry Trudeau/Doonesbury believes in after-school, unsupervised free play! (Start a Play Club at your school or home — free how-to here.)

2 – Trudeau has clearly also been following the sagas of parents accused of “neglect” for simply letting their kids enjoy a happy, scrappy childhood.

3 – He wants kids to have a reasonable amount of freedom and responsibility when their PARENTS — not bystanders or the authorities — feel they are ready for it.

4 – Getting a little Kremlinologist-y here, but he MAY have put the, “Where do we live?” question in so that he can go on to note in a future strip that in March, Virginia became the fifth state that says neglect is when you put your kids in serious, obvious danger — not anytime you take your eyes off them.

We now have EIGHT STATES that have passed “Reasonable Childhood Independence” laws — usually with bi-partisan sponsorship (like Virginia) and often unanimously (like Virginia). Next states we’re working in? California, Michigan and Georgia. If you’d like to help out in any way — big or small — please fill out the little form at the bottom of this page.

And here’s hoping the story line continues in Doonesbury!


One Response to Thank You Garry Trudeau for Today’s Free-Range Kids Edition of Doonesbury!

  1. Mak Headley December 4, 2023 at 9:35 am #

    Bravo! Lotsa room without plunging in nihilism. He’s a very, very witty nimilist to my eyes. Lotsa room.