Two Abduction Attempts Reported in One Week

Readers etihsydzsr
— This note from the commenter CoasterFreak reminds me of a fantastic Bloom County comic by Berkeley Breathed reprinted in the Joel Best book I am devouring: “Threatened Children: Rhetoric and Concern About Child-Victims.” (It’s all about how predator panic began and spread.) Anyway, the comic, from Nov. 21, 1987 (if anyone can figure out how to find it online), shows the reporter Milo rushing into his editor’s office shouting, “Boss!”

“Yes, Junior Intern Milo?”

“Remember all our sensational, panic-causing stories about The Great Child-Stealing Epidemic?!” 


“There NEVER REALLY WAS ONE!” Milo shouts.

“Great Scott!” replies the editor. “Run a correction below the tide schedules on page 109!!” 

To which Milo calls, off camera, “Stop the presses!”

And with that —

Dear Free-Range Kids: This past week we had two reported attempts to abduct a child in my area. The first one involved a man in a black truck using candy to lure a 9 year old girl into his truck. He was persistent, but she refused and ran home and told her parents. The second one happened the very next day and involved a 30-40 year old Hispanic male asking a 10 year old girl to come over to him. When she refused, he grabbed her and she had to fight him off. She ran home and told her parents and within 24 hours a sketch was released that included details all the way down to him having a spiderweb tattoo on his elbow.

Naturally, social media was in a tizzy about how dangerous the world is and how you should never let your child out of your sight ever for even one second!

The problem? Both reports turned out to be false. Never happened. Neither of them. Is social media now all a-flutter with proclamations about how reassuring it is to know that these events were nothing more than children looking for attention? About how our world isn’t as scary as it seems after all?


Instead, it is filled with warnings about how even though people are relieved that these things didn’t happen, they COULD have happened, so we all need to be extra vigilant in keeping an eye on our kids at all times and never letting them out of our sight, even for an instant.


I have tried to counter these arguments with a level of sanity, but there’s only so much one guy can do when up against all the crazy people.

Lenore: It’s always fascinating that when something DOESN’T happen — like, when you lose track of your kid at the store and it takes several tense minutes to find him or her but it wasn’t anything dangerous — someone usually suggests that this is a good reminder of how quickly kids can be kidnapped. Like in this radio commercial. All I can suggest is that we keep reminding people WHAT IF is not WHAT IS.  – L. 

TWO abduction attempts in ONE WEEK? Children are NEVER SAFE!

Your friendly, neighborhood, windowless van. 

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50 Responses to Two Abduction Attempts Reported in One Week

  1. Gil S October 13, 2014 at 10:53 pm # — not copyable but viewable

  2. J.T. Wenting October 14, 2014 at 12:42 am #

    it’s always the same.
    Even when the numbers are clearly impossible, the press keeps inflating them and making things even more silly.

    And people actually get arrested and sent to prison based on such accusations against them, even though they are clearly bogus, simply because courts, police, and politicians don’t want to be seen as “letting a pedophile go free”.
    Even if there were no arrest and conviction though, the man’s life is ruined because of the vigilantes making things impossible for them.

    Case in point. Swimming teacher accused of having sexually assaulted a (then) girl 30 years ago.
    Most likely he just pulled her out of the water to prevent her drowning of course, we’ll never know.
    Suddenly literally hundreds of people “remember” to have had similar experiences “with the monster”. They’re put under hypnotic impression to get statements, all the right buttons are pushed, and suddenly a guy who was a swimming teacher in the 1970s and long since retired is in court for being a serial child rapist, latest known “victim” 25 years ago, convicted based purely on those highly suspicious statements to 7 years in prison (and for murder one you only get 5 or so…), name and photo published in national press (never happens for any other crime), and placed on “sex offender watch lists” forcing city councils to “inform the neighbourhood” if he buys or rents a house there (who then obligingly launch protest marches and sit ins, throw paint and eggs at the house, etc. etc. to “get the pervert out of our city”)…

  3. BL October 14, 2014 at 2:26 am #

    I drove my car to work yesterday and wasn’t struck by a meteor.


  4. Emily Morris October 14, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    BL, don’t you comprehend the fire you play with?

  5. Jill October 14, 2014 at 8:45 am #

    Any ten-year-old girl who claims to have fought off a grown man is lying, unless the girl is remarkably large, and trained in the martial arts.
    Children lie, for lots of reasons. Usually it’s to get attention, but sometimes they’re just malevolent and like to cause drama.
    Tales of windowless vans and offers of candy immediately set off my bullshit alarm. They’re too much of a cliche out of the ninteen-seventies. An offer of a new iPhone, or tickets to a One Direction concert would be more believable. Kids really need to step up their game when it comes to making up stories of failed abductions.
    I wish that when these stories are publicized, and later found out to be untrue, that some law enforcement official could issue a stern statement against making false reports, but they never do.

  6. Puzzled October 14, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    Generally when retractions are printed (if they even are) there’s a police statement quoted to the effect that the world is still really, really, scary, so please remember to donate to the PBA (okay, maybe not the second part.)

    If these stories were true, though, wouldn’t the correct response, rather than fear, be “wow, it’s great that kids can take care of themselves so well and fight of kidnapping attempts?” After all, in neither story did 1) the kidnapping succeed or 2) another adult intervene. These would be stories about remarkable, self-reliant, unafraid kids, who have nothing to fear taking a walk to school, seeing a man, etc. Certainly neither of these kids would be walking peacefully down the street with a kidnapper, so these anecdotal stories would also be reason not to stop men with children and suspect them of being kidnappers.

  7. Angela October 14, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    It’s like the scary clowns in that California town.

    Sure, it is noted that some of the reports are likely hoaxes, but “At least one of the reports was not a hoax….” Shocker – a teen was wearing a clown costume, in October, scaring the littler kids in his town. Was he given a stern talking-to about appropriate behavior? No. “He was arrested on suspicion of annoying a minor….”

    First, this is an arrestable offence now? Suspicion of annoying a minor?

    Second, sounds like everyone in town is in danger of being murdered in their sleep doesn’t it? /sarcasm

  8. lollipoplover October 14, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    And the correction read:

    Two children who falsified reports of kidnappings are doing community service at the local police department to make up for wasting resources and causing panic. One will be making an apology to the Hispanic male community, especially those with tattoos.

    Just kidding.
    I can dream though…

  9. Coasterfreak October 14, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    What? We can be arrested for annoying minors now? I hope that does not apply to parents of teenagers. There are times when the parents mere presence within a quarter mile of their teenage children can cause them to be annoyed.

  10. David Buchner October 14, 2014 at 10:37 am #


    Incidentally, I have all the Bloom County books. Is there a date visible on the strip?

  11. lollipoplover October 14, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    “Suspicion of annoying a minor” describes half of the interactions I have with my teen.
    Cuff me, please, and relieve me of the eye rolls.

  12. pentamom October 14, 2014 at 10:49 am #


    I’ve found that you can often find comic strips online by searching the name of the strip and a quote from it. So, I did it, and came up with this:

    #6 on the page. As you see, it gives the publication date as well. But you can’t copy it, so if anyone wants to see it, follow my link and mouse over #6.

  13. becky October 14, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    we have had two “stranger danger” reports in our area this week

  14. Jaymee Houser October 14, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    I had a lady give me a talking to when I let my two and half year old get fifteen feet in front of me in the grocery store. Hell she was still within my eyesight!

  15. M October 14, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    They used to send people to the psychiatrist’s office if they had irrational and debilitating fears. Now people make a living encouraging people to have irrational and debilitating fears.

    Go figure.

  16. Emily October 14, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    Why didn’t anyone mention teaching kids not to tell lies?

  17. KB October 14, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    We recently have had a few abduction attempts reported in our local news. One was proven false. One was of a guy offering a girl candy, and then chasing her when she ran away. Another was of a man trying to lure a 7 yo into his car. No child was actually abducted.

    I have been letting my 13 yo ride her bike to her volunteer job two days a week (4 miles round trip) and have been letting her and her 9 yo sister ride their bikes together to their soccer practices about a mile and a half away. They’ve been having a blast! My mother found out about it and called me, concerned, citing the recent reports in the news. She has my oldest worried, not only for her safety, but because she thinks Grandma will be angry at her for riding her bike! This morning she asked if I was taking her to her job (we home school so she is able to volunteer during the week). I told her no. She said, “But it’s only 50 degrees outside! Grandma said it’s too cold!” I shrugged and told her to wear a jacket. She made it to work just fine!

    The sad thing is that she was perfectly happy to ride her bike before Grandma made any comments. She has had a basic self defense class through her GS troop, and knows what to do if approached by someone. Her route is highly visible, well traveled, and in broad daylight. I worry more that someone will see her out riding and think she is truant from one of the nearby schools than I worry about her getting abducted. The amazing thing is my mom was never this worried about me! My sister and I got ourselves to school and back from the time I was in first grade by either walking to the bus stop or walking to and from school, which was a two mile walk in middle school. I had to get myself up and to swim lessons by 7 a.m. in the summer, wandered the mall alone and with friends, and stayed at home alone from age 12 on while she worked at night.

  18. no rest for the weary October 14, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    In the 70s, my friends and I were all told not to get into a stranger’s car, especially if they were offering us candy.

    On boring, long summer days, we would occasionally make up a story to tell each other that had some sensational aspect to it, related to this fear of kidnapping or molestation.

    I remember telling and hearing things like, “Yeah, this car slowed down, slowed WAY down, and then the guy leaned out the window with a pair of scissors!”


    Well, I can’t remember if we ever told our parents these sensational things, but if we had, I’m thinking they would have taken it with a bucket of salt, not just a grain.

    These days, though, the slightest mention of even an innocent encounter with a STRANGE MAN who SPOKE TO A CHILD is enough to get you in the newspaper.

    Incentive, anyone?

  19. Reziac October 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    If you want to save a copy of the comic — turn off javascript in your browser, then right-click, save as, just like you would any image file.

    And I like someone’s idea about the makers of such false reports having to do community service — and for repeat offenders, reverse prosecution (accuse someone falsely? then YOU pay the penalty).

  20. Reziac October 14, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

    I was the kid who routinely walked up to strange adults and started a conversation with ’em. Consequently I had adult friends everywhere I went. Nowadays I’d be afraid to respond to such a kid. 🙁

  21. lollipoplover October 14, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

    We had a child luring incident reported by several children of a man *impersonating* a substitute teacher asking children at a bus stop for directions to the school. The children didn’t give him directions and ran home and parents called the police. The description of the vehicle and man were all over the news.

    Except it was a substitute teacher, assigned to teach at the local school, who made the mistake of asking students for directions to the school they likely go to.
    Oh, the humanity!

  22. Montreal Dad October 14, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    Hey, when do we get more about that Silicon Valley School that decided to do Free Range Kids Projects as a school activity? We want updates! Stories!

    You really should work that angle, Lenore. It’s empowering. It’s movement-building. It makes people feel good and kids feel free and it gives people a positive idea of how to move forward.

    Probably you could monetize it, too: package it into an activity guide that school districts can buy, and play a consultancy role. With a bit of a push, it could start to spread.

    Movement building! Free Range Kids has always been a movement just waiting to happen. These blood-pressure raising stories about people being morons about stranger danger are fine and all, but unfortunately they don’t really movement-build. Don’t you think?

  23. KB October 14, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    I actually have an awesome “strange man” story from my childhood. In high school, I caught the bus a couple of blocks from my house (one block down and one block over). On nice days a man that lived across the street from the bus stop would be working in his yard. He spoke to me several times. I thought it was a little odd at first but there wasn’t anything threatening or scary about it.

    Months later my grandma called me and told me that my step-grandpa had been in touch with one of his brothers that he had lost touch with. It turned out that the brother lived close to us and she wanted to know if I wanted to go with them to see him. It turned out that the “strange man” I had talked to for months was my grandpa’s brother!

  24. lollipoplover October 14, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

    Please don’t bash scary clowns. Around here, people pay good money to get their underwear soiled at these Valley of smears and haunted scary hayrides that turn farms into entertainment complexes for the weekend for thrill seeking kids and adults alike. Evil clowns, chainsaw zombies, and ax murderers are in high demand this time of year. It’s a legit business being a clown with future career options:

    {(If I had the money, I would SO get Dominic for my husband as a surprise birthday present!)}

  25. Nicole October 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    Montreal Dad – It is my school that did the free range projects in Silicon Valley. I am the school counselor and we loved it! Our theme last year was confidence. We have not done anything around free range this year, yet. But like many of you our parents are going against the tide. At another school in our area a 9 year old was stopped walking home from school by the police. He is very small for his age and was a little shocked by having to talk to a police officer and so the cop drove him home and told his mom it was for safety reasons! We ran the statistics we are a super safe city! So this is crazy. Our local online paper did an article and it had mixed responses from the kid is too young to what is this a nanny state. So parents who do want to be more free range are scared to do it because of what others will think.
    The biggest feedback from parents is how hard it is to overcome the fear once it is there. Like Lenore talks in her book you never notice the fear it just kinda consumes you. The parents need more support that what they are doing is the right thing!
    But we will keep working at it!

  26. BL October 14, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    “Why didn’t anyone mention teaching kids not to tell lies?”

    Like: don’t tell lies or the bogeyman will come after you?

    (Oh, wait, that’s a lie …)

  27. lollipoplover October 14, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    But what if the bad guy is the child?
    Anyone see this:

    This 10 year-old boy is being held without bail and charged as an adult with criminal homicide. How can a 10 year-old walking to school be *endangered* and need constant supervision but a 10 year-old who commits a violent crime is magically considered an adult?

  28. Havva October 14, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

    @ Jill said “Any ten-year-old girl who claims to have fought off a grown man is lying, unless the girl is remarkably large, and trained in the martial arts.”

    Jill, Clearly you missed this video staring a 7 year old Brittney Baxter fighting off a grown man:

    Heck our pediatrician says adults always underestimate kid strength. Pointing out it takes 5 people to get a spinal tap into an infant. But there is more than just physical strength, there is speed and cunning too. I escaped a very large man as a very small 9 year old. I didn’t fight him off, I just played stupid, until he let his guard down. Then I ran like hell throwing barriers in his way.

  29. Liz October 14, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    I live next to Newtown CT. Right after the Sandy Hook shooting the public schools in another town near ours went into lock down. The reason? “A suspicious person” at their train station. What made him suspicious? He was dressed in all black. He was nowhere near the schools, and in fact boarded a train and left the town. Which is what someone standing in a train station does. Nobody pointed out how stupid it was to lock the schools down. Every parent talked about how happy they were that their kids were kept safe. From a man in black.

  30. Babs October 14, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

    Back in the mid 70’s (elementary & middle school) through the early 80’s, I walked to and from school. In middle school, I rode the bus but walked home when I missed it(around 5 miles). (My father died when I was 10. My mom had to go back to work so I never called her at work because I was embarrassed…and, heck, I was just walking.)

    We lived in central Texas where fall and spring can be sweltering hot esp carrying a backpack and no water. I remember thinking that it would be “nice” if someone that I knew would “happen” by and offered me a ride. (If it had, I probably would have kept walking vs taking the ride…I was super shy.) No family friend ever drove by but no stranger stopped either.

    The only instance in those 8-ish years happened was when I was 11 or 12 walking from the dentist. A man in a blue truck began to slowly follow me and when he coasted next to me, he asked if I needed a ride. I moved to the outside portion of the walkway, kept walking, and said that I lived just around the corner (a lie). He followed for another few seconds trying to talk but finally drove off. Maybe he was a nice guy just trying to help…maybe he was a creep….didn’t matter. I never told my mom because I didn’t think that it was important.

    I suppose that “times have changed” but I think that kids can be smarter in some instances than adults give them credit for. (In the case of the two girls…dumber….) I try to teach my son to be aware and cautious but not paranoid. I allow him to go out on his own to meet up with his friends (all who live outside of our neighborhood). Teaching kids how to deal with different situations is important.

  31. Havva October 14, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

    You/your school did something great. Keep it up. I really think schools have the power to set the cultural standards. Especially since a large chunk of society bases what is okay for children on whatever is the done thing. So a school saying encouraging independence is powerful, since schools are supposed to be experts on the abilities of children.

    I agree with Montreal Dad as well. We need more info on how people change their communities. How to do movement building. For people in the US, I would strongly recommend finding one’s local Safe Routes to School group. I chanced to run into the local coordinator for safe routes to school at a planning council meeting about bike routes. The coordinator said she didn’t read free-range. But she was sighting the same studies and books, and sounded like she could have ghost written many articles on this blog. One of her friends from a local bike advocacy group got up and talked about how they had gotten a rule passed that principals could no longer interfere with how children got to school. High School students got up and talked about how their generation was itching for independence, but though those girls bike other couldn’t due to parental fear. These safe routes to school and bike advocates were the most free range community I have encountered since childhood. By the end the counselors were advising the high school students on how to fight against school insistence that biking was too unsafe for a school sponsored activity. And speaking of having their parental permission undermined, and how our streets should be safe for our children to bike or walk alone. It was a thing of beauty.

  32. Jill October 14, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    @Havva Grabbing a kid and throwing her into a van and giving a kid a spinal tap are twwo very different things. One requires brute force, and the other requires finesse and an accurate aim.
    The guy in the store didn’t have a van handy to fling the kid into. He should have planned better.

  33. Warren October 14, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

    Over thought, over organized, over dramatic……………what happened to showing your kid where school was, and let em go? Now there is organizations for safe routes, walking clubs and all sorts of other nonsense. Show em how to get to school, and kick their ass out the door in the morning.
    No wonder kids get messed up. They need organizations to show them how to walk to school.

  34. Mandy October 14, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

    How is biking a dangerous activity for high schoolers?!? When I was in middle school, our church youth pastor took a group of us on a 14-mile round trip to a park for a picnic. The only thing my mom worried about was that I might have trouble keeping up because I’m not and never have been athletic. We had to ride along and cross some busy roads but it was not a problem and everybody had fun.

    That youth pastor was beloved, partly because he was very physical and would let us kids all pile up on him like little kids might do with their dad. That sure wouldn’t fly these days.

  35. Emily October 14, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    >>“Why didn’t anyone mention teaching kids not to tell lies?”

    Like: don’t tell lies or the bogeyman will come after you?

    (Oh, wait, that’s a lie …)<<

    No, just the "Boy Who Cried Wolf" parable–if you tell a lie, then people will believe you that time, and come running, and then be upset when they found out that there's no danger (or whatever). Then, they won't believe you when you're telling the truth. However, I think that parable has been lost on modern society, because if The Boy Who Cried Wolf had been written today, it would be, "Well, there was no wolf THIS time, but we should all be extra careful, because there COULD have been a wolf. Stay inside, lock your doors, don't let your kids go out to play, and drive everywhere in your car."

  36. Steve Cournoyer October 15, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    Really bugs me that you post a picture of a white contractor van….these are work trucks, I own one, use it for work and now I’m a “kid grabber”?…..not funny…..

  37. EricS October 15, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    I read this article regarding how people thought regarding politics. I wish I could remember the link (I’ll have to hunt it down). Basically, the studies shows that once a person has taken a stand on political idea, there really is nothing anyone can do to change it. Not with statistics, evidence, and testimonials. You can show them something is red, it looks red, everyone else says it’s red, spectral analysis confirms it’s red. But if they believe it’s blue. It’s blue to them. And only THEY can make themselves change their minds.

    I think this human behaviour can apply to other aspects of life. Including societies thoughts on child safety. And Social Media doesn’t help, when it becomes the launch platform of paranoia, without just cause. One rumour spreads, than another. The answer is simple, but many make it very complicated. It’s all a matter of using common sense, logic, and reason. I’m sure many of these paranoid parents/busy bodies know much of what’s in their heads is wrong, and unreasonable. But for some reason, are compelled to believe, and act upon them. They have been literally “brainwashed”.

  38. Emily October 15, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    @Warren–While I don’t agree with “kick their ass out the door,” I do agree that healthy, able-bodied kids who live within a reasonable distance of the school (i.e., not far enough to get school bus transportation, based on their school board policy according to age/grade level), should be able to find their own way to school, either by walking, bike, or city bus. Now, obviously, there’ll be times when parents might drive their kids, like during bad weather, or if the child is injured, or has something unwieldy to take to school (hockey bag, large musical instrument, Science Fair project, chicken-wire-and-paper-mache costume for the school play, whatever), but this should be the exception rather than the rule. Setting “parents drive their kids” as the norm, unfairly punishes not only Free-Range parents, but also parents without cars, or with schedules that preclude doing the school run. It also creates logistical problems, like slow-moving “car lines” that spill into the road and block traffic every morning and afternoon, before and after school.

  39. Havva October 15, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    @ Warren,

    These things became necessary, when principals became so sensitive to ‘danger’ that they started refusing to release 10 year olds to walk to their home that was literally across the street from the school, a measly 2 lanes. This took 3 trips to the school board to let one kid do it! That was the councilor’s story. Shew knew county bureaucracy well enough to make it happen for her kid. But how many other parents failed?

    That is what safe routes to school changed. They got principals striped of that power just two years ago. The students now in high school were raised under that arbitrary exercise of power, where if it wasn’t sanctioned it wasn’t allowed. They don’t need organizations to “show them how to walk to school.” They need organizations to fight the schools so the school quit thwarting them. And they need events to point out the freedom they won back, in a culture that forgot freedom.

    But they also want some organizations for the same reasons you enjoy sports clubs. To have fun and be social. But there are still problems on that front. Because principals consider biking ‘too dangerous’ they can’t form an on-campus club. So they can’t make announcements in the bulletin, can’t get space to assemble.

    Several counsel members were appalled when they heard about this, and advised the high school students on how to fight the school system.

    I have run into legitimately dangerous biking conditions (like the trail dumping people on a steep grade head on to 55mph/90kph traffic). But certainly high school students are smart enough to recognize such danger.

    Also safe routes to school and local (adult) bike clubs are responsible for providing bike education for youngsters and correcting some legitimately dangerous conditions like that trail I mention, now fixed. These groups are doing the work much like what the Dutch did in the 70’s. Warren, I don’t recall you ridiculing Dutch efforts when it was discussed here. So why insult American organizations that are working to bring the same proven infrastructure and education improvements to the US?

  40. Puzzled October 15, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    Lollipoplover – I’ve wondered the same thing myself. Actually, I’ve wondered a slightly weirder thing – if a child is charged with a crime as an adult, and then gets bail, what’s their legal status until the trial? I’d say, in that instance, they should be able to buy cigarettes, alcohol, vote (they haven’t been convicted of anything yet), etc.

  41. Theodora October 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

    There was a false report of an abduction attempt in Wichita KS last week as well. Mother was walking with her two kids and claimed someone tried to snatch her preschooler away from her and she had to fight him off. Turned out she made the whole thing up.

  42. BL October 15, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

    “principals consider biking ‘too dangerous’”

    Then they’re way too stupid to consider themselves educators.

    I mean that seriously and literally.

  43. Donna October 15, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

    Puzzled – Nope, juveniles charged as adults are still considered juveniles if released on bail. But adults are also often seriously limited in what they can do while on bond so it really isn’t much different.

    I’ve often marveled at the incongruity of charging juveniles as adults and yet insisting that they are helpless little creatures who require 24/7 adult supervision. Not to mention the insistence that they “knew what they were doing was wrong so deserve whatever they get” coupled with the belief that all kids need supervision to avoid doing stupid things because they don’t know any better. Kids are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

  44. Warren October 16, 2014 at 12:26 am #

    I didn’t ridicule the Dutch, because being Dutch is bad enough as it is. My former inlaws are Dutch, and enough said.

    And you can blame the schools all you want for stopping kids from walking and biking……..but the real blame is with the parents for giving in to the little dictators, instead of telling them to shove their attitudes where the sun don’t shine.

    A lot of you don’t like that route, but had more parents done that in the past, things would not have gotten so out of hand.

  45. Warren October 16, 2014 at 12:28 am #

    Emily, you are getting as bad as Dolly for always going on and on and on about all the little damn special reasons for whatever. Yes there are things that are the exception, but I will be damned if we need to outline them all everytime we make a comment.

    And for the record, the only bad weather that kids cannot walk to school in, is weather that actually shuts the school down. Weather is life, not an excuse.

  46. Havva October 16, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    @Warren, I’ll take your word for it on the former in-laws.

    And I agree we wouldn’t be where we are if parents had stood up to the little dictators. They should have been told to shove it a long time ago. Had that happen I’m sure things wouldn’t have gotten so out of hand.

    From what I saw of Vancouver Canada in the late 90’s, kids were welcome as a part of society in a way they were not in America even in the early 90’s. Canadian kids had more freedom even then. I suspect as a result you guys aren’t as far gone now. So by all means keep telling little want-to-be-dictators to shove it, and reminding other Canadians they are pretending to authority they don’t have. I really hope that is still all it takes for you guys.

    But schools in the US have been acting as dictatorships for decades. Back in the 90’s when I was a teen and my friends and I complained about our rights being violated we were loudly and frequently told that the school could act “in loco parentis” and thus we students had NO rights, just ‘protections.’ Teachers and administrators said it confidently while arbitrary denying us freedom of assembly, freedom to leave, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, freedom to posses a variety of normal objects, or even a reasonable facsimile of justice. Businesses joined in banning unaccompanied minors. Adults, especially parents, were sure that kids were either a danger or in danger. And thus we kids must all be controlled by any means available. Sure kids complained, but parents largely told *us* to shove it. We are reaping what they sowed.

    So while I don’t normally use the language you do, and try not to dwell in the past, it is as pathetic, disgusting, and self inflicted as you say. You keep doing your thing, may Canada never get as screwed up as the US. I’ll be down here working with the people who fixed it so a parent in my county could just tell the principal to shove it, without tempting CPS.

  47. Papilio October 16, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    “I didn’t ridicule the Dutch, because being Dutch is bad enough as it is. My former inlaws are Dutch, and enough said.”

    And that based on a sample-size of 2…!!! You’re funny, Warren. I’m sure the mom of Nathalie Holloway is convinced we’re all cold-blooded femicidal a-holes 😀
    Anyway, thanks for your concern, but I can assure you it’s not necessary. (Then again, I don’t live in Canada, maybe that explains it 😛 )

    @Havva: Keep up the good work building safer walk AND bike infrastructure for everyone – safe routes to school is a good starting point for a lot more – we know it’s something the US can definitely use.

  48. Puzzled October 17, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    >Puzzled – Nope, juveniles charged as adults are still >considered juveniles if released on bail. But adults are also >often seriously limited in what they can do while on bond so >it really isn’t much different.

    Well, yes, I suspected that was the case, but enjoy pointing out logical absurdities, and treating children as adults when they screw up, but only for the purpose of that screw-up, seems to qualify.

    Are the limitations on adults usually from the courts or the bondsman?

  49. Alex Horovitz October 18, 2014 at 5:04 pm #
  50. freeranger October 20, 2014 at 12:36 am #

    This article has been shared over 44,000 times and is doing the rounds on social media. I don’t want to embarrass friends who have posted it, but it’s just causing hysteria. <a href=""title="Terrified mums alert police claiming supermarket snatch gang trailed youngsters while families shopped"