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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Bettynh BS: Free range kids? (41) RE: BS: Free range kids? 31 Jul 14

A rule we finally came to was this: NEVER FRIGHTEN AN ADULT if you can avoid it. Cops are the most dangerous - they carry guns. The news is often full of cops or others who killed because they were afraid for their lives. But it's human nature for an adult to yell at a kid (or worse) because that adult is frightened FOR the kid, whether the danger is real or not and no matter who is at fault. This came after a car nearly hit one of my kids and the driver stopped to scream obscenities at them. His mistake was speeding. Their mistake was frightening him by cutting it too close, even though they were right and made the crossing. They were about 10 at that time, and I think it helped them to be a bit more careful in their behavior.

At the age of 6, my kids were required to attend school. The bus carried kids from 2 miles or more away. The school is a half mile away. They walked every day. For the first year or so, they walked with a cousin who was a few years older, but they were allowed to walk without her when they reported that she crossed a busy street several times to join groups of friends walking in the same direction.

As for the incident in question: Mom knew where the kid was going. He had rules (carry the phone, call if troubled, answer check-ins from Mom). When approached by a stranger at the public pool, he was initially polite but spooked and ran to the park, which he considered safe. He didn't call Mom in fear. He was playing at the park, so no longer felt threatened. The cop in question felt fear for him. He brought the kid home. As far as I can see, that was the very last rational action. Arresting the Mom and charging her were expressions of either the fear or prejudice of the cop. He needs correction.

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