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RE: This Isn't Kenya: Maryland Parents Investigated by CPS for Letting 10 and 6 Year Olds Walk Home One Mile from School

162430 wrote:

This is ridiculous. Has the world really changed that much? By age 10, this is what my summer days looked like: wake up at 9:30, out the door by 10am, ride around all over town on my bike with my buddies, home at 5:30 for dinner, back out the door at 6:15, home by "dark". I never had any problems...

This is pretty much like my whole childhood, except that we started that earlier. In kindergarten, I walked home with other young kids, probably a couple miles, on my first day and every day after that. Throughout elementary school, everyone not far enough for a bus walked to school. There was no line of cars dropping off and picking up kids. On weekends, we sometimes walked for miles and miles on the railroad tracks, all Stand By Me style. And this was in the D.C. suburbs in Maryland. We'd sometimes ride/walk all the way to the Mall in D.C. and then get back at dark. At evenings, of course, were all about playing games in the dark outside. Atari came along when I was 12 and then a couple years later I bought a Colecovision, but even then we'd all be outside. But around this time as well, the crackdown started because in the late 1970s and early 1980s (when the murder rate was much higher than it is now), a series of famous child abductions and murders took place and received far more publicity than they had before. After that, there became almost no chance of child freedom. There are also a lot more cars and trucks on the roads today. Still, the cops should not be harassing parents for letting their kids walk home from school. There's more harm from sitting around in cars and at home getting fat and unhealthy than from getting exercise and energy out and learning a little autonomy.

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