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Free Range Kids are Legal

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Tagged As: Children, Legal, Parenting, and Society

The term "free range" often makes one think of chickens ... but these days, it also refers to kids. In a nutshell, the term refers to a throwback of parenting to the days of yore when kids were not constantly sheltered by helicopter parents. One might wonder why there's a "movement" for something that until the past generation was quite normal. We can't have nice things because helicopter parents are SOOOO prevalent in contemporary society that free range kids look abnormal, so much so that police have detained children walking alone and arrested their parents. However, a recently approved Federal Law under the Every Student Succeeds Act (pdf) (note: seems to be a poorly configured website ... bet it gets hacked soon) has section (page 857) protecting parents from being criminalized for allowing their kids autonomy within reason.

IN GENERAL — Subject to subsection (b), nothing in this Act shall authorize the Secretary to, or shall be construed to— (1) prohibit a child from traveling to and from school on foot or by car, bus, or bike when the parents of the child have given permission; or (2) expose parents to civil or criminal charges for allowing their child to responsibly and safely travel to and from school by a means the parents believe is age appropriate.

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