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posted by martyb on Saturday October 29 2016, @01:21PM   Printer-friendly
from the why-not-walk-with-friends? dept.

The state's Department of Transportation issued a poster telling parents to use their own judgment. How refreshing.

While the rest of America is going crazy over keeping kids safe and protected, to the point of near-suffocation, the state of Oregon is a refreshing haven of sanity. The [Oregon] Department of Transportation (ODOT) recently issued a poster addressing the question, “When can my child safely walk or ride to school alone?” Oregon has no legal minimum age requirement for children travelling to school on their own.

Rather than enumerating a list of frightening hypothetical scenarios and urging parents to hover, the ODOT poster encourages parents to use their brains in assessing a child’s readiness for independence.

Oregon has given its residents permission to make their own parenting decisions.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by SomeGuy on Saturday October 29 2016, @04:24PM

    by SomeGuy (5632) on Saturday October 29 2016, @04:24PM (#420152)

    I'd say these days there is more harm that goes on IN schools or before leaving the house than just walking to school.

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by AthanasiusKircher on Saturday October 29 2016, @09:39PM

    by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Saturday October 29 2016, @09:39PM (#420266) Journal

    I'd say these days there is more harm that goes on IN schools or before leaving the house than just walking to school.

    There's no "these days" about it. Child abuse -- whether sexual, physical, or merely verbal -- is most frequently something that occurs between kids and people they know. We've been trained in recent years of media stories to think of random predators, along with Catholic priests and scout leaders, but really the rate of abuse for any adults in kids' lives (ministers and priests of other denominations, camp counselors, teachers, coaches, other family members, adult family friends) is roughly the same... at least in percentage of the population who offend. And the most common source of abuse is often the immediate family -- parents, siblings, uncles, etc.

    The reality is that these folks have the opportunity to develop a relationship with kids and then exploit or abuse them. The number of random stranger abductions is and has always been much smaller, because it's simply more difficult to do.

    Bottom line: Parents should spend a lot less time worrying about pedophiles with Timmy walking somewhere by himself and more time checking to be sure that the time Timmy spends with some known adult in his life is actually OK.

    (Also, parents' fears tend to be focused mostly on little kids. Again, major statistics flaw -- the number of actual PEDOphiles who target pre-pubescent children is quite small compared to those who are attracted to teenagers, even though all of these tend to be lumped together as "pedophiles" in media reports when a kid is under 18 or so. It's much less likely that 8-year-old Timmy is going to get targeted by a predator walking to school than it is that 15-year-old Johnnie is going to be felt up in the locker room by his coach or whatever. Yet we don't tend to focus on the threats to 15-year-olds as much.)