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Reblogged:More on 'Reasonable Independence' Laws

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Over at Let Grow, parenting freedom advocate Lenore Skenazy recently celebrated the latest passage of a "reasonable independence" law, this time in Texas. I have expressed reservations about such legislation in the past. For example, I once asked, Why are we legislating common sense, now?

(The fact that Skenazy has celebrated strong bipartisan support for such legislation has hardly been a comfort to me: These days, that kind of popularity can indicate a very bad idea that appeals to anti-freedom elements from each side of our nation's political divide.)

Although I still have reservations about these laws, Skenazy has offered a very reasonable explanation for why they might in fact be necessary:
Image by Jonathan Borba, via Unsplash, license.
[T]here are two sets of laws governing child neglect. One is the criminal law. If you commit a crime against a child, law enforcement steps in. The other set is promulgated by child protective services. If you are suspected of abuse or neglect, the child protection folks step in.

The problem arises from the fact that the majority of states' neglect laws are so open-ended that parents don't have a clear idea of what is allowed and what is not. That's how my neighbor ended up thinking that she couldn't leave her child, age 7, alone for even a minute until age 12. [bold in original]
I am not a lawyer, and have not delved deeply into this, but this does sound like at least a reasonable case for reforming the neglect laws; perhaps this is what this amounts to. (Even without a welfare state complicating things, there could be problems interpreting what constitutes neglect or abuse, which would and should be illegal in a fully free society.)

In any event, what I do feel comfortable agreeing with is this:
Our job as reasonable parents is to find out the local laws.
This is as uncontroversial as it can get, but I am grateful for the advice.


Because, whichever side of Skenazy's solution I ultimately come down on, I do appreciate her pointing out a problem that I am sure the vast majority of parents are unaware of.

-- CAV

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