Washington D.C. -- On Thursday the U.S. Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act, which is a reauthorization of the federal statutes that govern funding and regulation of primary education in America. It will now move on to the House.
However, conveniently slipped into the Bill by a libertarian-leaning Senator was a provision that protects Free-Range parents and their children from the state.
According to Reason Magazine,
Libertarian-leaning Republican Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), a supporter of the Free-Range Kids movement, has proposed groundbreaking federal legislation to protect the rights of kids who want to walk to school on their own.
That’s right: a Free-Range Kids provision made its way into the Every Child Achieves Act, a reauthorization of major federal law that governs funding and regulation of elementary education in the United States. The Free-Range Kids portion of the law would permit kids to walk or ride their bikes to school at an age their parents deem appropriate, without the threat of civil or criminal action.
This news is particularly promising considering the fact that parents across the nation have been threatened with having their children stolen from them and given to the state -- for the "crime" of allowing children a little autonomy.
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One of the most popular cases of the state threatening parent for giving their children the gift of freedom was out of Silver Spring, MD.
The Meitiv family was found responsible, by Child Protective Services (CPS), of “unsubstantiated child neglect,” for allowing their 10-year-old boy and 6-year-old girl to walk a mile home, from a local playground to the family residence.
This new legislation would help to curtail the statist wedge driven in between parents and their children.
While the majority of threats to Free-Range parents come from state and local governments, in a statement to Reason Magazine, the senator's office said that he had been looking for a way to generate federal support for the movement.
The legislation reads as such:
SEC. 9116. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION REGARDING TRAVELTO AND FROM SCHOOL...
‘(a) 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....
"Notwithstanding subsection (a), nothing in this section 15 shall be construed to preempt State or local laws.’’
When a bill that sets out to protect children from the state for the simple act of parents allowing their kids to be free, this speaks to the level of nanny state which this country has risen. However, the fact that politicians actually see that it is a problem is also encouraging.