Free-Range Kids

Mom Demands Law to Force Kids to Wear Bright Clothes

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Life jacket
Life jacket / Public Domain

Mel Finnemore, a mom of four in the U.K., is trying to get the government to pass a law requiring all children to wear brightly colored coats or bookbags. Her goal is to increase kids' visibility, thus preventing accidents. To this end, she organized a parade of school children in hi-viz outerwear, telling the press, "I want to get the message across to children that it is 'hip and happening' to wear high visibility jackets."

Because there is nothing more hip than a parade of school children led by a mom. According to the Rutland Stamford & Mercury:

"Some children think horses are cool, others think that of bikes, so I'm trying to show them that it's cool to wear bright jackets like the professional men and women do.

"I want it to be made law for children to wear bright clothing in winter. It would save many lives."

The paper reports that after she wrote to the local member of parliament, Alan Duncan, he wrote back saying he can "certainly support the concept of high-visibility bags " but that he would "not be in favour of any form of compulsion."

free-range-kids

Huzzah huzzah, because here's the thing: The mom is clearly right about the value of bright clothes, and I even sometimes think how dumb I am to be wearing your standard-issue, so hip-it's-boring black clothing (sorry Nick!) as I pedestrian my way around New York City. But make this mom's safety sensibility a law and what happens? We arrest the parents of kids in camouflage? Do teens rebel by wearing dark brown? Should we place children in foster care who show up to school in plaid skirts and dark blue sweaters? Good bye, preppies!

Maybe the next step would be to insist all kids wear bright orange uniforms. That would certainly streamline the school-to-prison pipeline, too. How's that for a win/win?

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