Free-Range Kids

Rhode Island Wants to Criminalize Latchkey, Recess When It's Cold Outside

Important parenting decisions will be made by the state.

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Recess
Dreamstime

Congratulations, Rhode Island: Looks like the government is about to become the proud parent of every child in the state. According to the Associated Press:

State lawmakers are debating a bill that would punish parents for leaving a child younger than 7 alone in a car. They've also proposed legislation to ban kids under 10 from being home alone and older kids from being home alone at night. Legislation could even extend to private preschools, where a bill would ban outdoor recess when the temperature drops below freezing.

What's wonderful is that anytime parents are not exactly perfect under these proposed laws—say, for instance, they expected to take just five minutes buying the Ibuprofen while their kid waited in the car, but got stuck behind a lady who couldn't find her coupons—they could be fined $1,000. That'll certainly make the family safer, siphoning off their savings.

Say a set of parents had hoped to let their 9-year-old start coming home from school  on his own. Well, now the state would get to teach those parents: No latchkey kids. It doesn't matter that they were latchkey kids themselves and think their son can handle it.   

 Sen. William Walaska, the Warwick Democrat who introduced "home-alone" age restrictions [said]: "Imagine they open up a cupboard and there's some chemicals in there."

Naturally, if you can imagine something terrible happening to a child, it's reason enough to ban any otherwise normal activity.

Like playing outside in the cold! At last, our precious children, from pre-k through elementary school, will be safe from outdoor recess during the long winter months. When the mercury dips below 32, it's forbidden.

The reporter does note that there has been some pushback against all of this. For instance, Pascal Dubuc, 9, showed up at the state Senate earlier this year to testify, "I feel responsible to stay home by myself." What's more:

Helping to spread the parental outrage and mobilize opposition was [yours truly Lenore] Skenazy, who has repeatedly ridiculed Rhode Island lawmakers. 

"These laws are preposterous," she wrote in her blog. "They assume it is the government's job to dictate family life. They criminalize maturity in children and common sense in parents, and turn mundane decisions — like running out to do an errand — into legal minefields." 

State health officials also weighed in, saying it would lead to a surge of unwanted calls to the child welfare hotline for situations that aren't a safety risk. 

Ah, but this is a state legislature that can't imagine a child ever not at risk. Remember two year ago that it floated the idea of not allowing kids to get off the school bus unless an adult was waiting there to walk them home—until the seventh grade. Ultimately, this bill died. But the state did recently pass a law to make sex offenders who live within 300 feet of a school move 700 feet further away, even if they have lived in the same home for decades without incident. Exactly who thinks this sudden change is crucial? The Providence Journal reported:

Law enforcers, civil-rights advocates, supporters of victims of sexual assault and experts who study sex-offender management say the expanded ban could actually decrease public safety by forcing offenders to move frequently or become homeless, destabilizing their lives.

Whether the legislators proposing and passing these laws are only posturing, or actually do believe that local children are suddenly and constantly beset by danger at home, in cars, and at school, Rhode Island is quickly earning a name for itself as the state that loves punishing decent parents and crippling independent kids. 

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  1. State health officials also weighed in, saying it would lead to a surge of unwanted calls to the child welfare hotline for situations that aren’t a safety risk.

    Liars, liars, pants on fire. They are wet with anticipation at being able to expand their authority, mission and numbers.

    1. Only the first paragraph was supposed to be a blockquote, the second paragraph was mine.

      1. I don’t believe you.

  2. And America used to produce bad asses like Colonel Sanders. Holy cow, don’t fuck with the Colonel.

    http://www.damninteresting.com/colonels-of-truth/

    1. Sanders 2016!

  3. “older kids from being home alone at night”

    Uh…does this apply to all minors? So would it be illegal for a 17 year old to be at his parents’ house alone?

    1. If the local DA or cops feel like screwing with you, then you better believe it will be.

  4. Meh. Every parent in Rhode Island is a junkie.

  5. I realized something the other day. When I leave my kids in the car to run into 7-11 to get milk, I find myself looking out the window every 10 seconds or so.

    I’m not looking at my kids; I’m looking out for busybodies.

    1. I’m not looking at my kids; I’m looking out for busybodiesOld Man With Candy.

    2. I find myself doing the same with my dog. One coolish (maybe 65-70 degrees) day I left him in the car with the windows down far enough that he could get his entire head out the window. What did I see but some fucking soccer mom approaching my car with a water bowl. As I glared her down she got defensive “I was just trying to give him some water!”. He didn’t need any fucking water.

      1. Now, assume this happens with a dog that isn’t the friendliest (not saying your dog isn’t) and the dog gives her a bite on the hand for her trouble, where’s her god now?

        1. I would love to go on Judge Judy with that case, is all I’m sayin’.

          (my dog is a huge attention whore)

          1. Judge Judy? We don’t need to take this to the Supreme Court!

      2. I had the same concerns about the dog in car. On hot days, run the AC down to Alaskan winter temps before leaving her in the car for 5 minutes, in the shade at the end of an 80F day so that I could run in and get a few things. I was always expecting some busybody to be trying to break in to rescue her when I came back. Massachusetts nannies are about the same as the RI sort, and even more selfconfident.

      3. Are you comparing my kids to your fucking dog? ARE YOU?

        Actually, a lot of people I know get more bent about animals in the car than kids.

        I’ve only had 1 “incident”, and the bitch learned her lesson. She tried to video the whole thing with her phone, but for some reason, she stopped recording when I turned it back on her.

      4. Perfect opportunity to point a gun at the shrinking violet’s head: “She was trying to poison my dog!”

    3. They could starve to death in those 5 minutes!

  6. Sen. William Walaska, the Warwick Democrat who introduced “home-alone” age restrictions [said]: “Imagine they open up a cupboard and there’s some chemicals in there.”

    Why don’t you just ban unlocked cupboards? Why don’t you just ban chemicals? It is so simple!

    1. I remember when I was a child, all I ever did when home alone was desperately search for bleach to guzzle.

      “Hey brother,” I would say. “What say you we go searching for chemicals to drink?”

      1. I can’t even imagine what would happen to my parents nowadays after that one time I had to have my stomach pumped because I drank fuel oil.

        1. My little brother drank some motor oil. I have no fucking idea how anyone drinks fucking motor oil. That boys never been right. But yeah, we had to take him to the hospital, dumb little shit. If only there were laws against garages and motor oil.

          1. In my case, I think it was in a pretty bottle. And I was, like, less than 3 years old.

            I think 3-year-olds should be banned from garages. Or any kind of interaction with dad, for that matter, who might take them into situations where there may be fuel oil lying around.

            1. Better yet, let’s give Plato’s idea some serious thought and start confiscating all children at bbirth and raising them in communal orphanages instead, where they will be safe and properly trained until being released upon reaching adulthood at 28.

    2. Somebody needs to tell this fuckwit that it is impossible to open a cupboard and not find it full of chemicals.
      Sheesh!

  7. State lawmakers are debating a bill that would punish parents for leaving a child younger than 7 alone in a car. They’ve also proposed legislation to ban kids under 10 from being home alone and older kids from being home alone at night.

    Tyrants assholes cocksuckers douchebags cuntlickers

  8. Sen. William Walaska, the Warwick Democrat who introduced “home-alone” age restrictions [said]: “Imagine they open up a cupboard and there’s some chemicals in there.”

    “Oh Fuck You”

    1. “Imagine they open up a cupboard and there’s some chemicals in there.”

      Oh mah gawd! What a fucking retard.

    2. I bet Senator Walaska would be on board with a dihydrogen monoxide ban.

    3. Wait, some of those “chemicals” would be “organic”, so what’s the issue?

    4. Sounds like somebody has a mouth breathing relative that drinks Drano.

      1. How far is RI from Wisconsin? Drano is an aperitif there. The dainty women drink a glass just before Packer kickoffs.

  9. I have an idea. Ban legislators. That will solve most of these imaginary problems overnight.

    1. +1

    2. I think the problem is that they stopped teaching Latin in the schools and nobody’s told the legislators that “in loco parentis” doesn’t mean what they think it means.

  10. IIf this evidence of increasing Social tolerance?

    1. *pours Winston into a decanter, lets him aerate for 30 minutes*

      1. You’re looking at a 48 hour headache if you take even one sip of that swill.

    2. According to the ‘liberals’, yes. But it doesn’t go far enough, it never goes far enough. They’ll never be satisfied until the state is so far up their arse it’s a permanent resident.

  11. But the state did recently pass a law to make sex offenders who live within 300 feet of a school move 700 feet further away

    Isn’t that effectively banishment? I mean, Rhode Island is about, what, a square acre?

    1. That extra 700 feet will definitely protect the kids. Everyone knows that the farthest a child molester is willing to walk to get his molestation on is 990 feet and not one centimeter further.

      1. Jared has proven this to be false.

    2. Rhode Island has banned the usage of the word ‘acre’ because of privileged cis shitlords like you.

    3. What’s even stupider is when they ban gun stores within 1000 feet of a school. As if being in close physical proximity to a gun store will allow kids to get their hands on guns.

  12. Sen. William Walaska, the Warwick Democrat who introduced “home-alone” age restrictions [said]: “Imagine they open up a cupboard and there’s some chemicals in there.”

    Know what happens if they don’t? Their bodies start to break down first. Things that used to feel good start to hurt. Their joints swell; their skin sags. They become incontinent. They stop remembering things, like where the keys are, or who their friends are, or their own name. Their bodies begin to propagate cells incorrectly, leading to painful tumors. And that’s considered a relatively good scenario.

    1. Are you telling me that anal starts to hurt?

      1. I’ll let you know if I find out.

  13. “Like playing outside in the cold! At last, our precious children, from pre-k through elementary school, will be safe from outdoor recess during the long winter months. When the mercury dips below 32, it’s forbidden.”

    The best way to fight childhood obesity is to forbid all outside physical activity for 4 months out of the year.

    The funniest part about all this is how the various “safety uber alles!” policies directly conflict with the claim that we need more active children to fight obesity. How can you complain about obesity problems and then make it impossible for gets to play outside for months at a time?

    1. That’s because the real solution is government mandated exercise sessions and bans on fatty foods.

      1. None of my orphans are ever allowed outside and none are fat – I keep them chained to their workstations running on treadmills hooked to a generator and use the electricity to power the cattle prods that keep them running. It’s a lot less Rube Goldberg than you might think. As a bonus, I collect the sweat – and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that orphan fear-and-despair sweat has a certain piquant perfection when used to moisten the rim of a marguerita glass.

        1. I hope you collect the feces to use as fertilizer too. Let nothing go to waste. Orphan poop-fertilized cherry tomatoes are better than any of the ones you’l find at the grocery store.

    2. The solution, Irish, is to give each family a Wii Fit. IT’S SO SIMPLE!

    3. You’re supposed to go outside with the children. That way you won’t have time to read sites like this and realize how much of your day is spent working for the government or dealing with its overreach.

      1. When? Every adult is supposed to have a fulfilling career.

    4. The only person that isn’t allowed to feed your child is you!

  14. OBESITY IS AN EPIDEMIC! KIDS NEED TO MOVE MORE!

    DANGER IS EVERYWHERE! KIDS NEED TO BE LOCKED AWAY MORE!

    1. Didn’t some UK country come up with the brilliant idea to assign a state worker to each and every kid to watch over them? Obama needs to pay attention, our children are unsafe.

        1. A Named Person? That sounds fucking creepy. “Mom, my Named Person is here to watch me.” And they think we’re crazy.

  15. Sen. William Walaska, the Warwick Democrat who introduced “home-alone” age restrictions [said]: “Imagine they open up a cupboard and there’s some chemicals in there.”

    Well, to repeat and expand on what I wrote the *last time this article was posted* – Sen Walaska is a moran.

    1. There *are* chemicals in 100% of the cupboards in the world.
    2. There are *chemicals* in the cupboard doors.
    3. There are chemicals in the very *air* the little house-apes are breathing!
    4. BECAUSE THE WHOLE FUCKING WORLD IS MADE OF CHEMICALS.
    5. And every single one of them is artificial to boot.

    1. Yeah, but the concerned senator is specifically talking about the ones in bottles made by evul corporashunz specifically for the purpose of luring and poisoning unsuspecting little children. You know that, why do you hate the children?

    2. I’d rather get my cyanide from the amygdalin in apple seeds. It’s natural.

    3. Any person who keeps chemicals in their home is a danger to children!

  16. ERMAHGERD CHERMICERLS.

  17. Maybe the reason kids used to be thinner is because they were constantly fleeing the pedophiles who lived in decrepit shacks in the field 25 feet behind their schools.

    1. “You’re so ugly, not even a pedophile would chase you.”

  18. Congratulations, Rhode Island: Looks like the government is about to become the proud parent of every child in the state.

    Feature, not bug.

  19. RE: Rhode Island Wants to Criminalize Latchkey, Recess When It’s Cold Outside
    State lawmakers are debating a bill that would punish parents for leaving a child younger than 7 alone in a car. They’ve also proposed legislation to ban kids under 10 from being home alone and older kids from being home alone at night. Legislation could even extend to private preschools, where a bill would ban outdoor recess when the temperature drops below freezing.

    This is legislation wise beyond its years.
    Children of all ages should never be left alone.
    Otherwise they might learn responsibility and leave the government plantation.
    What a horrible thought that is!

  20. This is the kind of shit that makes me wish we could implement H Beam Piper’s system of controlling politicians.

    I’m not saying this useless oxygen thief deserves a woodchipper, but he does deserve to be taken out behind the woodshed for the ass-whipping daddy never gave him.

  21. Something tells me Senator Walaska often found chemicals in cupboards as a kid and ate and drank them in copious amounts. Just a suspicion.

  22. Oh the horror, they might open a cupboard and find a chemical! Per wikipedia “chemical substances commonly encountered in pure form are diamond (carbon), gold, table salt (sodium chloride) and refined sugar (sucrose).

    Senator, define what you mean by chemical before you ransack through your subject’s lives, please.

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