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Saturday, November 10, 2007

New line drawn

We often remark about how times have changed. When we were kids, your parents could let you head off on your own to the nearby schoolyard to play with your friends, even if you were only 6 or 7 years old.

You can't do that nowadays. But I was surprised to read that parents' doing so is now seen as a crime!

Comments (12)

Finally we now have a law about being stupid. The libs must be proud of their "Save Us From Ourselves" proselytizing legislation.
Is all of man's mistakes going to be finalized in a court?

How can the parents be charged with "unlawfully and knowingly withholding necessary and adequate medical attention..." if they were unaware the child had been injured?

That said, I would never buy a skateboard for a 6 year old, let alone leave them at a skatepark.

I've spent some time at the newest CoP skatepark (between PCC Sylvania and Marquam School), and I've seen lots of 4-10 year old kids learning how to skate. Most of them are staying on the sidewalks (their self-preservation instinct seems to keep them out of the "pool") and most seem to have parents nearby. The age range for the true aficcionados is about 20 to 35, and it's clearly a sub-culture. Those under twenty are least likely to wear a helmet and f-bombs are frequently used instead of adjectives. Speed metal music seems more popular than rap (blaring from the nearest car), and intuition suggests at least some street pharmacology involved.

It is not the kind of place I would leave a 12 year old unattended, if only because it's a target rich environment for pedophiles. That said, Medford might be a kinder/gentler kind of skate park.

These attractive nuisances (the skateparks, not the kids) are provided by the government, and I suppose it might occur to a parent to sue for the child's injury. In that context, I guess the best defense is a good offense.

What Crapola!!

Huh? This wasn't a nearby schoolyard, but a SKATE park that the dad had to drive them to. The six year old unhooked the strap on his helmet, which a six year old might be expected to do, and there was only a nine year old to remind him otherwise, which the nine year old would not be expected to do. I encouraged my kids to be active, too, but I can't imagine leaving a six year old unsupervised in an environment where a helmet is required or even recommended.

I may be the only maternal voice commenting here so far, but it sounds pretty negligent to me.

Some more context might be helpful before deciding whether I agree or disagree with the charges.

For example, how far is the skatepark from the location where the father was working? Did the father provide the older boy with a cell phone and show him how to use it to call home or summon medical help? Could the boys safely walk home from the park or to the location where the father or mother were?

When I was that age (I am 40 now), I routinely went out on my own, riding my bike and skateboard (there were no skateparks but there were some awfully steep hills and I injured myself a few times far away from the nearest adult).

I agree times have changed, but I think bringing criminal charges in such a case should only be done in the clearest cases of neglect and endangerment.

I also agree that the city might have fired first to lessen the chances of a civil suit from the family for the head injury at the city-owned park.

So, would a provision in a care provider's agreement that exempts them from any liability for cracked skulls and such in their home be void as against public policy as expressed through, for example, this criminal prosecution? The care provider can think they are free, as like having free insurance, to look away without a care in the world.

How about when brothers momentarily are out of sight, and fighting/"wrestling"? (I was the lucky one, regarding medical bills, even though I was the youngest of the boys.) Exploring was an escape from certain conflict.

How about being sent alone to feed the pigs or cows or horses? (You know, chores.)

How could you teach a kid to feed a horse, by hand? (Risk-free?)

When I was that age I was gone all the time. As long as I was home on time, there was no danger.

District Attorney Mark D. Huddleston must be a cage fed rather than the free range type when he was growing up. Hopefully this is just a rural Oregon thing. It would be bad to have a whole generation grow up not knowing how the think for themselves.

Well...you are not supposed to leave your dog unattended at the dog park.
So I guess it might make sense to not leave one's child unattended at a skate park or a play ground, or on the computer either.

I totally don't see the problem with letting dogs smoke cigarettes. I mean, why should skaters be punished just because dog lovers were abused as children? Makes sense to me.

It would be bad to have a whole generation grow up not knowing how the think for themselves.

You obviously dont have kids in public schools. I think that ship has sailed...

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