Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lenore Skenazy on our column.

The feedback from the column on teenage "sex offenders" continues to be mostly positive. Syndicated columnist Lenore Skenazy is the most recent to mention the essay in her column of Sept 17th. Coincidentally I had just finished reading Skanzy's own book, Free-Range Kids, a short while ago. Her publisher had sent me a copy and I sat down immediately to read it through. My only problem with it is that it seems that what she is saying is so obvious I'm still having a hard time believing people need to hear it. But apparently there are a lot of irrational, fear-driving adults out there.

Skenazy made the news herself when she wrote a column about her son nine-year-old son Izzy. Izzy told his mother he was confident that he could find his way around on the New York City transit system and asked permission to go with her downtown and find his own way back, without her. She agreed. Izzy had no problems whatsoever and easily found his way back. Skenazy wrote about this and the hysterics and panic-driven launched into overdrive attacking her as an awful mother daring to give her kid freedom. Doesn't she know that children must be constantly monitored for ever second of the day due the high chance of something awful happening—abductors, rapists, murderers, vampires, meteors, space aliens, etc? There are just some people who seem to get a kick out of being in a panic about something. And Skenazy pissed them off because, while she apprehensions, she didn't share the shear panic that such hysterics get high from.

Skenazy wrote about a blog radio interview she did recetly about "sex registries" and said she had "written that these lists are rife with folks who've committed such 'sex crimes' as peeing public, visiting a prostitute or even streaking—in other words, folks who don't pose much of a threat to kids." She told her readers: "So rather than making our kids safe from predators, the registry is turning them into "predators." It's labeling them that! Boys as young as 14 [actually Lenore, it is much younger] can find themselves on the registry for years—for decades—and our rationale? It's 'for the sake of the children.'" Amen, Sister Lenore, I'm with you.

She then urgers readers to go to freestudents.blogspot.com, that's us. So, if you came here as a result of that column welcome. The article you are looking for can be found here.

I am sure that Ms. Skenazy will get some rather unpleasant hate mail as a result of her column. But she got that merely for letting her son ride the subway on his own. Good lord, I once walked a couple of miles as a small child to find my father—successfully. On another occassion, even younger, I walked from my parents home to my grandmother's across several busy streets. I knew where I was going and got there. (Oddly years later, I mentioned to my mother and grandmother that I had just gone to look at the first house we lived in -- which I moved from when I was five. They both insisted I went to the wrong house and simply couldn't remember it after so many decades. Then they realized I was right and they had gotten it wrong. I liked that.)

I'm glad she has a syndicated column and appreciate the mention. I hope she's ready for the burning at the stake.

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