As a parent of young kids, I'm looking forward to when they reach that age. I'd be awfully depressed if Maryland made this change.
My issue with this bill is the penalty for parents who leave a 9yo alone for a few minutes to pick up food, milk, help a neighbor down the street, etc. As someone pointed out last night in a FB group of parents in my community, are the kids better off in the foster care system while the parents fight an expensive, time-consuming battle with Child Services? There has to be a better way than a human purse-seine technique.
This is a poorly thought out bill. The problem of children being left for long periods unattended requires multiple solutions for the different "use cases" for lack of a better expression. At the least, we have parents who pursue drug habits and the like, are immature, and ones who are stuck on 3rd shift jobs with no support system to watch the kids. These different populations require different solutions.
And with teen pregnancy you can end up in weird scenarios like a mom with her toddler legally requiring a grandparent, technically.
I've seen some writings that its a pretty effective weapon against people of the wrong demographic. The same crazy cat lady who files HOA complaints for having the wrong species of daisy in the flowerbed will hover over the neighborhood's jews or blacks or whatever she doesn't like, until she sees a kid alone in the backyard long enough to snap a picture, then CPS is called in. Its not that we don't like section 8 people, or republicans, or whatever, its just that we don't like unsupervised kids, you see.
I've also seen writings that in some municipalities this is the only way to handle barking dogs.
It's just a proposed bill though (aka, journalist bait).
This is a specific instance of a government literally being a nanny. Sad.
Beyond the age of 5, maybe 6, a child is surely more than capable of independent living for several days? They should be able to handle their bodily functions, feed themselves, keep themselves entertained with books and/or TV and/or the internet, play outside with their friends and cycle around (slightly depending on the living arrangement and distances involved), commute to school, get their homework done etc.?
I remember being home alone for days going on weeks during early school years, if my parents were out of town/out of country. 20-45-minute commute of walking+subway (/metro/underground) is still the norm for everyone at my (then) primary school starting from first grade.
I did, in a rural area in Arkansas. I was probably 12 or 13 before I was left home alone for longer than a few minutes.
I'd say the independent/free play-area radius extends beyond the inside yard sometime between 4 and 5, by 10 kids would be cycling all over the city by themselves. Most would walk 10-15 mins to their kindergardens themselves (?) from about the age of 5.
I wouldn't consider this an outlier, and my family wasn't particularly laissez-faire. Many friends would go cycle-touring or interrailing in Europe between 15 and 20. Doing a solo interrail in Europe for a month is a culturally established "rite-of-passage", although people will usually wait till they turn 18 to go alone.
While your experience certainly isn't exceptional in your community - or worldwide - it would absolutely be exceptional in the US. There have been cases of parents being prosecuted for allowing their children to walk to a local park less than a mile away.
Seeing a child alone in the US is exceptionally rare. This extends to age 12-14, I would say.
But all the six year olds who were left to fend for themselves and died as a result are unable to take part in this conversation.
How brief is brief? 15 minutes? 1 movie? Nap time?
how does one use judgment to "access" maturity?
How else could this question be answered?
> The statute was never intended to be applied to the white population and in practice has never been so applied.
Watson v. Stone, 1941
Your attempt at sarcasm has failed.