SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – This year the state of Utah became the first state in the nation to pass a free-range parenting law.
State Senator Lincoln Fillmore, who sponsored the bill stops by this weeks Inside Utah Politics to discuss how the bill works and why he thinks it’s getting so much national recognition.
” It changes the definition of neglect, so that a parent can no longer be arrested for a crime as simple as letting their child play at the park, walk or ride a bike to school, or run a little errand to the grocery store,” Fillmore said.
When the bill was first introduced, many people were curious as to why it was necessary.
“Across the country, parents have in fact been arrested, investigated or have even had children taken out of their custody simply for, for example letting them shoot baskets in the front yard unsupervised for an hour, letting them play at the park that you can see from the kitchen window, letting them walk to school or walk home from the grocery store. These kinds of things can be a normal part of parenting, of choosing to give your child a little independence, so that they get the kinds of experience, and problem solving and self reliance that they are going to need to be successful adults,” said Fillmore.
He also talks about the national response that his bill has received and the possibility that it could be implemented in other states down the line.