Proposal gives parents some wiggle room while still protecting young children
Did you know that you or someone you know could be guilty of second-degree child neglect? SB 368
introduced by Senator Brian Boquist (R-Dallas) aims to modify that law bringing protection to some parents and independence to some young children.
looks to modify Oregon law ORS 163.545
which says “A person having custody or control of a child under 10 years of age commits the crime of child neglect in the second degree if, with criminal negligence, the person leaves the child unattended in or at any place for such period of time as may be likely to endanger the health or welfare of such child”.
Children mature at different ages, but is the blanket statement that 10 year-olds are too young to be engaged in independent activities or left alone accurate? A 2019 article in The Mercury News cited that by age 13, 83 percent of kids have their own cell phone and a widely cited 2016 report by Influence Central put the average age for a child to get a cell phone at about 10. In other words, kids can be trusted with a smart phone that can access all sorts of things on the internet but not to engage in unsupervised activities.
Senator Boquist proposes to modify that statute to give parents some wiggle room while still protecting young children. The bill would allow parents to decide if their child is mature enough to engage in specific activities independently: The bill proposes the following be allowed to be unsupervised:
(a)Walking, running or bicycling to or from school or nearby commercial or recreational facilities;
(b) Engaging in outdoor play;
(c) Remaining in a vehicle unattended;
(d) Remaining at home unattended; or
(e) Engaging in a similar independent activity
|Post Date: 2021-01-29 16:42:32|