Bus stop chit-chat is how this topic came up this morning.
A residing neighbor a few blocks down, had been relocated to a rental home due to Super storm Sandy, informed me of a problem they are having at the
moment. She has a 2, 4, twin 7, 12 and 14 year old in her home with her husband. She has a job as a driver and in many cases must leave the twins home
alone, before and after school, due to her schedule. Well as you can figure, someone called DYFS setting off a train-wreck series of events that I
could discuss for hours on here, but she did not break ANY NJ laws. I have no love for this agency DYFS(Division of Youth and Family Services), for
their track record has them creating more problems then they fix at times, much to the trouble of the children. The agency blankets the country,
though the name may change from state to state and anyone who has dealt with these 'stuper-nannies' knows just how incompetent and misappropriated
their actions can be.
But the question came up, that there is no law(in NJ) regarding when a parent can or should leave a child home alone. The age
at which a child can be left home alone is only legislated in four states: North Carolina, Illinois, Maryland and Oregon. North Carolina & Maryland
the age is 8, Oregon is 10 and Illinois it is 14. There are many suggestions as to the right age, depending on state, as defined in the 'Latchkey'
program. A program that has been adopted by many schools throughout the US and is also at my daughters school here in NJ.
Link to Latchkey Kids
Latchkey Children Age Restrictions By State
The National SAFEKIDS Campaign recommends that no child under the age of 12 be left at home alone.
However, consider a child's age and maturity level. For example, if a child is extremely impulsive, it might be best to wait until he or she is older
Alabama - None
Alaska - Unknown
Arizona - None
Arkansas - None
California - Unknown
Colorado - 12 *
Connecticut - None
Delaware - 12 *
Florida - 18 *
Georgia - 8 *
Hawaii - None
Idaho - None
Illinois - 14
Indiana - None
Iowa - None
Kansas - 12 *
Kentucky - Unknown
Louisiana - None
Maine - None
Maryland - 8
Massachusetts - None
Michigan - 11 *
Minnesota - None
Mississippi - None
Missouri - None
Montana - None
Nebraska - None
Nevada - Unknown
New Hampshire - None
New Jersey - None
New Mexico - None
New York - None
North Carolina - 8
North Dakota - 9 *
Ohio - None
Oklahoma - None
Oregon - 10
Pennsylvania - None
Rhode Island - Unknown
South Carolina - Unknown
South Dakota - None
Tennessee - 10 *
Texas - None
Utah - None
Vermont - Unknown
Virginia - None
Washington - 10 *
West Virginia - Unknown
Wisconsin - None
Wyoming - None
* Guideline ONLY: These states do not set a specific age after which a child legally can stay home alone but do provide
That's all fine and great but as I dug deeper into this I could not find the information regarding how they came up with these specific age standards
to begin with. Was it just a group of bureaucrats relying on some advice from another antiquated agency?
Seriously it seems odd to me that
there is such discrepancy between states. For example, North Carolina's legal requirement is 8, yet South Carolina is 'Unknown'!
(I am going to be deliberately vague here as to not offend any one race or group)
Now, as I spoke of earlier, my 'bus stop buddy'(who her and her husband are of a very specific race and religion) live in what is a very old, closed
community, except for the main street rentals. In her case this agency used these laws(guidelines) as a vehicle of probable cause. Forcing entry
into her home under the guise of child welfare to gain access. Access that would NOT have been allowed by law otherwise.
Much of this spurred on
by bigotous, old, religious(different from their own) neighbors. It has happened on many occasions to her family now, she feels targeted and
threatened by them. I found it ironic, for I was there watching the other night, just a minute as the mass of police cars came screaming down the
street, I thought it was a robbery - 6 police cars!
Maybe it was an isolated case. Maybe my buddy wasn't telling me the entire story either. Either way an alarm has gone off in my head alerting me to
yet another loophole in our already corrupt system.
In closing, this thread/situation took me in a couple directions, all of which I find important.
In summary, Do you think it's fair that our government can set standards for our children?
(What age a child can be left alone?)
(How much a child should weigh?)
(How fast a child should learn?)
These examples are listed specifically by me, many others have been left out. Ultimately, they all can lead to someone removing your children from
your home or having your rights violated.
What do you think ATS?