James Leroy Wilson's blog

Friday, September 30, 2016


For generations, children were required by law to play outside for two hours a day. But they had to play on the streets and highways. Parents were punished if they didn't make sure their children were on the streets.

Playing on privately-owned streets in gated communities was generally permitted, but most parents couldn't afford that and had no choice but to send their children to the public, government-funded streets.

After jumping through some legal hoops, other parents were allowed to keep their children off the streets, though the two hour requirement remained, and playing had to be on the sidewalk or front yard, Balls and frisbees would often fall onto the street.

But children were getting hit by cars. Some were killed. Others committed suicide because they dreaded playing on the street.

A.few people raised questions. Children playing in fresh air is mostly a good thing, but why place conditions on it? Shouldn't parents decide how and where their children play? And isn't it inevitable that many children would get hurt if they played on the street?

Their ideas were laughed out of the room. If it was left to parents, it was argued, some children wouldn't play outside at all! In fact, most people agreed that the streets were underfunded, and that children should probably stay on them even longer.

And so a solution was found. Public awareness campaigns were created. Drivers were taught to be more careful and watch out for kids. Kids were taught to dodge cars.

Do you think it worked?


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