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The land of the scared

August 6, 2018

An American visiting Europe may be struck by the freedom that young people enjoy there. Pre-teens freely travel city streets by foot or bike, between school and home, running errands, or having fun. Teenagers traveling alone are common on the trains. Sixteen year-olds may meet their friends after school for a beer or wine, that being legal in Belgium, Spain, and quite a few other EU nations.

In contrast, Kim Brooks describes how the US in recent decades has developed a culture, backed by some law, that treats children as so helpless and in so much danger from the community around them that they need constant parental supervision. Readers from the EU and from Japan remarked on America’s exceptionalism in that.

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