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Doonesbury and Us!

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Read Time: 2 minutes

Doonesbury sums up a whole lot of our themes in the Sunday funny pages! In case it’s too small to read, here’s what it says:

It’s dinner time and Alex Doonesbury, a mom in her mid-30s, is wondering where her twins Danny and Eli are. “They better not still be out at the quarry!”

Then Danny calls and she demands: “Where ARE you two? It’s after six! You guys want unsupervised play after school, you have to hold up your end of the deal! With freedom comes responsibility! Got it, Danny?”

To which Danny interrupts to say, “Mom? Where do we live?”

“Virginia. Why?”

And then we see that Danny and his brother are in a police cruiser. Eli is explaining to the cop, “We’re Free-Range Kids.” And the cop replies, “No kidding.”

All of which means — we think:

1 – Garry Trudeau and Doonesbury believe in after-school, unsupervised free play. (Start a Play Club in your school or neighborhood — free “how-to” here.)

2 – Trudeau has clearly also been following the sagas of parents accused of “neglect” for simply letting their kids enjoy a happy, scrappy childhood.

3 – He wants kids to have a reasonable amount of freedom and responsibility when their PARENTS — not bystanders or the authorities — feel they are ready for it.

4 – Trudeau may have even put the “Where do we live?” question in not to imply Danny is dim, but so that a future Doonesbury strip can mention how this year (with Let Grow’s help), Virginia became the fifth state to pass a Reasonable Childhood Independence law. That law says neglect is when you put your kids in serious, obvious danger — not anytime you let them do some activities on their own.

We now have EIGHT STATES that have passed “Reasonable Childhood Independence” laws: Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Virginia, Connecticut, Illinois and Montana. Usually the law passes with bi-partisan sponsorship (like Virginia) and often unanimously (like Virginia). Next states we’re working in? California, Michigan, Nebraska, and Georgia. If you’d like to help out in any way — big or small — please fill out the little form at the bottom of this page.

And here’s hoping the story line continues in Doonesbury!

Doonesbury 3

Doonesbury, Dec 3, 2023

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