Three neighbors called the cops -- and no one talked to the family -- in a Cedar Falls, Iowa, neighborhood where Savannah Watters, age 10, was selling homemade cookies and flavored water. (I guess she knew selling actual lemonade was a fast track to Attica.)
News outlets across the country have been covering this story, which is great because that seems to suggest a certain solidarity with the entrepreneurial girl -- and a certain dismay that we have come to the point where it feels more natural to call 911 than to knock on a neighbor's door.
The complaints were that she was bringing too much traffic to the neighborhood, that she was on a corner too close to fast traffic, and finally this, according to ABC11:
One of the callers wanted officers to do a welfare check to make sure there was proper supervision of the cookie entrepreneur.
Of course! What kind of parent lets their 10-year-old go outside, unsupervised, considering how easily she could be kidnapped? (Um, here's how easily: Less than a 1 in a million chance. We're at a 50-year crime low.)
Ah, but fear has worked its magic. A sunny summer day and the place looks like a ghost town.
Because kids don't go outside anymore.
Because when they do, it's so weird, neighbors call the cops.
So kids don't go outside anymore.
So when the do, neighbors call the cops.
How can we stop this cycle of tattling and meanness? How to stand up for what the cookie stand stands for?
Here's how: Have your school do the Let Grow Project. It feels NORMAL and FINE to send your kids out to run an errand -- or a cookie stand -- when EVERYONE at the school is doing something on their own, because that's the Project. One afternoon of old-fashioned freedom can change a whole town.
Try it and tell us how it feels to let go and give your kids a #LetGrowMoment. Let's get this revolution started!