upr-header-1.jpg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Utah Lawmakers Pass Free-Range Parenting Proposal

Parents can let their children legally walk to school on their own or play on a playground alone without the threat of child neglect.
Parents can let their children legally walk to school on their own or play on a playground alone without the threat of child neglect.

A proposal aimed at adding safeguards for the practice of "free-range parenting" has now been passed by both the Utah House and Senate.

Representatives in the House unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that ensures parents are not accused of neglect for allowing mature kids to do things alone like travel to school, explore a playground or stay in the car.

Republican Rep. Brad Daw, the bill's House sponsor, says parents in other states have been investigated for neglect in such circumstances, but not in Utah.

Free-range parenting is a modern buzzword for families aiming to raise self-sufficient kids, but how much freedom at what age remains a fierce debate.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill worries such a law could be used as a defense in child abuse cases.