January 24, 2021

H3, The Free Range Parenting Act, is Common Sense Protection for Parents

by:  John Crowder

John Crowder, Publisher, Pocatello-Chubbuck Observer

I remember growing up in a small community in Alaska and heading out on adventures in the summer.  My brothers, sisters, friends, and I would get up in the morning, pack ourselves lunch, and take off through the woods to explore.  At times we’d be out until dinner.  Those were great times!

These days, though, just letting your child walk or bike to the park might lead to a visit from law enforcement or a social worker because someone decided they know more about parenting than you do.

The Idaho legislature took an important step last week to help protect parents from such neighborhood busybodies and overzealous social workers.

H3, the Reasonable Childhood Independence Act, also known as the Free Range Parenting Act, tightens up language around Idaho’s definition of neglect.  As the law is currently written, parents who allow their children to walk to school or to the park, to play outside, to stay at home for a reasonable amount of time, or to wait in a car when the temperature is not dangerously hot or cold, could be subject to dealing with law enforcement because some nosy neighbor or passerby decided to report them to authorities.

H3 specifically excludes actions such as those outlined above from the definition of neglect.  You can learn more about the bill, and follow its progress, here:


To help ensure passage of this common sense legislation, contact your legislators and ask them to support H3.

Let Your Customers Know You’re Open! Contact the Pocatello Chubbuck Observer and let us help you get the word out!

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