Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a law Friday that legalizes a childrearing method called “free-range parenting," which encourages children to be independent.
Herbert signed into law bill SB65, which gives children the freedom to develop self-sufficiency.
The law states that children must be mature enough to handle each situation — though it does not specify an age.
It will go into effect May 8.
The bill determines situations that children can engage in that would not be considered parental neglect: traveling to and from school or recreational facilities, playing outside or sitting in a car unattended, provided safe conditions.
“I feel strongly about the issue because we have become so over-the-top when ‘protecting’ children that we are refusing to let them learn the lessons of self-reliance and problem-solving that they will need to be successful as adults,” Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, who sponsored the bill, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
According to the Associated Press, Utah lawmakers were prompted to pass the law after witnessing cases in other states where parents were investigated or had their children removed because people reported seeing kids walking to school alone or playing sports without parental supervision.
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