In 2008, journalist Lenore Skenazy set the world on fire with an act that, thirty years ago, was unremarkable: she let her 9-year-old ride the subway alone. The public’s reaction ranged from applauding her choice, to calling her "insane" and her actions "just plain stupid." Some called Skenazy a child abuser, while several media outlets dubbed her “America’s worst mom.”
Kids walking about in public without parental supervision lit up the presses again this past December, when suburban parents Danielle and Alexander Meitiv allowed their children, ages six and ten, to walk home alone from a park within a mile of their house. Outraged neighbors contacted the police and Child Protective Services, who investigated the family and ultimately charged them with “unsubstantiated” child neglect. The Meitivs made the news again in April, when Child Protective Services seized their children as they were returning home from another nearby park by themselves.