Should kids be allowed to roam free?

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -- Thirty years ago kids had the run of the neighborhood all summer long, but nowadays many parents don't let their kids out of their sight, fearing for their safety and of being considered negligent. That attitude may be changing.

Utah just passed a free-range parenting law that makes sure moms and dads don't get punished for letting kids go outside and play alone. Some parents think it's good to let children learn to be self-reliant. Others don't think it's worth the risk.

"I think independence is valuable, but that's my job to help teach independence not just let them figure it out for themselves; they're kids," said Tiffany Rose.

Rose is a mother of four. She said some of her kids can be trusted with a little more freedom than others, but that's not to say she'd let them travel the streets alone.

"It's important to make sure that we are not willingly and openly endangering or putting our kids in a dangerous situation," said Rose.

Dangerous situations like the potential of getting kidnapped are one reason why Mike Johnson doesn't allow his children to wander around.
Johnson used to roam when he was a kid, but the times are changing.

"The world is a lot different than when it used to be back in the olden days, just letting your kid roam like that is not a safe thing to do these days," said Johnson.

While most of the parents who spoke to Gray-TV affiliate WILX said they didn't like the idea of the law, there was one parent who said he didn't mind it as long as kids are with other kids