Hi Readers! Get a load of this — little kids in Australia have been found guilty of violating graffiti laws with their chalk drawings on a sidewalk outside a cafe. This might not be such a Free-Range issue except for this:
Mayor Ben Stennett visited the cafe yesterday as anger mounted. Almost 200 people have signed a petition to support the drawings, which [cafe owner] Ms White is happy to erase each day.
“The mayor said they would like to issue us a permit but can’t because it raises health and safety issues, in case somebody fell over a child on the footpath or into the street,” she said.
Can we PLEASE stop catastrophizing this way in every situation? If the kids are an accident waiting to happen while they draw on the sidewalk, aren’t they an accident waiting to happen while they just stand on the sidewalk, too? After all, someone could bump into them! A car could jump the curb! A dog could chase them into the street! And inside the cafe, a patron could spill boiling tea on them. Every situation can be dangerous if you think about it hard enough. Why use THAT as an excuse to curtail childhood? — L.