What’s So Strange About This Article?

To me — everything. Here it is. It’s about a 12-year-old, new to the neighborhood on his first day of school, who missed the bus home. He and his friend started walking, apparently got lost (the reference to Fred Myer is a local grocery), and pretty soon the entire town — police, Boys & Girls Club, everyone — was on high alert for the missing boys.

I love the idea of community invovlement, but I’ve got all these questions, starting with: The kid had a cell phone. Why didn’t he call? If it was a new phone and he was unfamiliar with it, why didn’t he ask someone to help him use it? Why didn’t the school, where he went after he missed his bus, call his parents or help him get home? And why is a 12-year-old who is temporarily AWOL a news story? Are we so convinced abductions are happening all the time that when a child is NOT abducted, that’s considered news? 

Anyway, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is something very strange about this story. If you can figure it out, clue me in. Meantime, a thank you to Free-Range Kids reader Nancy, who sent it in, with the comment: “It blows me away that there would be this level of worry over a 12 year old missing his bus in a safe residential neighborhood (without even any busy streets!) When I was 12 I had already held down a summer job for 3 years.”

Hmmm. — Lenore