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Drifter's rights go deeper than his 17 years

Register • Mar 25, 2013 at 5:30 AM

Excerpt: Last week Port Clinton police picked up a 17-year-old drifter. When the teen explained he was traveling cross country on his own with parental consent, the police called his parents in Wisconsin. His mother explained her son's traveling was a learning experience, part of a non-traditional education. Now police and children's services in his home state are investigating the incident.

The typical reaction to the story is "What kind of parent would allow a 17-year-old travel the country unsupervised?" It's a big cruel world out there and many unscrupulous people prey upon vulnerable children. Thousands of runaways face life-changing — or life-ending — experiences when they leave home.

We're not faulting the PC police for taking control of the situation. Their job is to protect and serve and that's what they were doing. 

But this young man is not a runaway, he's a walkabout. As J.R.R. Tolkien said, "Not all who wander are lost." His parents chose life experiences as educational tools and embarking on this, and a previous multi-state journey, is attending a class on life.  He has parental consent.

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