A Sunday Morning Chat with The World's Worst Mom

We moderns take pride in the fact that we no longer burn witches. But can we be so certain that we’ve emerged from the "Dark Ages" to a new enlightened state of mind? Lenore Skenazy sees some of the markings of a modern-day witch hunt in sex-offender registry laws. There’s no doubt that we need mechanisms to protect potential victims of sexual violence, but Skenazy argues that these registries enact draconian yet ineffective punishments – often branding relatively innocent minors for life, lumping them in with some of the most heinous criminals. It takes bravery to advance this view, given the unpopularity of the cause (don’t expect a March for Sex Offenders’ Rights anytime soon). But demonization hasn’t stopped Skenazy from making common-sense arguments – with a heavy dose of humor – about this and other modern-day witch hunts. She was labeled the “World’s Worst Mom” for allowing her 9-year-old son to ride the NYC subway and writing about it in the New York Post. The controversy led her to start a now-global movement of “Free Range Kids.” She now frequently speaks and writes to debunk myths like the ubiquitous kidnapper, and the incurable sex offender (the most common age of people on the sex offender registry is 14 years old). Skenazy’s latest project encourages parents and schools to grant kids more autonomy – to let go, and Let Grow – as such experiences, and the small risks involved, are essential to learning. She joins Bob this Sunday – fresh off a Cato Institute symposium, titled, “You May Be a Sex Offender if…” – to restore sanity to the conversation around sexual harassment, sex offenders, and over-sensitivity on college campuses.

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