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Laws Punishing Children Who Run Away from Home 
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This is just my opinion: Minors should be able to leave their legal guardian without the law getting in the way. The parent could be abusive and I don't think authorities should force the young individual to continue to live in such a miserable environment. That being said, if they are younger than, say...15, I think Child Protection Services should get them to a safe place, like to a sane family member or a foster home.

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Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:47 pm
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It depends on the situation.

If the child runs away because they wish to for no apparent reason, or they and their friends are doing so for no justifiable reason, then yes, they should be returned. Of course, if that reports abuse of any kind upon being found, then there should be some investigation going on.

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Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:00 pm
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What the heck? This should not be a law. They are just children! What if they ran away because they were abused by their parents/guardians? They
would have to return otherwise face time in juvinile prison? I'm wondering which states have this law.

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Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:31 am
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I have to wonder when this law actually comes into effect. I remember hearing quite a few stories about how small kids, like 5 or so, would 'run away' when their parents were 'so horribly mean.' They usually didn't go to far.

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Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:55 am
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Well yeah some people are understandable but this should be synchronized for them. Some people actually don't know what they're doing and some people have very good reasons for what they're doing such as problems, abuse, etc. .

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Sun May 15, 2011 11:33 pm
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I think the police should definitely get involved in a case of a child running away, but definitely not to punish them. Someone's already said, but returning them then monitoring them is a much better idea than clean cut punishment with no investigation.

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Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:40 pm
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kitsune-prophet wrote:
I'd like to set aside the argument of "they're kids, they don't know what they're doing" for a second to consider if the law in and of itself is a good/right/just law.

The law is always just. But the definition of just is by Man's standards, since when has he been right?

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Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:27 am
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What are these states with these insane/absurd laws?

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Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:32 pm
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I agree completely with this proposal. Children should be sent back when they run away. If there is abuse in the home, they should tell somebody about it, and it would be taken care of (in most cases, where the law isn't terrible.) More often than not, child services is at your door when even the slightest hint of abuse is reported. I remember having a bruise on my face in middle school. My teacher asked me what it was and I said I hit my head on the bedframe. Child services came to my house and checked me for bruises and asked me a bunch of questions. It was awkward.

...But little punks who run away from home because they're rebellious should definitely be punished. It uses up police resources to find these kids who ran away just to see their boyfriends and girlfriends without telling their parents, who call the police because they think they're going to get kidnapped or worse.

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Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:34 am
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Novalex wrote:
kitsune-prophet wrote:
I'd like to set aside the argument of "they're kids, they don't know what they're doing" for a second to consider if the law in and of itself is a good/right/just law.

The law is always just. But the definition of just is by Man's standards, since when has he been right?


There is no real definition of what is 'right'. What is right to you might not be right to somebody else. The idea of right and wrong is a flawed system.

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Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:35 am
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I don't think these laws are useful enough. We're trillions of dollars in debt, so let's spend some more catch emos who ran from home because no one understands them. I realize that some people may need to leave, but half of them probably have a stupid reason for running away.

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Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:51 pm
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That's ... really insensitive! If someone feels like running away from home because they are severely depressed, that is a serious and valid reason, and something that needs to be addressed through support and therapy.

(also, who uses the term 'emo' anymore? is this 2006??)

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Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:52 pm
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shunn6653 wrote:
the majority of you are conveniently forgetting that if there wasn't some kind of "running-away" law in place the police wouldn't be able to intervene. what do parents do when their teen has run away? call the cops. most teens are emotionally unstable and irrational, don't get me wrong i'm 17 myself which is exactly why i say this. i know first hand that the actions many teens take wouldn't have been done had they been able to think clearly and maturely. i'm not saying that there aren't any mature teens out there, but they are the minority. so think about it clearly, what if one day you're teenage child decides to run away for one of many reasons and you call the local authorities only to have them say "sorry ma'am, there's nothing we can do."

maybe going as far as to punish them might be a bit overkill, but these kinds of laws are put in place by the people, who are we to question what the majority of each individual state want for their children?


Is there a law saying Police can only deal with people that break a law or a accused of doing so?

antihero wrote:
That's ... really insensitive! If someone feels like running away from home because they are severely depressed, that is a serious and valid reason, and something that needs to be addressed through support and therapy.

(also, who uses the term 'emo' anymore? is this 2006??)


Thank you. It makes is seem that being emotional is a disease.

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Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:31 pm
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Depends.

There are wrong reasons and right reasons for running away from home sometimes. For attention and because of your parent's 'strict' discipline (when it may just be being stuck in your room for a few days) when you need discipline is not an excuse to run away. But if you have no way of contacting the outside world but to run away, and there is a bad problem (extremely poor child environment and maybe child abuse) then I see no reason why not to run away. For some children maybe non-extreme punishment is needed, but for some unusual cases such as some listed above I could understand why. The only time extreme force and even juvenile prison would be needed is if the child has murderous intentions or a major offense to break.

This is what I think.

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Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:16 am
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It depends on how it's dealt with, I guess, returning the child to home, and if there's any claims of abuse, bring child services along. But punishment like juvie is going too far.

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Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:36 am
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I believe this is a perfect example of what I see to be the biggest flaw in American law. They claim everyone is equally free, when in reality that is not the case. Until you turn 18 you are not truly free, and this shows that more. As people have shown thus far, there are perfectly legitimate reasons for a minor (I won't use child or teen) to leave their parents home. For them to be punished by the minor's version of prison is simply cruel. Someone mentioned the missing persons thing, and that's a valid point. It's a completely different point though, as missing persons does not resolve with the person in question being arrested, merely returned. Granted, this may not be the best idea, but bring in the idea mentioned so often before of surveillance if there's any mention of abuse, and now you have a much better solution.

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Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:21 pm
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Empoleonmaster wrote:
shunn6653 wrote:
the majority of you are conveniently forgetting that if there wasn't some kind of "running-away" law in place the police wouldn't be able to intervene. what do parents do when their teen has run away? call the cops. most teens are emotionally unstable and irrational, don't get me wrong i'm 17 myself which is exactly why i say this. i know first hand that the actions many teens take wouldn't have been done had they been able to think clearly and maturely. i'm not saying that there aren't any mature teens out there, but they are the minority. so think about it clearly, what if one day you're teenage child decides to run away for one of many reasons and you call the local authorities only to have them say "sorry ma'am, there's nothing we can do."

maybe going as far as to punish them might be a bit overkill, but these kinds of laws are put in place by the people, who are we to question what the majority of each individual state want for their children?


Is there a law saying Police can only deal with people that break a law or a accused of doing so?


well in the good ol' USA, yes there is. the police can not just apprehend anyone they feel like, there laws in place preventing that. those very same laws prevent a police officer from arresting someone just cause they "look suspicious", and really getting police involved with runaways is a good thing, could help uncover abuse and neglect. why most people continue to assume that policemen are blind fools i will never know.


according to youthnoise.com, 15% of minors will run away before they turn 18, and only 46% of those who run away were actually abused, that's less than half. we need laws preventing runaways in place to help parents of kids who ran away for no legitimate reason. i agree that sometimes kids really do have a reason for running, but running solves nothing, kids just need to learn to reach out to someone who can help, there's so many people willing to just sit and listen yet so many kids keep quiet.


as most of you can see i deeply respect laws, and i trust the legal system completely, granted it's not perfect but it's as perfect as we make it.

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Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:50 pm
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Alex010110 wrote:
I believe this is a perfect example of what I see to be the biggest flaw in American law. They claim everyone is equally free, when in reality that is not the case. Until you turn 18 you are not truly free, and this shows that more. As people have shown thus far, there are perfectly legitimate reasons for a minor (I won't use child or teen) to leave their parents home. For them to be punished by the minor's version of prison is simply cruel. Someone mentioned the missing persons thing, and that's a valid point. It's a completely different point though, as missing persons does not resolve with the person in question being arrested, merely returned. Granted, this may not be the best idea, but bring in the idea mentioned so often before of surveillance if there's any mention of abuse, and now you have a much better solution.

that's because minors aren't...full...citizens? they're kids, you can't expect them to take full responsibility for their actions, or act responsibly in general.

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Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:18 pm
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Honestly though, I have seen several minors who were far more mature and capable of taking responsibility for their actions than adults who are 'full citizens'. The problem I see is that how they limit rights based strictly on age is an incredibly faulty solution. I do agree that many young minors don't understand the cause-effect, but I do feel that there should be some more equalizing system than just age determining your rights.

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Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:44 pm
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Alex010110 wrote:
Honestly though, I have seen several minors who were far more mature and capable of taking responsibility for their actions than adults who are 'full citizens'. The problem I see is that how they limit rights based strictly on age is an incredibly faulty solution. I do agree that many young minors don't understand the cause-effect, but I do feel that there should be some more equalizing system than just age determining your rights.

several, though, is the key word there. there are plenty of legal adults who, i'm sure, are less-than-stellar role models, but short of a time-consuming, expensive, bureaucratic test or something to determine adulthood, there's not an easy solution. by 18 most people are responsible enough to take care of themselves.

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Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:50 pm
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