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by Judy Molland

A community in Florida is prohibiting anyone under age 18 from going outside unsupervised by an adult.

That’s right: if you’re a kid at Ole Village in Lely Resort, Collier County, Florida, that means no bike riding, no walking to the bus stop, no being outside at all, without an adult. Some parents say their kids are under house arrest.

Actually this isn’t like house arrest. This is house arrest. And since I spend much of my time encouraging kids and their parents to Get Out and enjoy the many benefits of the outdoors, this rule seems sacrilegious to me.

Ten-year-old Yousif Mehyer and his friends have been skateboarding and biking around their neighborhood for years. But for the past few weeks the kids have been stuck indoors.

From NBC-2.com:

“They’ve been harassing our kids quite a bit coming up to them telling them they can’t be outside,” said Tony Stein, Ole resident.

According to the housing association rules, all minors under the age of 18 need to be supervised by an adult at all times.

“This is some kind of mistake,” said Stein.

The rule isn’t new, it has been around since the neighborhood was built, but security is just now starting to enforce it.

“Can’t walk to the store, can’t walk to their neighbor’s house, their friends,” said Mihyar.

Why is this going on now? The managing company says they’ve received complaints about noisy kids in the neighborhood who have become a source of annoyance for other residents. They released this statement: “Community associations must impartially enforce the rules found in the governing documents. We hope to have the situation resolved soon to everyone’s satisfaction and to ensure the comfort and safety of all residents.”

Many of the parents say this rule is making their lives far from comfortable and they won’t be around much longer unless their kids can enjoy their own homes.

Well, no, but it’s sad and infuriating that kids can’t just be kids. Children need to play outside to be healthy, and they need to play unsupervised sometimes to develop their own sense of responsibility.

Let’s hope some compromise can be reached here. Cooping children up inside is bad for their physical, mental, and social health. And ultimately, it’s just really sad for these youngsters.

This post originally appeared at care2.com and is republished with permission.

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