Eight-year-old too young to be left alone for two hours after school, B.C. court rules — no matter how mature

In a case that pits parental discretion against the state’s, a British Columbia Supreme Court has ruled an 8-year-old child is too young to stay home alone for two hours after school, no matter how mature and capable his mother believes him to be.

The child, referred to as ‘A.K.’ to protect his identity, had been staying home alone and unsupervised from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. while his mother, referred to as ‘B.R.,’ worked. His brother, then four years old, was being cared for by someone else during those workdays.

  • G

    Once again our all-knowing, super-humanly compassionate philosopher kings of the bench show how infinitely more wise they are than mere mortals.

    Let’s have video cameras installed in our homes so our rulers in their royal robes can watch and decide for us if we are living our lives properly.

    • FactsWillOut

      Chips in the head or nothing.

  • Alain

    When I was that age I did not need a baby sitter or parent present for such a short period of time, and that was the norm. This is totalitarianism in its true form.

    • Martin B

      Judges have taken over legislating from legislators, now they’ve taken over parenting from parents, I don’t even want to think about what they’ll do next.

      • FactsWillOut

        Take over life from the living?

    • David Murrell

      One wonders what the judicial punishment will be. A jail sentence? Who knows, with our crazed judges?

      • FactsWillOut

        Take the kids away and give them to a same sex couple, I figure.

        • Clausewitz

          Raffle the kids off at the next Nambla meeting.

  • ntt1

    I agree eight is a little young, ten much safer but eight? what happens in an emergency?

    • Raymond Cameron

      He will dial 911 and wait two hours for the police to arrive.

  • CodexCoder

    In a country where the government can’t be in the bedrooms of the nation, and the results end up with more STDs and higher suicide rates among a certain minority that will remained unnamed, a court must now legislate all parental behavior lest common sense become rife.

  • Frances

    As I remember, Grade Four was about the time my parents paid me to look after my younger sister – and paid said younger sister to behave. I would have been about eight.

    Fast forward: by Grade Seven (12 – 13) our children were all off babysitting in the neighbourhood. There were courses they took; we were the backup. Not boasting, but they were all really good at this; one was excellent.

    The offsprings were out working (had to: post-secondary was looming and our openly expressed comments were to the effect that 1) they would graduate from Grade 12; and, 2) they would contribute financially to their next degree/diploma). There was a there was a third provision: even while being supported by us, there were financial limits as to what we would pay for a given garment – the difference to be handed over in cash before said garment was purchased. Do remember the shocked expression of a store clerk as she watched one of the offsprings visibly calculate the “real” value of the purchase before handing me the difference between my price and the store price.

    We’re now watching the next generation come along – four grandbrats within about 4.5 years – and trying to figure out how we can keep them safe while giving them wings and the ability to fly.

  • Pavelina

    My Mother worked, and in those days we couldn’t stay at school at lunchtime, so when I was 8 I would go home to a cold house to heat up a can of soup on the electric hotplate, and eat it sitting with my feet in the coalstove oven which still held some of the heat from the morning’s cooking. After school I went to a friend’s house or went home and read or played the piano until Mom came home from the factory at 6:00 pm. I had instructions not to answer the doorbell and not to talk to strange men, and that was it. Of course, the world is more dangerous now.

    • FactsWillOut

      No, it isn’t.

      • Blacksmith

        Yes and no, No in the sense that there were wacko’s back then too, Yes in that the current powers that be have decided these wacko’s are to be allowed to be in our society and prey on the innocents and if we try to stop them we are the criminals.

  • dukestreet

    it’s been a long time since I lived in B.C. but there already is a law in Ontario that children under 11 are not supposed to be left alone, so this does not surprise me. On the other hand, when was 8 and my sister 6 we traveled from Davisville subway station to the ROM alone, every 2nd Saturday for the Museum Club. There was only one line at the time and the population was much smaller. People also paid much better attention to the safety of children traveling alone in those days.

  • This is from the same mindset that believes children’s best interests can be served with an inflammatory sex ed program written by a convicted child pornographer and those who believe marijuana does no harm at all to kids.

    Actually, if those are the dangers children face, maybe they shouldn’t be left alone.

    • Clinton

      Nail on the head.

      On the one hand we have school systems declaring that elementary
      school kids are old enough to decide they have ‘gender dysphoria’
      and yet that same kid cannot be left on his own for two hours?

    • FactsWillOut

      This is from the same mindset that thinks kids shouldn’t have guns.

      • No, children SHOULDN’T have guns. Guns are not toys. They are tools for adults.

        Now if adults wish to educate kids about guns, have a way.

  • FactsWillOut

    Instead of bringing up tired old anecdotes, I will just remind folk that there are 8 year olds in the world doing work under conditions that would be illegal for our brave workers here. this is just part of the pansified culture that the west has become.
    The west deserves to die.

    • Justin St.Denis

      With your last statement, you lost me. If that is how you feel, why not “jump the gun” – so to speak – and off yourself now.

      Speaking for myself and my wife, we deserve a decades-long, happy and prosperous retirement. Our four kids deserve happy, fruitful lives, careers and Familes.

      The West, as you call it, deserves to rule the world but is too fraught with neuroses to realize it. That can, should and will change.

      • G

        I think you should look at the statement from another direction Justin.

        I heard somebody say once “Those nations that cannot defend themselves or refuse to, deserve to die”. It’s very harsh unfortunately, but it’s true.

        If you aren’t willing to work and sacrifice for something, do you deserve it? With every passing year the west does less and less to work and sacrifice to ensure it’s own survival. So really, does it deserve it? To expect other nations to “cut us some slack” and allow us to survive is like charity. Who DESERVES charity?

      • FactsWillOut

        Fraught with neurosis = not fit to live.
        Unless you think a culture that vilifies truth and celebrate lies should live?

  • FactsWillOut

    8 year old too young to have a gun.
    I had a gun at 8. A bolt action .22 LR. A Daisy.
    Who else here thinks 8 year olds should have guns? Or are you all secretly admiring this judge?

    • G

      My daughter had a pellet gun at 8. I would have liked to buy her this little Savage .22 (pink) that is manufactured with kids in mind but the pellet gun came free as a gift from my brother and I didn’t want to upstage my brother so she got the pellet gun.

      Guns can be good gifts if you take the time as a parent to teach your kids to be very responsible with them.

      • FactsWillOut

        Kids are smarter than people think. It’s not like they drop anvils on each other.