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The 'free-range kids' debate in an urban environment
The 'free-range kids' debate in an urban environment

Fifth-grader Aiden Coldsmith has memorized the streets around his family's Waverly home. He knows every mud puddle, the homes of dogs both friendly and fierce, a park where a group of middle school girls hang out. The 11-year-old walks alone the few blocks to an art program or hardware store with "really good candy." A few miles away in Fells Point, Kameron and Eddie Gordon keep their eight children close to home. Even the oldest, a 14-year-old high school freshman, is not allowed to walk outside alone. And in East Baltimore, Angela Brown's three sons — ages 13, 11 and 8 — walk the four blocks alone to catch a public bus to school. "If I had my way,...