Middle school is tough. You’ve got to start over at a new school, make new friends and deal with an unfamiliar social scene. You don’t feel like a kid anymore, but you’re also far from being an adult. You want independence, but still need your parents to take you to hang out with your friend. One Florida girl found a solution to that last problem, though, by simply stealing her dad’s car.

News reports detailed that the 12-year-old girl in question didn’t just take her dad’s Ford Taurus without permission to go over to a friend’s house. She and a 14-year-old accomplice left the state of Florida entirely on a road trip to visit someone they met online. Their road trip came to an end in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, nearly 400 miles from home. After stopping for gas, the two girls saw their pictures on the gas station’s television as part of a missing child alert and decided to turn themselves in.

Should they have stolen a car and driven to meet someone they only knew online? Not at all. It was reckless and beyond dangerous. But we won’t pretend we aren’t at least a little impressed that a 12-year-old managed to safely drive that far on an impromptu road trip with her friend, knew how to pump gas and even had money for gas. Hopefully, the police don’t come down too hard on them. Going to jail for taking a road trip would just be un-American.



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