Skip to comments.Why Can't She Walk to School? (Only 13% of kids walk to school in 2009)
Posted on 09/14/2009 7:40:44 AM PDT by Arec Barrwin
September 13, 2009 Why Cant She Walk to School? By JAN HOFFMAN
TO get to school, the child leaves home by herself, proudly walking down the boulevard in a suburb of a small city in upstate New York. The crossing guard helps her at the intersection. She lives only a block and a half from school. Yet she walks by older children waiting with parents for buses to the same school.
She is 7, a second-grader, and her mother, Katie, hears the raised-eyebrow remarks: Are you sure you want to be doing this? Katie said friends ask.
Shes just so pretty. Shes just so ... blond. A friend said, I heard that Jaycee Dugard story and I thought of your daughter. And they say, Id never do that with my kid: I wouldnt trust my kid with the street, said Katie, a stay-at-home mother, who asked that her full identity be withheld to protect her children.
Katie, too, is tormented by the abduction monsters embedded in modern parenting. Yet she wants to encourage her daughters independence. Somehow, walking to school has become a political act when its this uncommon, she said. Somebody has to be first.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I do recall (this would have been quite a few years ago tho) a program in which parents who were willing to be a place kids could go in case of emergency had signs in their windows. I don’t recall what, if any, sort of background checks were done, tho.
It’s sad that we don’t all know our neighbors anymore. But, even when I was growing up, I doubt I would have gone to anyone else’s house in case of emergency. I would have felt weird. I’m sure I would have hoofed it home. Of course, back then we were all in great shape from walking/running all over the place.
You may be right. As someone pointed out up the thread, abductions are vanishingly rare, in terms of overall population. Car accidents are terribly common, with injuries or fatalities to both passengers and pedestrians.
I lived upstate New York for 8th and 9th grades back in the 60’s. 30 min walk to school...at least 2 miles. I would freeze in winter, never got a ride to school. We would walk to school in a gaggle, we would always wait along the route, the gaggle would grow as the guy who lived the furthest arrived and we joined in. Don’t ever remember a snow day but remember walking through 6 inches of snow and still snowing. I remember class rooms had to have a coat and boot area because once you were at school you had to take off your arctic gear, could not fit into a locker.
Your experience is different than mine. Could be that middle schoolers are unlikely to talk about stuff like that with adults. 4th graders seem to talk about everything. Even things I suspect their parents would rather they did not.
As I said, walking to school is not an issue in my life.
I just fail to see the great benefit to it that others here obviously do.
It's just a risk/reward thing with me, with an infinite downside played against dubious upside.
Gee, we live just under a mile from a grammar school - all the children are bused. When they get home from school, the mothers put ‘Warning: Children at play’ signs in the middle of the street so the kids can play there. There’s a curve to the street and it isn’t unusual to come around it and have 4 or 5 kids playing in the middle of the road. When we’ve suggested that it probably isn’t a good idea to teach kids they can play in the road, the mothers go ballistic. Oh, yes - there are spacious back and/or front yards for all houses.
We’ve been in the neighborhood some 25 years. Never had this problem before. Don’t understand today’s parents.
Of course the media would never, never exaggerate anything in order to boost viewership.
I believe that the FBI's NCIC statistics show the total number of stranger abductions (not runaways, not by a family member) as less than 200 per year.
Now if you prohibit your kids from exposure to any other activity that kills 200 children, in all of America, per year, you are being logical in preventing them from walking to school. I might not agree with you, but you still would be logically consistent.
LOL, yeah i guess that’s it.
We did have a little girl murdered at our local mall last year. But, she was abducted, along with her mother, and both were killed and left in a vehicle in the mall parking lot. I suppose we should not take our kids to malls.
Sounds like the one winter we spent near Boston. It was SOOOO cold and we walked anyway. I was really glad when we moved to Georgia!
Ay-men to that. The kids in our town whose mommies -do- let them out of eyesight on their bikes zigzag down the middle of the road as if they expect that the world's job is to get out of their way. God help us when they are old enough to drive.
And as I said, parents should do what they think best. Always.
Since you're much more likely to get killed in a car wreck, have you sworn off driving or riding in cars?
After 3rd grade, I attended private schools, all of which were too far to walk. My children have always attended private schools with the same situation.
So, I am now trying to see how it benefits a child to walk to school. I am open to being persuaded, but no one's done it yet.
I walked or rode my bike. Sad that kids can’t be more independent.
I'll bet she wears a seat-belt.
From the Wikipedia synopsis..
"Meanwhile, back within the town limits a news report states that the parents are most likely to abduct their own children. Unable to think of any reasonable solution, they force all their children from the city, to avoid putting their children in danger of being kidnapped by their own parents."
>> In all those years I was never even approached by a stranger.
I was, during my elementary years in the mid 70s right outside the school property. I remember it well. I declined the offer for a ride home. A police report was filed but nothing ever came of it as far as I was told.
“The West Bank?”
LOL. I used to live in the territories. We have some heated incidents, but seldom day-to-day harrassments.
I don’t want to say my location (in the USA), but it is a well-established, largely Jewish community. Very residential, very upscale, doctors, lawyers, business exectutives.
It’s not a one-off, but it happens several times a year where someone throws things at the kids.
It benefits children in general to be doing things without adult supervision as soon as they are capable of understanding the basic safety rules for the particular activity. Walking to school is a subset of that.
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