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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
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    This is clearly about liability. We faced this problem when our kids wanted to walk/cycle to a summer program at a nearby school, with a strict policy that an adult has to sign the children in/out. We got out of it by signing a legal document that released the school of all liability. It was drafted by their lawyers, and boy did it make us feel like 'bad parents' to even sign it, the way their lawyers worded it, but I am sure it was the right thing to do. The school is right down the street from us, and we knew our kids were perfectly safe going there on foot or bike. And as young adults, our kids now live in a major city with good safe routes for them to commute to work on, and are both of a healthy weight, so I do think its good for kids to get started with healthy habits at a young age!
    Last edited by Triskeliongirl; 09-17-2009 at 08:20 AM.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    I don't understand how a teacher can be held responsible for all her students until they have reached their homes.

    We lived within walking distance of our elementary schools (one for K-3 and another for 4-6). Not only did we walk to school, but we also walked home every day for lunch! I used to watch soap operas with my mother and grandmother during lunch every day.

    For 7-12 we had to take a bus because the school was several miles away in the next town. But we were on our own getting to and from the bus stop every day.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,364
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    I don't understand how a teacher can be held responsible for all her students until they have reached their homes.
    Indeed..... I don't quite understand how a school can mandate how you arrive in any case??? It seems like if they tried to enforce that rule there would be no way it would ever stand up.

    Things sure have changed. When I was in public school you had to walk (or at very least weren't assigned to a bus) if you lived less than 2 miles from the school...
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Quote Originally Posted by Eden View Post
    Things sure have changed. When I was in public school you had to walk (or at very least weren't assigned to a bus) if you lived less than 2 miles from the school...
    Yes, we walked to elementary school because there were no buses for us.

    I guess my mother could have driven us, but my parents saw no point in that. I can remember my grandmother walking with me to kindergarten, and after that I walked with my brothers and sisters. I imagine someone walked with my oldest sister when she first started out, too, so she wouldn't be alone. But we all walked.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    865
    I think things have changed because of ridiculous lawsuits and people not taking charge of their own responsibility. That is especially prevalent in the community I live in, although they haven't banned biking-yet. I see the lack of personal responsibility when I call parents to inform them of a behavioral problem with their child on the bus. It's always another child's fault. But that is a whole different subject.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Belle, Mo.
    Posts
    1,778
    Quote Originally Posted by beccaB View Post
    I think things have changed because of ridiculous lawsuits and people not taking charge of their own responsibility. That is especially prevalent in the community I live in, although they haven't banned biking-yet. I see the lack of personal responsibility when I call parents to inform them of a behavioral problem with their child on the bus. It's always another child's fault. But that is a whole different subject.
    Exactly! There are many wonderful parents who nurture and look out for their kids, but there are also many who don't. Our students can walk and ride bikes, but I honestly can see why this other district has this policy. The whole safety issue is just getting more and more complicated. New this year for us, students cannot even sit in the hall to make up a test because they are unsupervised. In the hall, right by my door. It's a safety thing I was told. We have intruder drills now, along with fire and tornado. All outside doors except the one by the office are locked. No one can visit students. When those two kids disappeared, the mother flipped out when they didn't make it home and whose fault was it? Yup, ours. There are now some activities banned in PE because someone might get hurt. If we suspect that someone has been harassed and it isn't reported to the proper person within 24 hours, we could lose our teaching license. (Doesn't matter if you reported it elsewhere, it has to be the RIGHT person. Rules rules rules. It's happening all the time, and it happened in our district this year.

    I think that it would be wonderful if all kids biked and walked to school, and I encourage it with my own students, but I'm just trying to point out why schools may be a little overboard with their rules. They are just trying to cover their you-know-whats, and believe me, there are parents willing to sue at the drop of a hat. We found out this year, that even if you are innocent, it will cost a ton of money to fight it.

    I think instead of trying to bully their way through this particular instance, they should instead meet with the administration and try to come up with something agreeable to both sides. Maybe request a reason for this particular rule, and then address it from that standpoint.

    Looking back at how it was when you were in school isn't even a consideration. Sure, everyone walked and biked and life was rosy and all parents were good, but unless you have gone to school since Columbine, it doesn't apply. The rules have changed for those of us in the school system. We are obligated to keep track of everyone, try to stop bullying, raise self-esteem, teach manners and consideration, make sure they have breakfast, dress properly and sometimes I also get to teach about parallel lines.

    Edit: Oh, and I just want to add that I love teaching. I love these kids and I can't imagine doing anything else. This is my 31st year, and I'm not even thinking about retirement.
    Last edited by uforgot; 09-17-2009 at 06:13 PM.
    Claudia

    2009 Trek 7.6fx
    2013 Jamis Satellite
    2014 Terry Burlington

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    Well, just for another "when I was a kid" annoying scenario...This is not completely ancient history--late 70s/early 80s. At least I don't consider it ancient history!

    I got free breakfast and free lunch, walked alone to school with a key on a string around my neck with all the other kids walking alone with a key around their necks, walked home to an empty house (thus the key), got on my bike and rode around the neighborhood with all the other kids just like me until my mother called me and my brother for dinner, and all the other parents did the same. Different hollers for different kids. One kid's dad called him in with a conch shell, of which we were all very envious. I think this was only twice a week, though, since three days a week I had ballet and cello lessons (below).

    When I was nine and ten years old, twice a week after school I took the city bus to the transfer station, changed buses to the #8 Dudley Square (why do I remember these things?) bus and got off at the appropriate place for my ballet lessons. I managed my time and money in order to get there. My mother did pick me up on her way home from work. Very valuable lessons. And once a week, I walked to school with my cello (that was a looooong walk with that bulky thing!) and after school walked to the music school--about a 15-minute walk with cello--for my lesson. I was always on time.

    I think there's something to be said for learning those kinds of lessons in a real-life context as a child. If everything is handed to you and you don't have to manage anything when you're young, it makes it harder when more complex issues come up later.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    204
    I love how some people are bashing the parents because they're "teaching their child to break the rules".

    Er... ever hear of civil disobedience?
    Fall down six times, get up seven.
    My Blog/Journal: Fat Athlete

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Tulip, I was a parent like yours. And kudos to you for taking the bus to Dudley Square...
    My oldest walked to kindergarten, a block, on the sidewalk (we lived behind the school) after I practiced with him and my nanny also walked behind him a few times. I am sure people were horrified, even back in 1989. When we moved to MA, we lived on a busy road, on the curve of a hill, so the bus dropped them at the driveway (after a couple of years of going to a daycare provider up the street). When my husband traveled, i made them get up at 6, eat, bathe, and be prepared to leave by the time I left at 6:45. I set an alarm on the clock radio and when it went off, they shut the cartoons off, went out the garage and waited for the bus in the driveway at 7:45. They were 8 and 10 and nothing bad happened. Once or twice my older son called to say he was sick and really wanted to stay home, and I let him, but I would call him every hour from school. They came home about a half hour before I did. They were not allowed to go outside or answer the phone until I got home.
    We moved to a development in a more upscale town when they were in 5th and 7th grade. The other mothers and fathers walked the kids to the bus stop and stood with them on a cul-de-sac or had the kids sit in their cars if it was cold, raining, or snowing. My kids went and stood on the corner! Yes, sometimes I drove them to school, if they had meetings, etc, but really. The youngest (the racer boy) rode his mountain bike to school in 8th grade, about 6 miles and these women were mortified.
    I now live in a different town and I have observed that not one parent in this neighborhood lets his/her kid get on or off of the bus without them being present. This is crazy. I mean, we are in Concord...
    When I was teaching, I never felt responsible once they left my room (7th graders). If they had to stay after for extra help, I had to inform the parents a day in advance, but sometimes I broke the rules and let them use their cell phone to call and get permission that day.
    Oh well. My kids were allowed to play in the woods and get lost and do other things that turned them into responsible adults.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Belle, Mo.
    Posts
    1,778
    Our pre-school workshops this year were all about safety, liability, etc. We actually had an attorney for the state come talk to us and also local law enforcement. All of the things I have to do and not do make my head spin. Watch for this, watch for that, and then the legislators are telling me that I have to make everyone a rocket scientist...

    You know, I just want to close my door and teach math.
    Claudia

    2009 Trek 7.6fx
    2013 Jamis Satellite
    2014 Terry Burlington

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,365
    Why don't they just have waivers? They have waivers for after school sports. And everything else (photos, activities, field trips.) So, if the kid wants to walk to school, the parent signs a "walker liability waiver form."
    I can do five more miles.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,066
    Ok, so I guess the million dollar question is: is the world genuinely a more dangerous place for kids now than it was, or is it just that through all-pervasive media we now know about every single crime in detail? Are the kids really risking more by biking or walking to school now, or is it the other way around, that back in "the good old days" they ran higher risk, and bad things happened but we didn't hear much about them?

    I know I live in a country deemed a lot safer than the states, but I also know that risk - real, genuine risk - is very hard to gauge, and almost everybody gauges it based largely on emotion. And in general I think society is a lot less accepting of risk now.

    You could pick up the old seatbelt argument: "when I was a kid no-one wore seatbelts, and we all survived". But that isn't statistically reliable, and the use of seatbelts everywhere has been proved to reduce fatalities.

    There isn't any reason to actively encourage higher risk, but it does become a problem when reducing risk fior children makes it harder for them to become responsible, independent, active individuals. We let our son do all sorts of stuff alone because this is important to us and we're not the worrying types, but to be honest - we're just guessing that he's reasonably safe.

    sleepy here. losing my thread...
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

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  13. #28
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Metro-West, MA
    Posts
    118

    This story belongs in the Mid-Atlantic or another thread

    Hey,

    The link contains Yankee advertising : (, NE is Red Sox Nation. NY is Mid-Atlantic

 

 

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