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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    532

    Family defies no-bike policy at Maple Avenue Middle School

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    I saw this on the TE Facebook page (hope it wasn't posted on the forum already, I did only a quick search). I'm just amazed that a school can dictate a family how they should transport their children to school. While I understand some of the safety concerns, the policy seems bassackwards - help make the environment safer for biking, don't prohibit biking!

    Family defies no-bike policy at Maple Avenue Middle School

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    They even prohibit walking to school. Amazing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    East-Central Indiana
    Posts
    322
    Our local school corporation specifically prohibits walking to school and cycling to school -- all children must arrive via automobile or big yellow bus. Each of the three elementary schools is in a small town, as is the intermediate school; only the high school is in an outlying area. Crazy!
    "If we know where we want to go, then even a stony road is bearable." ~~ Horst Koehler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,932
    This is so depressing, I could cry.

    There needs to be more than a couple of parents protesting! This is A-B-S-U-R-D.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,066
    Is there a local bike advocacy group? Under safe routes to school these routes benefit us all. Maybe you can get them involved, maybe start bike bus so kids and parents feel more confident.
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Bristol, TN
    Posts
    360
    With all the obesity problems in children these days, you would think that they would be ENCOURAGING kids to ride and/or walk to school. What is the problem with walking? Oh my gosh, what is this country coming to?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    204
    I'd really like to hear the school's/district's rationale. I didn't find it in the article. Can someone enlighten me? I'm not defending them, certainly, but I feel like I'm missing something here.
    Fall down six times, get up seven.
    My Blog/Journal: Fat Athlete

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Belle, Mo.
    Posts
    1,778
    I can maybe give you the flip side. As a teacher, I am responsible for your child when they leave school. Ever see a group of elementary kids after school? I teach elementary dance in the summer, and I have to make sure that each one leaves with a parent, or the proper person, and that each one gets on the right bus, and yes, that the walkers arrive at their house. I'm responsible for them. If the parents are late picking them up, then I'm an after school babysitter, because I have to take care of them until their parents arrive. This was sometimes a half hour after school was dismissed. And I can also imagine a bunch on bikes with their friends, riding recklessly, or a predator waiting to snatch them, especially if they are walking. If something happens to the kids, the schools are liable. If the parents are picking them up, that's one thing, but if they are on their own after school?

    I remember that one day, a grandmother picked up her grandsons (6th graders) while they were walking from school this summer. They live a couple of blocks away and they never arrived at their house. I walked their path, and the school finally reported them missing to the police. They were found, safe and sound at their grandmother's, but it was a frightening half hour. I also had a 2nd grader who was responsible for her kdg sister. Also a block away, but I wouldn't let those girls take off until the buses were gone and I could actually watch them go down the street hand in hand. The schools don't have the resources to hire extra people to help with dismissal. I understand that these kids in the article were with their parents, but so many are not. I can certainly see why they would insist they ride a bus or be picked up in a vehicle.

    It's too bad that we live in such a world, but we can't just let the elementary and middle schoolers just take off where ever they want to go, and maybe not even walk or ride if they want, but the fact is, it's just too dangerous and that's a sad state of affairs, isn't it?

    I think that's why those rules are in effect, and maybe they can adjust them. If they are released to a parent, guardian or someone responsible, then let them ride/walk, but if they are on their own? It's tough, even here, where we know everyone and their business.

    Yeah, just one more thing I have to worry about with your child, but I care about them and I don't want anything happening to them.
    Last edited by uforgot; 09-17-2009 at 02:59 AM.
    Claudia

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    I live near four mid to elementary schools (within half a mile) and there are hundreds of kids of all ages riding bikes and walking home from school every morning and night, even though the bus picks up on my street.

    I think it's wonderful.

    Who was it that came up with this idea that the *school* was in charge of the kids after they leave the school? Why aren't the parents? It's illogical to me. The kids on the bus--those are yours until you drop them off. The walkers and bike riders? They're mine.

    I live in a town of 20,000 and all the schools are along one main drag (except the high school). The whole street is a school zone, so we're all watching out for them. If that kid's parent doesn't see him goofing off, his next door neighbor or the secretary at church probably did!

    Karen
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    insidious ungovernable cardboard

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    By coincidence, as I was searching for an article about the downtown area of my hometown burning down, I came across this in that local paper:

    http://thecabin.net/news/local/2009-...e-quality-life

    There's even a bike bus!!

    Karen
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    insidious ungovernable cardboard

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    204
    Quote Originally Posted by uforgot View Post
    As a teacher, I am responsible for your child when they leave school.
    As a middle school teacher, I sure as heck hope I'm not responsible for any of those kids when they leave school! Once they're off campus, they're considered to be on their own, and there's nothing we can do to change that. I'm not sure there's anything we should do to change that. Sure, we do what we can to make sure that nothing goes on in our nearby vicinity, particularly at the local businesses, but our zone extends well beyond walking distance into the rural areas around our school.

    That said, thanks for the possible reasoning. I completely disagree, but at least it helps to have a rationalization on the flip side.
    Fall down six times, get up seven.
    My Blog/Journal: Fat Athlete

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,932
    I understand teachers' pains, especially if for whatever reason they are made responsible (which I indeed do not think they should be).

    However, while I can't say anything about kids behaving haphazardly when they walk and cycle, I am pretty sure that the risk of dying in a motor vehicle accident while returning from school is infinitely higher than the risk of being snatched by a predator. Such cases gather immense media attention, but in fact they are also extremely rare.

    Now maybe a thing school boards and municipalities should be responsible for is building proper infrastructure around schools to facilitate safe active transportation...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    around Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3,238
    Considering lack of exercise goes hand in hand with the rising obesity problem in this country, and good habits need to start early in life, I can't believe the school's policy! I would love to see more students walking or riding bikes and less cars. This is especially a problem around here where a lot of kids (maybe 50%) go to private schools of some sort. You would not believe the traffic jams caused by parents lining up waiting to pick up their kids after school. Parish the thougth that they even park and walk, oh no they sit there idling away. I have to remember to NOT hit my neighborhood at 3:00 thanks to the Catholic elementary school.

    Part of our traffic jam problem is that schools around here are actually buried in neighborhoods, so that it's easier for kids to bike or walk. This works so long as you go to the public schools, or maybe your local parochial school, but totally falls apart if you have to send your special baby to the Very Best Private School across town.

    Funny but back in the semi-dark ages when I went to public school, the policy was something to the effect that walking distance was:
    elementary - 1/2 mile
    middle school - 1 mile
    high school - 2 miles
    The school district would not provide transportation (buses) if you lived within those distances.
    Beth

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,619
    actually, the article is good news. I read about this when it started in May. Now they have the local health club members accompanying them to school, all on bikes. Sounds great. And Tuckerville, YOUR neighborhood sounds wonderful!

    Uforgot, sounds like an unfair burden on you. I never ever considered my sons' teachers to be responsible for them after they left school!
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    865
    I'm a school bus driver, and I understand more than most people , the degree of liability adults in the education system have regarding students going to and leaving school grounds. We study cases in our training of lawsuits that happen and are successful. Every decision I make has a thought process of safety and liability around it. It takes an active imagination (considering scenarios of what COULD happen) and an obsessive attitude to keep these kids safe. Still, I can't imagine a school district prohibiting walking and riding a bike to and from school. Are the teenaged drivers allowed to drive their cars to school? There might be all sorts of liability with that one. Where do we draw the line?

 

 

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