How many of you walked or biked to school as kids? My family always lived close enough to walk to all of our schools. It would have been fun to bike, but even when all of us had a bike and when the weather was accommodating (which wasn’t often), my elementary school had no place to park them – except during the school-sponsored “bike week” when they made space in the gym for everyone’s bikes.
We moved shortly after my youngest sister was born, to a small town where riding bikes to school was more common. My kid sister rode her bike to school from kindergarten onward. Granted, she was a relatively responsible kid, and it was only a few blocks away (across one state highway), but she never had any problems.
I’d love to have my kids ride their bikes to school if it were feasible. I would have to weigh the various factors, of course – how far away is the school, how many big streets, what are the neighborhoods like, how responsible is my individual kid, etc. But I hope that it will come down to my own decision, not that of someone who doesn’t know my kids at all.
I came across this article about an elementary school that has an outright ban on kids riding bikes to school. A mom who bikes with her son every day (3 miles) challenged the rule, and it looks like they are going to change it, because they admit they don’t have the right to control what kids do outside of school hours / off school property. But for years, this prohibition has stood and controlled something that, in my opinion, should have been a family decision. Because let’s face it, most young kids aren’t even going to consider blatantly breaking a school rule.
Another parent was recently prevented from taking her child home from school on horseback. The school held onto the child and called the police, who drove the child home. That school is sticking to its guns about its right/duty to tell parents what mode of transportation they are allowed to use to get their kids to and from school.
This makes me wonder. How common is it for schools to try to control actions that are “related” to school, but happen off school grounds / outside of school hours? And what do parents / citizens think about this? If your child’s school had a policy that you considered beyond the scope of their authority, what would you do about it?