Thursday, May 03, 2007

Sad State of Affairs

Just making myself another pot of coffee. While waiting for the savory black stuff to finish brewing, I read the little weekly newsletter from the kids' school. This week's issue has a little bit of information about the ensuing warm spring weather. This little bullet point sticks out... Actually... sticks right in my side!

"Another area we could use your cooperation on is bringing of bikes, skateboards, roller blades, and the like, to school. We ask that these items not come to school, as our vehicle traffic is too heavy at the start and end of the day."

Anyone else see the irony there?

In my opinion... that's just stupid. Rely on the school bus. Rely on mom or dad to drop you off and pick you up. Attack the problem by encouraging use of the bus and cars, then complain because kids don't get enough exercise?

I'd like for there to be some sort of "Safe Routes To School Program" I don't have the time or energy to push or organize one for our neighborhood school. I certainly life in a safe community, my commute basically goes right by the school. There are safe alternatives and easy routes to this school. It wouldn't be rocket science to come up with a solution. Here's the kids' school:

This all brings to mind one of my great frustrations about parenting and bicycles. There's that care and hovering involved when teaching the kids how to ride the two wheeler. That moment of one on one teaching. Then, soon after I think so many people give their kid some crappy bike and cut them loose. Who teaches the kids the rules of the road? Which side of the road to ride on? The importance of learning to ride in a straight line in a predictable manor?

Nope, give 'em a helmet because that'll keep 'em safe. Cut 'em loose.

I'm not suggesting that we should have kids only riding in straight lines up and down the street. Nope, I do think kids should learn to jump the curbs and have all kinds of unstructured play time too. I just think that rather than teaching kids that their bikes are just some toy... how about teaching a little about how to go about riding them responsibility?

1 comment:

Cornbread said...

Wow. That is crazy. I can understand not wanting kids to get hurt while commuting to school, but to ask kids not to ride bikes or even skateboards is insane. Maybe a bicycle safety class could be offered at the school prior to kids commuting to school via two wheels. Or just show the school administrators the alarming childhood obesity statistics along with the projected co-morbidities anticipated for that generation. That would be very humbling. Good luck Ken. I feel for ya.

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