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View Full Version : School issue: Is this even legal?


ajk912
09-17-2008, 08:32 AM
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pyrxtc
09-17-2008, 08:35 AM
I don't know baout not being legal, but if I lived that close, I would be walking my kids to school to. I wish I could now. I don't believe he can tell you that you can't walk you kids to school though. That is a personal choice. I hope there are sidewalks !

thegrimdwarf
09-17-2008, 08:39 AM
Did anyone ask why walkers weren't "allowed"? I'm sure they can't really prevent you from walking your kids - it's not like they can refuse to let them in because they didn't take the bus. But I would think that someone would have raised a question about the rule, and the reason for it.

lisadr
09-17-2008, 08:40 AM
I don't know if it's legal- but it's pretty neurotic:confused3

Is there even bus service available that close? I know at our school the bus will not pick you up if you live that close.

We get letters home complaining about the same thing and people parking in the handicap spaces (which I find really wrong-and bad Karma:sad2: ). But never-"you can't walk".

You would think the school district would not be happy having to pay for those extra buses to pick up walkers.:confused:

LadyShea
09-17-2008, 08:42 AM
I don't think there are legal means to bar you, or anyone, from walking anywhere.

They may discourage kids walking alone, by not having crosswalks or crossing guards/attendants to ensure the kids can get across the street safely.

However, I would think these decisions would be made by the school board, not the principal, and the rules/policies should be available to any parent who has a question. If your school board maintains a website you may want to look it up.

ETA: What czycropper said is very on point. By having a policy that doesn't "allow" walking, they wouldn't be liable should something happen.

design_mom
09-17-2008, 08:42 AM
Sorry that your principal sounds like she's being somewhat of a jerk. Our school offers bussing for all students, too, and the drop-off lane can get pretty crazy in the morning.

Our school has a "no walkers" policy, too, but I've walked my child to school and nobody's ever complained. I think what our policy means is that they will not release a child from school, except to his assigned bus, without a parent signature. So if I want my child to walk home from school, I need to walk to school, sign him out, and then walk home with him. They wouldn't let him walk home by himself, even if we lived next door. Once I've signed my kid out, though, I don't think they care how we get home -- car, bike, on foot. I don't have a problem with that policy because it's for safety.

Good luck at finding something that works for your family, and your school.

czycropper
09-17-2008, 08:43 AM
I would call the School Board Office - it could be how their liability insurance is worded that "walkers" aren't allowed in case of an accident then it would be a liability/coverage problem. That's what happens here in our school district.

jennifer293
09-17-2008, 09:09 AM
Are you sure the principal meant NO WALKERS period, or no students walking to school alone? I can see them not wanting students to be out on the streets walking alone, but if accompanied by the parent I would not think there is much they can do about it other than maybe once it is dark in the mornings asking that you and your children wear reflective gear.

We have the same issue with our carpool lane...you would think some parents are on crack the way they cannot understand how to enter and exit the school.

Nancy for Disney
09-17-2008, 09:11 AM
I don't get the not allowed to walk thing either but you are lucky to have bus service. Our schools don't provide bus service if you live within a mile of the school and 3 miles once you attend high school. I live within a mile of the school but in order for my kids to walk they would have to cross a major street that has cars zooming over a hill right before they would need to cross. It isn't even remotely safe. There are also no sidewalks. To me that is crazy. I broke some rules and got my child on the bus because I have older kids that attend middle school and they had to transfer busses at my youngest elem school. I called the bus company and told them it was crazy that my older kids that are a little more capable of crossing a major street could get a ride home from the elem school and but my elem student couldn't. Whoever I talked to went and talked to someone else and they said to put her on the bus. This was last year. I didn't ask this year and just told the teacher to put my youngest on bus #12.

Luv Bunnies
09-17-2008, 11:52 AM
Does your city have a non-emergency police dept number? We have a line we can call for information and questions. I would be inclined to ask a police officer if a school can impose a "no walkers" rule. I would assume that as long as you are following pedestrian traffic laws (no jay-walking, etc.) that they can't tell you not to walk your kids to school.

With all the concerns about the environment, I can't believe a school principal would tell you to start up your car to go 2 blocks when you are willing and able to walk!

delmar411
09-17-2008, 11:55 AM
The kids aren't allowed to walk to schools here. There are no crosswalks, no crossing guards and when I asked my DD why she didn't just ride her bike the 2blocks to school she said they were not allowed and would be in trouble if they came on their bike.

And they wonder why these kids are out of shape? There are houses literally across the street from the schools and they have to ride the bus. :confused3


ETA~ does the 'Safety Patrol' system no longer exist? I went to elementary school in the 80's and we had patrols (students) that were in charge at bus stops and helping kids get across the streets safely...

ajk912
09-17-2008, 12:52 PM
Now I am starting to wonder what she meant. She was talking about "we don't allow walkers" right after her rant that they provide bussing for everyone, including those who live right across the street. It really is ridiculous as I walk by with my kids to see about 15 kids waiting at the bus stop RIGHT across the street from the school. :rotfl:

If she would have explained that it is a safety issue, and they don't have crossing guards and sidewalks, I would have understood why they don't let kids walk ALONE. But she didn't say that..she just said they don't allow walkers. I do go and sign out my kids everyday and walk them home. Nope, there aren't any sidewalks, but that's because the school is pretty much in the middle of the subdivision. Look to the left of the school, there is a dead end about 100 feet down (there are two small side streets though before the dead end, with about 40 houses -give or take- on each side street, but extremely low traffic. We almost never see a car). This is the way we walk. I can see heading towards the right, that's heading towards the main road and normally it's a dead area EXCEPT during school hours there is a TON of parent traffic. So I may see how they don't want walkers without parental supervision. Still, I am walking with my kids..however I get them to school is my business.

seashoreCM
09-17-2008, 01:31 PM
1. Errant motorists can be written up for endangering kids boarding or alighting from a school bus.

2. Errant motorists cannot be written up by traditional student school patrols of yesteryear.

3. Errant motorists can be written up by a police detail office performing the role of traditional school patrols.

Disney hints: http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/disney.htm

Aristomommy
09-17-2008, 01:54 PM
We have a school in a district that doesn't allow walkers because ther are no sidewalks and it is simply not safe to walk. Most school around here prefer that students ride the bus instead of carpooling, because it makes the streets very congested.

Most of the time schools worry about safety and liability. Even when there are clear instructions for parents, many parents ignore the directions and put the walkers at risk. While I'm not sure if it's illegal to do this, the school can always make the safety argument and who would disagree with that?

brandylouwho
09-17-2008, 01:59 PM
Wow, I guess we are lucky that we can still walk to school--heck we can't get bus service where we live (about 6 blocks from school) so we have to walk or drive ourselves. We do still have crossing guards too.

I would suspect that there is some sort of liability issue with kids (escpecially unattended kids) walking to and from school. In this lovely litigous society we live in...schools often get the blame and the lawsuits for EVERYTHING. This is likely how this district decided to deal with that issue.

Also, the buses can effectivly control what time the kids get dropped off too. Way back when I was a student there were issues with kids coming very early and wandering around, not being supervised--and the school didn't have the funds to pay someone to come early and watch the kids who showed up over 1/2 hour early daily.

DjdBrit
09-17-2008, 02:11 PM
I am not sure what the legal issues are but our school has a no bike riding to school policy which I think is nuts (and have told the principal so). In this day and age of overweight kids having a no "walkers" policy doesn't exactly teach them much now does it.
My kids and I do ride our bike to school on occasion (ALL wearing helmets) and the kids are allowed to keep bikes in the lobby to keep them safe even though its against the handbook. I talked to the man in charge and he said as long as I am with them he has no problem with it.

I think more should be done to not only keep our kids healthy and teach them a good lesson but encourage the use of less cars. I know its not always practical when kids live further away and in bad weather but most of the parents I see picking up kids in MASSIVE cars they really don't need,live within blocks from the school?????

Anyway I am off to walk to school to get my kids... good luck and keep up the good work :)

LisaInNc
09-17-2008, 03:06 PM
I don't understand that at all. I dispise the car line. I park my car and walk my daughter into school, I park my car and walk my daughter out of school. This gives me visability in the school and I get to say hello to her teacher twice a day. I visit the classroom in the morning so I get a few moments to see what she is working on.

I get so digusted with the Mom's who can't be bothered to walk their kids into school. If it's not raining or you don't have little kids in the car, get yourself out and walk your kid into school! It seems to lazy to me. It's actually quicker too. I did the car lane once when it was raining and it took longer than walking into school.

Hannahsmom
09-17-2008, 03:13 PM
I don't understand that at all. I dispise the car line. I park my car and walk my daughter into school, I park my car and walk my daughter out of school. This gives me visability in the school and I get to say hello to her teacher twice a day. I visit the classroom in the morning so I get a few moments to see what she is working on.

I get so digusted with the Mom's who can't be bothered to walk their kids into school. If it's not raining or you don't have little kids in the car, get yourself out and walk your kid into school! It seems to lazy to me. It's actually quicker too. I did the car lane once when it was raining and it took longer than walking into school.


Wow. You can't be serious. Our school doesn't want parents to walk their kids in to school, much less actually into the classrooms. Not to mention if every parent parked and walked their children in the building, the parking lot would be a nightmare. I wouldn't walk my 3rd grader in anyways. She is fully capable of getting into her class without my help.

To the OP, I would have asked the principal if she had ever heard of a Carbon Footprint.

DawnM
09-17-2008, 03:30 PM
I think you could just call the district office and ask.

Dawn

I would call the School Board Office - it could be how their liability insurance is worded that "walkers" aren't allowed in case of an accident then it would be a liability/coverage problem. That's what happens here in our school district.

imthatgirl
09-17-2008, 04:17 PM
my guess is you have misunderstood. you can certainly walk your child to school. but, you can not send your child walking to school, that child would be considered a "walker". most elementary schools across the country are no longer allowing walkers because it just isnt safe.

when a parent walks the kid home where are they getting the children? are they going to the same place to receive their child as the people hwo are driving in? that could be the issue. if your school has K in it there are many guidlines, many of them safety guidlines, that the school needs to adhere to in order to get the accredidation. one of those guidelines involves how kids are picked up and dropped off. it has to be an organized situation. the kids need to be picked up from a parent or gaurdian that has their ID present. of course most schools do not ask for ID(my sons gives us pick up slips we show) but that doesnt mean they arent supposed to.

my guess is shes trying her best to adhere to there guidlines.

Tricia819
09-17-2008, 05:06 PM
ETA: What czycropper said is very on point. By having a policy that doesn't "allow" walking, they wouldn't be liable should something happen.


I disagree with this, policy or not, they could be held liable should a child (or anyone for that fact) is injured on their property. For example, you may have a no soliciting or no trespassing sign on your door, but if someone trips and hurts themselves on an uneven sidewalk on your property you can still be sued.

Camno's Mama
09-17-2008, 06:08 PM
[QUOTE=imthatgirl;27641563]my guess is you have misunderstood. you can certainly walk your child to school. but, you can not send your child walking to school, that child would be considered a "walker". most elementary schools across the country are no longer allowing walkers because it just isnt safe.

=QUOTE]

:confused3 Why isn't it safe? Millions of children walk home from school every day. I think it's so sad that that's the perception of people all over America. While I wouldn't let me Kindergartner walk home by himself...I would hope that I would feel comfortable letting a 3rd grader do it. I'm not sure why parents aren't given the authority to make that decision instead of the school.

I do agree with the other posters that said that the schools don't want the liability.

imthatgirl
09-17-2008, 06:24 PM
[QUOTE=imthatgirl;27641563]my guess is you have misunderstood. you can certainly walk your child to school. but, you can not send your child walking to school, that child would be considered a "walker". most elementary schools across the country are no longer allowing walkers because it just isnt safe.

=QUOTE]

:confused3 Why isn't it safe? Millions of children walk home from school every day. I think it's so sad that that's the perception of people all over America. While I wouldn't let me Kindergartner walk home by himself...I would hope that I would feel comfortable letting a 3rd grader do it. I'm not sure why parents aren't given the authority to make that decision instead of the school.

I do agree with the other posters that said that the schools don't want the liability.

just because its safe where you live, doesnt mean its that way across the country. children get abducted, its a part of life we deal with. personally i think its safe in very few areas to send your child to walk to school. people prey on kids that dont have parents walk with them. if you want to let your 8yo walk alone to school, thats your choice. personally i would never do it. how would you ever know they made it?
i think its great that schools are saying,"hey stop letting your small children walk alone, and if you cant make the right decision, we'll do it for you".
im sorry, but seriously, youd let your 8yo walk to school alone? i hope you live next to it.

melancholywings
09-17-2008, 07:37 PM
I get so digusted with the Mom's who can't be bothered to walk their kids into school. If it's not raining or you don't have little kids in the car, get yourself out and walk your kid into school! It seems to lazy to me. It's actually quicker too. I did the car lane once when it was raining and it took longer than walking into school.


Why would that make them lazy?
Walking my second grader into her classroom would make her feel like a baby, she doesn't need me to hold her hand through the school halls - I think she'd die of embaressment and I want her to learn independence. How is that lazy?:confused3

princessmom29
09-17-2008, 08:51 PM
I don't understand that at all. I dispise the car line. I park my car and walk my daughter into school, I park my car and walk my daughter out of school. This gives me visability in the school and I get to say hello to her teacher twice a day. I visit the classroom in the morning so I get a few moments to see what she is working on.

I get so digusted with the Mom's who can't be bothered to walk their kids into school. If it's not raining or you don't have little kids in the car, get yourself out and walk your kid into school! It seems to lazy to me. It's actually quicker too. I did the car lane once when it was raining and it took longer than walking into school.

I teach in the largest school system in the state and NONE of our schools allow parents to walk a student to the classroom with the exception of the first week of K. It would be mass chaos if all the parents who dropped off walked their kids in. Jane is dropping of little Sally and she sees Mary dropping little Bobby and realizes she forgot to tell her about the neighborhood pool party so they stop in the hall to talk. Mutiply that times 200 parents and what you have is unmanagable.

Karlzmom
09-17-2008, 08:55 PM
So at my kids' Back to School night the principal starts ranting about how parents aren't using the carpool lane correctly and how their is bussing provided for all students, including those who live right across the street, so they do not "allow" walkers to the school.

As you can tell, I don't have a whole lot of respect for this principal. I totally understand her gripe about parents not using the carpool line correctly. It's not that hard, you enter in entrance A and leave through entrance B. But to say that you CAN'T wallk your kids to school? WTH? Is that even legal? It's all public property? Obviously, I ignore her and walk my kids to school anyway (we are talking about the equivalent of two blocks). I do watch them to make sure they don't get hit by a car or a bus or anything, same as I would if I was walking on any public road. Thoughts?

BTW, we aren't talking about a school on the middle of route I95 or anything. It's pretty much in the middle of subdivision on a dead end street. The road ENDS 100 feet past the school, you don't have people flying down the road 60 miles an hour because you are going to be hitting a huge SIGN real soon.

Great way to start the school year! Why do I have a feeling that you will have *many* little gems like this along the way? Good Luck!

chicagodisneyfan
09-17-2008, 09:29 PM
[QUOTE=Camno's Mama;27643918]

just because its safe where you live, doesnt mean its that way across the country. children get abducted, its a part of life we deal with. personally i think its safe in very few areas to send your child to walk to school. people prey on kids that dont have parents walk with them. if you want to let your 8yo walk alone to school, thats your choice. personally i would never do it. how would you ever know they made it?
i think its great that schools are saying,"hey stop letting your small children walk alone, and if you cant make the right decision, we'll do it for you".
im sorry, but seriously, youd let your 8yo walk to school alone? i hope you live next to it.

Seriously? This is a little too "helicopter" for me. I live in Chicago and most kids walk to school - there is no busing unless you are special. Kids even take public transportation to schools.

I would never want to live somewhere that children could not walk to school - maybe you should move to a safer area?

imthatgirl
09-17-2008, 09:39 PM
[QUOTE=imthatgirl;27644173]

Seriously? This is a little too "helicopter" for me. I live in Chicago and most kids walk to school - there is no busing unless you are special. Kids even take public transportation to schools.

I would never want to live somewhere that children could not walk to school - maybe you should move to a safer area?

actually i live in an extremely safe area. i live in a cookie cutter suburban neighborhood.
possibly it shows a difference between inner city schools and suburban schools. our kids dont walk, period. at least not in elementary school.
personally i would never allow my 8yo daughter to go to a school that had her walking to school. but hey, you want your child walk good for you. id much prefer to keep mine safe.

Camno's Mama
09-17-2008, 09:59 PM
just because its safe where you live, doesnt mean its that way across the country. children get abducted, its a part of life we deal with. personally i think its safe in very few areas to send your child to walk to school. people prey on kids that dont have parents walk with them. if you want to let your 8yo walk alone to school, thats your choice. personally i would never do it. how would you ever know they made it?
i think its great that schools are saying,"hey stop letting your small children walk alone, and if you cant make the right decision, we'll do it for you".
im sorry, but seriously, youd let your 8yo walk to school alone? i hope you live next to it.

Wow...isn't this a bit hostile? I asked a pretty common question...why do people think walking to (or from) school is so unsafe? Especially people, like yourself (as you stated in another post), who live in safe neighborhoods? I would not assume that every place in the United States is safe, nor did I say that. I simply said that millions of kids do it safely. Only we, as parents, know what kind of place we live in.

Do freak things happen? Yes. But I hope not to let that consume me. I will say that I would be more likely to let them walk home...so that I am there waiting for them. But to imply that I need the school to make that decision for me because I don't have the skills to do it myself is a little extreme. I hope to make my kids independent, and walking four blocks home from school is a step that they will take when the time is right.

imthatgirl
09-17-2008, 10:25 PM
Wow...isn't this a bit hostile? I asked a pretty common question...why do people think walking to (or from) school is so unsafe? Especially people, like yourself (as you stated in another post), who live in safe neighborhoods? I would not assume that every place in the United States is safe, nor did I say that. I simply said that millions of kids do it safely. Only we, as parents, know what kind of place we live in.

Do freak things happen? Yes. But I hope not to let that consume me. I will say that I would be more likely to let them walk home...so that I am there waiting for them. But to imply that I need the school to make that decision for me because I don't have the skills to do it myself is a little extreme. I hope to make my kids independent, and walking four blocks home from school is a step that they will take when the time is right.

safe. what does that mean? i walk outside my house and there no drug dealers, gun fire etc. sure its safe. im realistic in the fact that im very lucky in the fact that i dont ahve to fear for my life. nor does my child. there are many places in the country where thats not true. i know because i grew up there. i grew up in an area that i couldnt walk to school in fear of gangs.

ok...but thats not what im talking about. there are predators out there waiting for your child, my child anyones child. did you happen to watch oprah the other day, maybe it was yesterday. if you have a chance watch it on line. this isnt a small problem and its happening in my neighborhood and your neighborhood. it happens everyday. sure the statistics say its happens most often whith someone you know, but they also say that internet porn is increasing, yes increasing the likelyhood that men will go outside the computer to satisfy their sickness. infact there are how to videos on the internet, how to find these young kids, how to get away with it over and over again. there are online support groups for these men. no not support groups to convince them not to do it, but support groups of their peers convincing them that this is normal and that society doesnt get, but that someday we will.
so yes millions of kids get to school safely, but millions dont. its a gamble which side your child will fall on. is it a gamble your willing to take with your 8yo? its not one im willing to take.

i will say that my husbands job unfortunately, or maybe fortunately who knows, puts me into this world. i get to see the piles and piles of cases they deal with. its never ending. and you know what the worst part is? there are just too mnay that they have to choose, thats right choose which ones they think are more dangerous. its laughable, but its life.

of course whenever anyone brings these topics up its always, "well thats extreme". i wish it was. its not. millions of children being violated is not a freak thing. oh how i wish it were.

like you say you cant let it consume you. thats very important. my kids, well my older 2, have the run of the neighborhood. i know these people and theyhahve rules about entering peoples homes. my daughter gets up in the morning and leaves and calls me when she finds a friend thats home to tell me where shell be that day. am i over protective? no. but something like walking to school you dont know the dangers. not only that but the dangers change. predators have cars, doesnt matter where you live. we need to start being realistic as a scociety and stop thinking "that doesnt happen here" because it does, everyday.

of course i agree with making children independant. but really, should an 8yo be that indepandant that they need to walk 4 blocks to school? at that age they need to be bused. we need to put funding into our schools to allow for this. im lucky i live in an area where everyone is bused, doesnt matter if you live next door, the bus picks you up.even at that the bus will not pick you up or drop you off unless there is someone there putting you on and taking you off. so it isnt just walking to school, my daughter isnt even allowed to get off the bus and walk home alone.and if you want to pick your child up from school, you need a pick up tag. every person everytime. but i for one think this is great! i would love to see this happen across the country through 4rth grade. is it going to happen, no. and unfortunately not all parents are home to get their kids to school, but at that age kids just shouldnt be left to their own defense.

ajk912
09-18-2008, 10:18 AM
Great way to start the school year! Why do I have a feeling that you will have *many* little gems like this along the way? Good Luck!

Are you joking? I definitely agree with the "pick your battles" philosophy, but putting my kids on the school bus for TWO BLOCKS is a battle I think is worth fighting. :scared1: Because they are sitting in the bus loop till they get the all clear, the bus ride is about 10-15 minutes. Not horrible, but extremely unnecessary when I can walk them to school in about 3 minutes.

BTW, my kids are in 4th grade and 2nd grade..it's not like I am a first time parent upset and threatening to call the superintendant because I want my kid to have Roseart crayons and the teacher insists on Crayola. This is a battle worth fighting, IMO.

Also, I am not sure if I want to make this a bigger issue by calling out the principal or the superintendant or anything. It was just a blurb in the BTS speech, after all. I figure if she calls me *personally* out on it or whatever I will definitely pursue. Right now, I can just pretend I never went to BTS night or I wasn't paying attention. :laughing:

As for the days-end procedures, all kids who aren't leaving via the bus must be signed out by a parent in the office. There is no carpool in the afternoons, you have to go in and sign out your kid in the office. So I do that, as a walker, just sign the kids out in the office.