What The Heck!

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  #1  
Old 10-05-09, 07:16 AM
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What The Heck!

Maybe it is my age showing but I use to ride my bike to school or walk.
SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Seventh-grader Adam Marino is getting a firsthand lesson in civil disobedience.

The 12-year-old and his mother, Janette Kaddo Marino, are defying Saratoga Springs school policy by biking to Maple Avenue Middle School on Route 9. The Jackson Street residents pedal more than four miles together each way to the middle school on nice days despite being told not to by school officials and police.

"I guess you can say that we continue to do what we feel is our right," Kaddo Marino said recently. "We feel strongly we have a right to get to school by a mode of transportation we deem appropriate."

Their methods may be unconventional, but the Marinos are part of a growing number of Americans challenging the sedentary habits of today's youths and what they view as overanxious "helicopter" parenting. As fewer children walk and bike to school nationwide, parents have started groups like the "Walking School Bus," which promotes physical activity and fitness in youth by having them walk to school with adults.

Parents and teachers at Niskayuna's Hillside Elementary School implemented the state's first Walking School Bus program. Separately, this week marks the end of the first "Children and Nature: Saratoga -- Come Out and Play," a week of outdoor events in Saratoga Springs coordinated by the local chapter of a national organization that seeks to "reconnect" children and their families to the outdoors.

Riding his 21-speed Giant mountain bike to school benefits Adam Marino's health and the environment, his mother says, and Adam believes it makes him a better student. "It would be really nice if it got changed," he said of the school policy.

The youngster may get his way.

While the school district does not allow elementary school or Maple Avenue students to ride bikes to school, that could change in the coming weeks, Superintendent Janice White said. The Board of Education could vote to amend the policy on Oct. 13, when it is scheduled to discuss a recommendation from a district-formed committee.

"Supervised, parent/guardian bike riding may be permitted at specific sites in the future," White said in an interview Friday. The school has no legal responsibility over what occurs on Route 9, she added.

The biking debate started last spring, when school district officials told Kaddo Marino that Adam was violating school rules by biking to class. Walking to the school also is not permitted.

Kaddo Marino challenged the policy and asked the school board to change it. The district charged a committee to review the rule, which was instituted in 1994.

At the start of school in September, Kaddo Marino thought that she had a nonverbal agreement with school officials to allow her son to ride his bike until a new policy was resolved. But on the night before classes started, school authorities called parents to say that walking and biking to school would not be tolerated.

When the pair stuck with their plan, they were met by school administrators and a state trooper, who emphasized that biking was prohibited, Kaddo Marino said.
Continued at: School district could backpedal on policy -- Page 1 -- Times Union - Albany NY:2997:
 
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  #2  
Old 10-05-09, 07:56 AM
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WOW, I've never heard of such a thing. Yeah when I was growing up, we all walked or rode bikes until we were in high school and able to drive. And for me, driving didn't start until my senior year. In the town I lived in (10,000 pop), school buses were reserved strictly for the rural students, so kids living in town had to either ride bikes, walk, or have their mothers drive them to school. This was back in the day when most mothers were stay-at-home moms.
 
  #3  
Old 10-05-09, 01:33 PM
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Back in my day the Seattle Public Schools didn't have ANY bus service. Those students that lived more than a certain distance from the closest school (I think it was two miles but may have been more) did get reduced fares on the public transit buses. It was slightly more than a mile, maybe as far as a mile and a half to my high school and I walked it almost every day. Getting a ride was a real treat. (Don't forget Seattle's infamous rain!)

I don't have any idea what the Seattle Schools policy these days but it seems as if anyone that lives more than a quarter mile from the school rides a school bus. Also seems as if the kids don't have to walk any farther than a half block to board the bus.
 
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Old 10-05-09, 01:38 PM
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Welcome to the era of law suits and pedophiles and scared school districts.

It does appears they may change those rules but I certainly don't see anything wrong if the parents are with the cdhildren when they bike or walk.
 
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Old 10-05-09, 02:29 PM
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I read the article the other day, and was appalled at such rulings. They were obviously knee jerk reactions to national news about pedophiles, etc. You can't legislate safety any more than you can legislate stupidity.
I agree with spdavid, if the parent is with the child, what's the problem. We all ran in packs back when I rode to school. I feel certain these rulings will be modified once a calmer school board is elected.
 
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