Hi Readers! Remember that case in Saratoga, New York, where a sixth (now seventh) grader wanted to ride his bike to his school — with his mom, even! — but the district forbade it?
Well guess what? The district poobahs have now “backpedaled,” as this clever Times Union article put it. But they did it in a way that makes us convinced they still have their heads down where most of us have our bike seats. Listen to the rules kids must obey (or else!) if they want to ride to school:
“…under the new rules, students and parents must sign a safety agreement and registration form. Once on school property, students are required to walk their bikes on approved access routes, store and lock them in racks provided by the district and display identification tags. The district also calls for parents or guardians to accompany student cyclists on its properties, and for both to wear helmets.
The parents have to walk their middle schoolers and their bikes once on school property? I can’t even walk within a mile of my kids’ middle school when they’re around. They’d die of embarrassment. This is treating adolescents like three-year-olds!
As Kaddo Marino, the gutsy mom who has been fighting the school district, put it:
“These regulations appear to be just another obstruction to a parents’ freedom, and if challenged, probably could not be supported,” she said. “When I was first informed that bike racks will be provided, I was pleased, but that feeling quickly diminished when I heard a list of requirements that the district is imposing on those students and families who choose a more healthy, environmentally friendly mode of transportation.”
Why would a school want its kids to never get off their duffs? What kind of “safety” is it providing, if the kids are going to grow up without using their muscles, without having adventures, without learning a sense of direction and self-reliance? How safe is a human blimp choking in a smog-filled city?
And since when does a citizen of the Free World have to fill out PAPERWORK to get on his bike and ride to school? — Lenore