This Kid Sounds Like Me! Or, Rather, Like Us!

Hi Readers! Love this note from a middle-schooler!

Dear Free-Range Kids: I am a 13-year-old and I really think that kids need more freedom. I regularly ride my bike to the library and friends’ houses, but for going longer distances and using public transportation my parents would like me to have a friend with me. However we haven’t been able to find many friends whose parents are willing to let them have this freedom. Recently I  wanted to take public transportation a few stops but my parents were afraid that some “concerned stranger” would call the police.

Parents really need to stop sheltering their children and prepare them for the outside world. I’m not saying that parents should just push kids out the door one day and expect them to find their own way across town with no street smarts, but to to teach and encourage them to be independent. Walk with younger kids to school, farther and farther behind until they’re ready to walk on there own.

P.S. This is just my opinion.

P.S.  It’s mine, too! — L.

Mom & Son Bike to School. State Trooper Awaits!

Hi Readers! In defiance of a policy that seems to forbid biking to the local grammar and middle schools in Saratoga, New York, a mom and her middle school son did just that last Wednesday.  That is, they ignored “a phone call placed to students’ homes by school officials, asking parents not to allow students to walk or ride bikes to school,” according to The Saratogan. And then?

Upon arriving at school on Wednesday, Adam and Janette Kaddo Marino were met outside by school officials and a New York State Trooper, who were on hand for the first day of school. They were informed that they were “out of compliance,” and had a lengthy discussion over where Adam’s bike could be locked.

And you thought State Troopers were the strong, silent type.

What’s cool is that the next day, mom and son were joined by several supportive adults. Friday was too rainy for a ride, but we can only hope more and bicyclists will be converging every day. (I can see the Disney movie now!)

For its part, the school district is said to be “reviewing” its bike policy.

Good. Once again, it’s not that any of us here are in favor of danger: If we were talking about kids riding their bikes up slippery slopes frequented by ice road truckers who drive while texting, that’s one thing. But The Saratogan reports that the road  in question is actually designated a bike route by the New York State Department of Transportation.

Let’s hear it for folks who defy laws that make no sense and don’t even make us safer.  (And for a middle school student who is still willing to be seen in public with his mom.) — Lenore