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Should Kids Be Allowed to Walk to School Alone?

Is Your Child Allowed to Walk to School Alone?

With kids heading back to the classroom, many parents are figuring out the logistics of getting their kids to school each day. Are they taking the bus, being dropped off, or walking it alone? Before making the decision to let your child be in charge of getting to school on time, there are several things to consider.

Start by checking out the trek to school. How many streets are involved? Is your child familiar with the route? Can he hook up with a walking buddy? And the understanding of staying away from strangers is essential. Gavin de Becker has a few suggestions, including taking the Test of Twelve before considering letting kids stay home on their own or riding bikes to school. It might also be worth making a call to your local police department. Why? Because letting your child walk to school unattended just might be against the law in your neighborhood.

That's right — across the country there are towns where you, as a parent, can be punished if your child walks it alone. Schools and officials are chiming in by setting an age they feel is old enough for making their way to school by themselves. There's no magic number for what the right age is, but shouldn't it be a parent's decision?

Is your child allowed to walk to school alone? Tell us below.

Source: Flickr user pawpaw67

Join The Conversation
amber512 amber512 5 years
I believe that kids should be allowed to walk home from school if it's not far away, but where I lived in high school my bus ride was almost an hour long.  There's no way I would let a kid walk that far.
mntw1n5 mntw1n5 5 years
Etan Patz? Seriously??? You are using a case from the 70s as the argument to not give your child independence?? I am as overprotective as anyone when it comes to my boys.  However, I also recognize it is my job to make them strong and independent, with confidence.... as well as keep them safe.  The truth of the matter is that child abductions are far less common now than they were in the 70s.  We just know more about them now because of the internet.  More than 95% of child abductions are non-custodial parent.  Stranger abductions are almost never the case.  Your child is probably safer walking to school than being driven in a car.  I am not saying let your 6 year old walk across busy streets by themselves, but there is no reason an older child, with instruction and a buddy, cannot walk a few blocks home.  We treat our kids like they are idiots and then are surprised when they are unable to show appropriate maturity.
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