Basically, when the mom discovered that there was a direct bus between the family’s home and the school she decided to give it a try. She and her daughter practiced the route several times and everything was going well. The little girl even made friends on the bus.
But then other parents at the girl’s school saw what was going on and complained. Child protective services was even alerted and will be looking into the incident.
Streetsblog also wrote about the incident, mentioning the dual facts of a childhood obesity epidemic and an abundance of driving, as well as the fact that the 10-year-old girl actually liked riding the bus. As it turns out, it isn’t scary after all:
Amazing how different this child’s experience is from the image of the public bus as scary and dangerous, a stereotype propagated by district parents and administrators.
The lessons here should be fairly obvious: public transit is a great way to get around; the public incorrectly sees driving as the “default” method of transportation; cities are actually great places for children because there are usually at least some good people around to keep an eye on them. Clearly, we need a fairly significant cultural shift to happen if people are getting in trouble for teaching their kids to be independent and environmentally friendly.
The entire thing reminds me of a past visit I made to New York, during which I saw a bunch of kids commuting to school on the subway. It was no big deal, apparently.
It’s also worth mentioning that all those helicopter parents who complained about the girl on the bus failed to remember that driving actually does have a negative impact on children via air pollution, too much inactivity, turing kids into dependent weaklings, etc. Why isn’t Child Protective Services investigating them?