Monday, July 05, 2010

Child rides bike to school

A UK paper reports:
A couple who let their two young children cycle to school have been warned they could be reported to social services unless they supervise the journey.

Oliver and Gillian Schonrock let their son and daughter, five and eight respectively, make the one-mile trip from their home on their own.

They say it helps to teach the youngsters independence, self-confidence and responsibility.

But other parents and teachers at £12,000-a-year Alleyn's Junior School in Dulwich, south east London, are said to think the practice is irresponsible and dangerous.

Headteacher Mark O'Donnell has met with Mr and Mrs Schonrock and told them the school is under an obligation to consider the children's safety and has a legal responsibility to notify the council if they fear it is being put at risk.

Mr Schonrock, 40, the managing director of an e-commerce company who walked alone to school as a boy, said: 'We wanted to recreate the simple freedom of our children.

'Like everybody else our age we spent a lot more time with our friends playing in the streets or parks without parental supervision and without our parents becoming unduly worried.

'These days children live such regimented lives. They can do nothing unless it's planned. We are trying to let them enjoy their lives and teach them a little bit about the risks of life.' ...

Mayor Boris Johnson today said the Schonrocks should be applauded, not hounded, for showing faith in their children.

He said he 'passionately supported' their decision to allow their children to ride to and from school.

'They have taken the sword of common sense to the great bloated encephalopathic sacred cow of elf and safety,' he said in a column in the Telegraph.

'And for this effrontery they are, of course, being persecuted by the authorities.'
Good for the mayor. CPS should stick to cases where there is some demonstrable harm. Biking to school has obvious benefits.

1 comment:

Dan Brewington said...

I don't know if I would let my children ride their bikes to school at an early age but it isn't my decision and it shouldn't be a legal matter. I understand the school's concern about the safety of the children but the school can't control all aspects of children's lives. When is CPS going to have the authority to randomly enter everyone's homes to check for child proof cabinets, inspect our DVD collections, approve our music lists, etc...? I wish someone would send me a check list of what I am allowed and not allowed to do with my children rather than go by my ex-wife's list.