Connecticut Parents Are Totally Overreacting About Their Kids Walking To School

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Girl walking to schoolParents in Milford, Connecticut are up in arms after their school board decided that 200 students in the district would now have to walk to school rather than take the bus. Not uphill both ways, not past Mr. Jolly’s Home For Repeat Sex Offenders, just walking through their neighborhood on sidewalks and such.

All of our grandparents are turning in their graves. All of them.

These aren’t outlandish distances we’re talking about, either. High school students who live within two miles of the school are being told to walk, as are middle school students within a mile-and-a-half, and elementary school students who are within one mile. Two miles at an average pace should take about a half-hour. I don’t think a half-hour walk is outlandish for a teenager. I’m more upset for kids who have to ride the bus for an hour or more to get to school everyday — now that sounds like a pain.

Parent Karin Hope said to Eyewitness News Three, “We know there’s distracted drivers there, there’s more sex offenders now than ever before.” I’m not so sure about that second part, Karin, but that first part is definitely true. However, kids do need to learn how to walk on sidewalks and be aware of traffic at some point.

Parents in Milford filed an appeal this summer that was rejected, but plan to keep fighting as the start of school nears. In the minutes of a school board meeting where they discussed the walking policy, parents listed their concerns as:

  • winter
  • slippery sidewalks
  • darkness
  • weather
  • kidnapping
  • the distraction of cell phones
  • the weight of carrying a backpack and possibly even a musical instrument

Come on now, people.

School board chairman Susan Glennon provided some background to the policy change in the same meeting. Apparently, these 200 kids were part of a “courtesy bus” service because there was construction in their neighborhood that made walking to school unsafe. That project is now complete, and so the courtesy bus ride is over. The district even paid $14,000 for a security consultant to come in and assess the safety of various routes to school. The expert said that the walks were safe.

Glennon also mentioned that there are 1,500 other kids in the district who currently walk to school under the same guidelines. So suck it up, Milford. It’s time to put on your big girl panties and your walking shoes.

(photo: Alinute Silzeviciute / Shutterstock)