Childrearing

Mom ‘Terrified’ That Her 11-Year-Old Has To Take A Public Bus To School Needs To Calm Down

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Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 8.01.39 AMA Seattle mom says she’s “terrified” to send her 11-year-old daughter to school on public transportation. After students finish elementary school, the district contracts with the public Metro bus for transportation. She was imagining her daughter would still be picked up by the friendly yellow bus not the public one filled with child molesters. I’m paraphrasing.

Karenza Ferris has clearly taught her child Zya that there are child molesters around every corner, as evident by what the young girl told Washington’s King 5 News:

“The first thing that came out of my mouth was, ‘What?'” Zya remembered. “You never know who rides it.”

What bothers her mother the most, however, is the 12 sex offenders who live within a mile of the stop.

“It’s terrifying,” Zya said.

Zya would have to walk alone, more than a half-mile to school.

“It’s completely unacceptable,” Karenza said. “‘There are sex offenders everywhere,’ is what I was told.”

Okay, I’m not minimizing the fact that there are dangerous people in this world, but this mom needs to settle down. The image she’s painting is of her 11-year-old, completely alone on a bus occupied only with child molesters. I can almost see that creepy screen from the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory tunnel scene playing in the background. In actuality, this is how all children have to get to school. The bus will be filled with students, no? And public bus drivers on these routes are trained professionals – in NYC they are afforded the same protections as police officers.

Mom says she’s most concerned with the fact that there are 12 sex offenders living within a mile radius of the bus stop. I’ve spent the majority of my life in densely populated urban areas, so this statistic doesn’t surprise me. A quick search found seven within a mile of where I live right now – in suburban Florida. Yes, there are horrible people out there, but I’m not sure what the benefit is of teaching your child to move through the world in fear. The girl seems mature and smart – as you can see in the video I attached at the end of the article. I’m sure her mom can explain the danger that exists in the world without instilling her with “stranger-danger” paranoia.

After bringing her story to the local news, the school district told her she could keep her child on the yellow bus route if she didn’t feel safe. Great? So her middle schooler gets to ride a bus with kids in elementary school, something I’m sure a maturing kid won’t be horrified by at all.

If the world terrifies you so much – drive your kid to school. That seems like the logical fix to me. Re-arranging your work schedule to accommodate your fears is a lot easier than forcing a whole district to change their transportation policy.

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