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International walking to school day
October 5, 2010 - Kylie Saari
Wednesday is International Walking to School Day. To mark the occasion, the Safe Routes to School program is adding an additional chaperoned day to their regular Tuesday-Thursday schedule this week. They sincerely want to get kids in the habit of walking to school. So much in fact, that they encourage students that live outside the route zone to be dropped off at a walk site and walk at least part of the way to school. That is wonderful, and not terribly surprising. Walking to school is easy for students in town — routes are well marked, crossing guards are plentiful and friendly, and drivers are, for the most part, considerate of children. But that isn't the case everywhere. In some districts, walking to school is forbidden if you live on a bus route. Apparently, the schools think it isn't safe. Students are required to get to school by vehicle, even if their parents okay the biking or walking. And that, my friends, is a little too much for my taste. Schools shouldn't have the last word on things that happen outside of school. I seriously doubt statistics would show riding in a vehicle is safer than walking, and in the case of areas where there is a lot of crime or other concerns about children being outside, I would guess parents would encourage the bus in that instance. So kudos to Fairmont for embracing student safety without embracing insanity.
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