Social Question

ibstubro's avatar

Should making a kid walk a mile home be against the law?

Asked by ibstubro (11516 points ) May 31st, 2014

From this.

So the law has now concluded that pedophiles are so pervasive and uncontrolled that even a mile of reflection for a 2nd grader is criminal?

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53 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

It’s very young, for any reason, for that distance. I would not have let my kids, at that age, do it in the city where we lived. When they were older, they did walk home, but in packs.

ragingloli's avatar

They should make it against the law to send a young boy to church.
Because of the paedophile priests.

marinelife's avatar

Too young to be alone for that distance.

ragingloli's avatar

I have been walking that distance to and from school since I was 6. And I have not been raped much more than once.

Seek's avatar

Makes you wonder what we’re paying law enforcement for.

A mile is nothing. Ten minutes’ walk. I had further than that to go to get to the corner store – my almost daily chore – in the late 80s and early 90s on Staten Island, NY. I lived in the same town as a couple of members of the Wu Tang Clan.

All the gods forbid we teach our kids a little responsibility and independence.

How long until it’s illegal to allow children to be outside their own homes unattended? and until what age? Do we allow lawmakers to determine when our kids are responsible enough to walk around the block to their study-buddy’s house?

ucme's avatar

I’ve no idea how old a 2nd grader is & that’s fairly relevant.

Seek's avatar

Depending on the state, about 7–8 years old.

Seek's avatar

Also, I don’t see in this article or any other where they reveal the age of the child.

The article says “Second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor” that might be the confusion.

The kid could be 12 in the fifth grade for all we know.

ucme's avatar

Okay, that’s plenty old enough for a small hike home & long enough to reflect on his dad’s words.
The world has gone soft, no doubt.

Darth_Algar's avatar

A mile? When I was 8 I was walking 2 miles to school and 2 miles back everyday. In snow. Uphill both ways.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
kritiper's avatar

A mile isn’t that far. Good exercise for young legs! No, it shouldn’t be against the law.

Jaxk's avatar

Being ‘Old Fashioned’ is, apparently now a criminal offense.

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majorrich's avatar

Our school system discontinued bussing within a 2 mile radius during a budget crunch. My son and I walked to and from school every day. Well, he walked, I wheeled, but you get the jist of it. I developed pretty impressive arms. Most of all, I could guarantee to myself my son was supervised each step of the way.

longgone's avatar

Endangering a child should be illegal. Whether a one-mile-walk is dangerous depends on the area you are in, obviously. For all we know, the dad could have made his kid walk home along a child molester’s rehab center.

Why do you think the boy is in second grade?

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Seek's avatar

@majorrich

Which is nice for someone that is home during regular school hours. However, my local elementary school schedule is 8:45 AM to 2:15 PM. Anyone with a normal 8-to-5 job has absolutely no chance of ever being able to walk their kid to school.

gailcalled's avatar

@longgone; Because the OP said so.

Seek's avatar

The OP is incorrect. The link in the OP even says “The age of the boy is not mentioned in court documents” or something to that effect.

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majorrich's avatar

It’s not like I had a lot of choice about being home. Just glad I had the chance when I did. What do people who have an 8 to 5 job do? Leave their kids at home to fend for themselves for that hour or so before going to school?

Seek's avatar

Usually. Unless they can afford to pay a nanny to come over for a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening. Or pay for Tae Kwon Do daycamp and after school soccer on various days. Or have grandparents who can pick them up.

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majorrich's avatar

I wonder. Because we only had the one child before I got sick. We played the cards as dealt and taking him to school just seemed the thing to do. I would have taken any other kids in the neighborhood, but nobody ever asked me. I’m sure they knew what I was doing it, because they were driving past me dropping the kids off on their way to work and I watched over them before school. I don’t know what they did in the afternoon. Except for the kid across the street, he came home with us.

muppetish's avatar

[mod says] Flames off, folks. The Social section of Fluther will not harbour personal attacks and flamebaiting. Please direct the conversation back to the topic initiated by the OP.

majorrich's avatar

Looking at the OP, I may have done the same thing, but sure as Bob’s your uncle, I would have been following. I am such an old fashioned bad parent.

whitenoise's avatar

If he dropped the child next to the highway… Well yes.

1 mile due to pedophiles? Such nonsense…. One’s kids are no longer allowed outside alone?

Ridiculous.

our kids rode their bicycles 2 miles each way, to and from school, at 8 years old.

jca's avatar

I read in an article linked on FB that the kid was 8. How they knew, I don’t know. Maybe they contacted the dad, or maybe it’s in the Probation documents (the article here said it’s not in the court documents).

When I was 8, I was living in a fairly affluent town that is a suburb of NYC (my FB friends will see it listed as my hometown in my FB profile). It was a nice place to live and I can assure you, I walked all over, either alone or with a friend. I walked to my friend’s house, and she lived about a mile and a half away. This was in the mid 70’s.

Maybe this kid’s walk had no sidewalks? Maybe it was along a highway? That’s not clear from the article.

As for the after school care discussed above, I pay $450 a month for 3½ hours per day x 5 days a week of after school, onsite care at my daughter’s elementary school. It comes to a little less than $20 per day, which is worth it because I don’t have to deal with babysitters or transport to my house or somewhere else. I pick her up by 6:30 pm, which is wonderful.

In the city I work in, a woman got arrested last year or two years ago for letting her 9 year old out of the car as punishment. I forgot the details, but it was a CPS case and arrest for the woman. The woman (the mother) happened to be an attorney. I am not sure what the outcome was. I’m going to google it now.

jca's avatar

I just googled it. The two kids were 10 and 12 and she let them both out of the car, and then let one back in. They said the 10 year old (who is the one left by the side of the road) was very distraught and some stranger picked her up and took her to get ice cream. The cops arrested the mom when she went to the station to pick the kid up. That’s a little crazy. Letting two girls out and leaving one there for hours is nuts. The city this occurred in is one of the biggest cities in NYS.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Depends on the route, and if the child is packing heat… or not.

non_omnis_moriar's avatar

I thought those crimes had dropped. I walked more than a mile home to and from grade school and so did my parents.

But I was so trained not to talk to any strangers that I started screaming when one of our old neighbors started to ask me how my parents were doing. He was wearing a hat and I didn’t recognize him. My mother came running to the window, saw him and said why are you upset that’s Mr. ____. He told me I was really good girl and did the right thing.

I think laws regarding how far a kid can walk to school are over the top

ibstubro's avatar

The OP had a link to the story I wrote the question about, @jca.

“A Hawaii man has been sentenced to a year of probation after making his son walk a mile home from school.”

Crazydawg's avatar

The court is essentially sending a message to the kid, go ahead break the rules and we will back you up if your parent has a fuzzy notion of punishing you when you misbehave. Very messed up situation.

Brian1946's avatar

Big deal.

I used to have to walk a marathon to and from school. Everyday the weather consisted of either earthquakes, blizzards, or multiple tornadoes, and we lived in a Taliban-controlled section of NAMBLASTAN!

@Darth_Algar

“Uphill both ways.”

Same here: we also lived on a tectonic seesaw.

ibstubro's avatar

It was probably a mile to my bus stop as a kid, ½ of it on a narrow 2 lane blacktop with no shoulder.

jerv's avatar

I walked about 1½ miles to school even in the snow back when I was in grade school. As I was the youngest in my class, that would put it at around age 5.

@ucme The average 2nd grader is 7–8, though there are some 6-year-olds, and a few 15-year-olds that still can’t pass the test to get into third grade.

jca's avatar

@ibstubro: I know the OP had a link. I don’t understand what you are saying. My link was to something else.

ibstubro's avatar

Link to the something else, @jca?

jca's avatar

@ibstubro: I posted a link to an article about the woman who left her kid by the side of the road and got arrested in 2009. It had nothing to do with the article about this kid who had to walk home one mile.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

No. I walked 1.5 miles to and from school in first grade. Most kids ride a bus. If the neighborhood is horrible of course parents should make some other arrangements. But no, there shouldn’t be such a law in my opinion.

Adagio's avatar

The answers to this question made me think of this no prizes for guessing why.

jerv's avatar

@Adagio Maybe a little, but if 10 minutes of putting one foot in front of the other seems like Herculean effort then there’s an issue. Sure, if it were 3 miles then that’d be a bit much to ask, but one mile or less isn’t worth legislation, at least not for something that is no more of an issue today than it was 20–30 years ago.
However, this may be a sign that media coverage breeds paranoia; some things that we think are new epidemics have actually been on the decline for many years, or problems we always had but nobody noticed/cared until recently.

ibstubro's avatar

Anyone else notice how slanted the link was, particularly the image of the young boy wandering on a country lane?

Seek's avatar

How many country lanes do they have in Hawaii? Maybe @TropicalWillie can chime in with his thoughts.

ibstubro's avatar

There are many country lanes in Hawaii, @Seek. Probably less gravel and weeds than rain forest. I had the home tour from a native I visited with.

Adagio's avatar

@jerv Please don’t misunderstand me, I also used to walk at least a mile from school everyday in primary school, what reminded me of the comedy was simply that everybody’s experience of walking was somewhat more extreme than the previous person, the comedy clip just came to mind anyway, I wasn’t expressing an opinion about the article, or the responses, it was just where my mind travelled : ^)

jerv's avatar

@Adagio Fair enough. I didn’t see it escalating to living in a shoebox in the middle of the road, but given how my mind wanders, I can see how one might be reminded of that bit.

Adagio's avatar

@jerv it does kind of blow it out of proportion I know but hey, the mind travels strange spaces.

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