There is an exemption for income, but hardly anyone knows about it. It’s like everyone has forgotten that buses exist, except for a few field trips (and even then they usually depend on parents to drive). There is a whole facility full of school buses, but you hardly ever see them around town. It’s ridiculous, really.
I know of one woman who started homeschooling her daughter when the nearby school closed, because she didn’t have a car and couldn’t drive her to the new school, and they’re poor. I hope that’s been straightened out (I homeschool myself, but I wouldn’t recommend it for that particular family). I’ll refrain now from ranting about the school that closed, because that was a whole 'nother mess.
I have an acquaintance who can’t drive (epilepsy which resists treatment) and so takes her son on the public transit, which takes over an hour each way for less than 3 miles–it’s across a freeway and hard to walk. I’ve told her about the income thing, and I hope she looks into it; it’s a huge hassle for her and she has enough problems–awful ex-husband, no money, serious medical problems, the works.
I also live two blocks from a school and am amazed no one has been hurt when school is letting out. Kids dart between cars all the time - without looking - to get to Mommy’s SUV across the street. Some of these entitled bitches will park across my driveway and get offended when I get in my car to leave. “No Parking” signs, of course, do not apply to them!
Wow. How long ago was that? It seems like a lot changed between my HS graduation in 1977 and my daughter’s enrollment in kindergarten in 1990.
For example: many kids rode their bikes (or walked to school) when I went. We had two or three bike racks in the school yard. Now they frown on walking and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bike rack at any of the town’s schools. Weird.
I graduated in 2003. And we never had bike racks. It wasn’t addressed at all in elementary school, but in middle and high school our handbooks specifically mentioned that biking to school was forbidden.
You’re kidding. Why in the world would it be against the rules to ride your bike to school?!? Especially in this age of fat kids? Is that even something in their jurisdiction? I mean, surely you could take a hot-air balloon to school if you wanted–how is the method of transportation any of their business?
I’m gobsmacked, really.
(My sister always biked to school; she graduated in '05. I did too, but that was in the dark ages of the late 80’s.)
I think MrBusGuy nailed it. My particular school district is living “in the world of overcaution”.
An 18 year old male HS senior smoked a cigarette on his way to school. In his own vehicle. Had it put out before he drove onto campus. Granted, we don’t like to think of kids smoking cigarettes, but it is currently legal to do so off campus.
One of the assistant principals smelled the smoke and inquired about its origin.
He then wrote the young man up (disciplinary report).
These are the ones that piss me off. The bus stop is catty-corner from my house, and all these SUV moms will come line the streets sometimes 10-15 minutes before the bus gets there, and block my driveway. The street is narrow enough that even if they are on the other side of the street, if they’re smack across from my driveway I can’t really get out. They drive the kids in the morning, too, and then wait in their vehicles til the bus comes and junior is on his way to school. It’s weird. My subdivision is not that big, and there are several bus stops within it. None of these kids would be walking very far, and there is only one entrance to the subdivision, so it’s not like there is usually traffic or anything.
When I was in elementary school, I went to a small private school on the other side of town. I took 2 city buses to get to and from school. In junior high and part of high school, I rode my bike. After that I had a car.
On the topic of security… when I was in school, there was no “school building”. We had class out in a field. No, just kidding. There was no single building, though. In elementary school there were a few different buildings, and the classroom doors all opened to the outdoors. There was no fence around the property except along the one street (where the basketball courts were). In Jr. High it was the same way: there was an English building, a Social Studies building, Math building, etc. Lockers were outside (there was an overhang) and you hustled across the campus to get from one class to another. There was a big bike parking area out front with an extremely high fence around it that was locked except at the beginning and end of the day. In high school the classrooms were in rows, with all of the doors opening to the outside. The campus was fenced in on several sides, but was pretty much open and easy to get into from the parking lot. It was also an “open campus” meaning that students were allowed to leave for lunch. They were more like little college campuses, really, and not “secure” at all. (I am having fun playing with Google’s “My Maps” feature, so here you can see 'em in all their satellite glory: hope this works)
Years later I drove by my old high school. It’s got a guard gate at the entrance and you can’t even drive your car in unless you show ID and have a reason to be there.
Seriously? Where on earth was that? I used to* ride my bike to school all the time (five miles, people) because it let me get up a full forty-five minutes later. And I walked (and in the rain, once or twice, without my parent’s knowledge, hitchhiked) home about once a week too, because school got out at 1:45 and the bus wouldn’t get me home until 4:15.
For that matter, if I wanted a ride with my parents, I went in when they did and came home when they were done with work. Nine times out of ten, that was faster than the bus anyway.
*You kids get off my lawn! And fer chrissakes, I graduated high school in 2006!
The nearest school to us, in a relatively densely packed suburban area, laid down the law a few years ago. They’d discovered that 1) most parents who were driving their kids to school said that they did so because the traffic in front of the school was unsafe, and 2) something like 3/4 of the cars driving in front of the school on weekday mornings were there only to drop off children at the school.
The new rule sez:[ul]
[li]The school’s catchment area is fairly small; all pupils live within a ten-minute walk of the school.[/li][li]There are pedestrian bridges or underpasses to cross all dangerous streets in the school’s catchment area.[/li][li]The traffic in front of the school is a self-perpetuating problem.[/li][li]Therefore: no more driving to school. The parking spaces in front of the school are now only for visitors to the school, not for drop-off and pick-up.[/li][li]Exceptions for medical reasons will be made only with a doctor’s note on file with the school.[/li][/ul] Within a week of starting to enforce the rules, the traffic was down to extremely manageable levels.
I know of several people who drive their kids to school because they’re sending their kids to a school they’re not really zoned for. This means that they can’t catch the bus because the bus would take them where they’re supposed to be.
Northeastern Pennsylvania. The schools (same campus, but each had it’s own building) were in a rural area. It was on one of those country roads that’s paved, but nothing but trees on either side. There were ditches on each side of the road. The only reason we were given was “safety”. After turning off the road to get into the school one had to drive up a rather steep driveway (with a 90 degree turn) cut into the hillside. If you biked you’d would’ve had to do deal with over a dozen buses and about a hundred cars driving exactly were you were biking (or wake up and get to school really early and leave late). Most 11th and 12th graders drove or rode with friends who did (some underclassmen did too). We couldn’t leave the building during the day either (except for stuff like outdoor gym and bio classes). There wasn’t anywhere to go for lunch off-campus anyway (my grandparent’s general store was 5 min away by care, anything else 15-20 minutes eachway).