[FoRK] ...as opposed to Feedlot Kids?

Corinna Schultz corinna.schultz at gmail.com
Mon Apr 27 11:10:52 PDT 2009

Just this morning I was talking to my 8yo daughter about walking to a
friend's house. She didn't know where her friend lived, so I told her
to find out, so we could see if it was close enough for her to walk.
My main concern was her being able to navigate and find her way home
if the friend lived in an unfamiliar neighborhood.  In the course of
our discussion, she mentioned another girl she knows who is 7 or 8,
and lives probably .25 mi from school, straight down the street. This
girl isn't allowed to walk to school by herself. She can walk halfway
at most. She's been told that she'll be able to walk alone when she's
in 5th grade. This is a fairly quiet neighborhood, so safety really
isn't an issue.

To be fair, this child has a hearing problem and wears an aid. She
also gets teased, though I don't think there has been any bullying. So
perhaps her parents have some concerns relating to this, and think
she's not old enough to handle any problems that may arise.

But still... to not be allowed to walk down a straight street for .25
mi to get to school?

When we moved here, I printed a google map for my kids, with the route
between home and school clearly marked (and my cell phone number
written at the bottom). It involved a fair number of turns, and
required her to look at the street signs, and pay attention to cross
several roads. I walked with her a few times, to build her confidence
and show her how the map corresponded to the streets. My kids walked
together at first, but when she was still 7, she was walking home
alone sometimes. In the back of my mind I worried that someone would
harrass me for allowing my kids that freedom, but it hasn't been an

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