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Old 03-29-07, 10:45 AM   #1
mikepop
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Article on kids/safety/paranoia

Talks about kids being outside in general, with some bike-specific examples

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...opinion-center
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Old 03-29-07, 10:51 AM   #2
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"An example: My son's school has a written rule that students in grades K-4 may not ride their bicycles to school."

No wonder kids are fat asses.
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Old 03-29-07, 11:07 AM   #3
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Crazy.
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Old 03-29-07, 11:48 AM   #4
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It's interesting to see that the journalist exposes the irrational fear many parents around North America embrace in this well-written article.

I, too, have noticed and often commented on the conspicuous absence of kids riding their bikes to school over the years that my son has been attending public school (9 years now). Often, his bike is the only one parked at the school and some schools---like the junior high he attends now---don't even have bike racks on school property. That is especially surprising in a downtown area like Toronto where 90% of the kids live within just a few blocks of the school and cycling is an accepted and popular mode of transportation, but seemingly only among adults (who grew up riding bicycles everywhere?). It continually astounds and irritates me when I see these kids who live only a block or two from their school being dropped off and picked up by parents in cars. Curiously, that volume of traffic on narrow, one-way streets that border the schools creates an unnecessarily dangerous condition for the few of us who do ride.

As soon as weather permits, my son rides to and from school and he is eager to do so. In fact, he's usually bugging me to let him ride long before the ice and snow have melted sufficiently. I rarely go to meet with him. I've trained him to be a safe, predictable, courteous and respectful rider and I'm confident in his abilities. I encourage other neighbours to allow their kids the same freedom and protection a bike offers (if, upon the rare chance that a molestor were to accost them, they can get away faster and more effectively than they could on foot) by allowing them to ride together as we did when I was a kid. I even remind them how we had to get to school early if we wanted a good spot on the bike racks as they were usually full by the time the 9am bell went off.

Today, however, my son took the chopper to school because I have to meet with him after visiting with his teacher for a brief chat (no, he's not in trouble---standard procedure for after a report card is issued) and we, no doubt, will encounter that traffic congestion once again as all the other parents will be filling up the small parking lot and parking/stopping illegally on the street while picking up their porky little kids in their cars.

The world is no more dangerous than it was 30 years ago, as many parents believe: it is simply a more informed society. 30 years ago, newspapers and newscasts rarely remarked on the seedy and seemingly unimportant instances of sexual abuse unless it involved a kidnapping and murder. But today, we hear and read about the number of people on the internet downloading kiddie-porn and assume they are all abductors and molestors and because the news reports every person charged with sex crimes against kids (the vast majority being family members, mind you, meaning kids are in more danger at home than on the street) as well as sex-tourism in far-off countries, parents and guardians become paranoid and over-protective---an extreme over-reaction. Rather than allow their kids the opportunity to get exercise and play outside they keep them inside where they play video games and watch television while eating snacks. Talk about abuse.
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Old 03-29-07, 11:51 AM   #5
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There seems to have been a shift in parental attitudes to protect kids from the world rather than to prepare them for it.
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Old 03-29-07, 11:58 AM   #6
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Just last year, my daughter (17 yo) was riding her bike to school. It was just 5 miles. I was called on numerous occasions by teachers and the guidance counselor and told that I needed to find a way of driving her to school or otherwise finding her transporation. I said that I was twice her age and weight and rode my bike 75 miles a week and there is nothing wrong with riding a bike 10 miles a day. They practically accused me of neglect. Unbelievable.

By the way, she rode her bike to school so that she could participate in after school sports. They provided no late activity bus and my job was over an hour away from the school. There was no way to pick her up at the times they let out. My daughter was also a bit overweight and all that riding made her lose all of the weight. Yet somehow they thought I was doing her harm. We also live in a rural area so traffic and crime are virtually non-existant. They just kept insisting that 5 miles was way too far to ride a bike.
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Old 03-29-07, 12:59 PM   #7
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There seems to have been a shift in parental attitudes to protect kids from the world rather than to prepare them for it.
Bingo!

+100
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Old 03-29-07, 04:51 PM   #8
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I'm seriously considering starting something at my school to reduce the daily "suv parade" that backs up onto the street every day in front of our school. And that's in good weather. When it's raining it runs even longer.

Our principal, however, seems very resigned to the fact that parents don't want their little ones out of their sight until they are safely behind the fence of our schoolyard. And she is generally a very proactive leader.

For example, I just found out today that if I tried to compile a list of kids at the school arraged by street so that parents could find other kids who lived near them and arrange "walking school buses" or "bicycle trains" it would run into privacy issues.

The funny thing is that of all of the accidents we've had involving kids and cars, most have involved kids who were getting picked up by their parents. IMHO a child is safer riding their bike to school than riding in a car if you factor in the dangers that the traffic jam in the school parking lot present.
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Old 03-29-07, 05:32 PM   #9
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Check this article out: http://www.macleans.ca/homepage/maga..._102271_102271

Read most of it while in the dentist the other day. What do you think?
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Old 03-29-07, 05:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtsmile
Check this article out: http://www.macleans.ca/homepage/maga..._102271_102271

Read most of it while in the dentist the other day. What do you think?
I think it's spot-on. One thing that caught my eye was the comment that it starts when they're very young, that some parents won't let their kids play on the monkey bars. I see this all the time at my local playground.
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Old 03-29-07, 06:12 PM   #11
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I gave my kid all the skate boards he could break. He turns 20 next month. Good kid generally... working two jobs, but I wish he would go back to college.

They have to have room to grow.
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Old 03-29-07, 06:18 PM   #12
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They have to have room to grow.
Yep.
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Old 03-29-07, 06:40 PM   #13
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I gave my kid all the skate boards he could break. He turns 20 next month. Good kid generally... working two jobs, but I wish he would go back to college.

They have to have room to grow.
My youngest broke his arm skate boarding. Much better than running in a gang or Killing themselves driving drunk/drugged as some of the kids he knew had done.
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Old 03-29-07, 07:41 PM   #14
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So people won't let their kids outside to play because of all those Internet predators? Does this make any sense to you?
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Old 03-29-07, 08:04 PM   #15
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Nope.
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Old 03-29-07, 08:13 PM   #16
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That macleans article was interesting. I can see how that is so true. All these people coming of age who have not ever really lived yet. I had free reign to wander the neighborhood unsupervised at the age of 4. You'll almost never see anybody under 17 outside anymore.
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Old 03-29-07, 08:24 PM   #17
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Teach dem possy kids to FIGHT!!!
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Old 03-29-07, 08:36 PM   #18
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I'm all for exercise, our kids are too sedentary. But...

http://www.nsopr.gov/

In LA, there are 25 zips, 90001 - 90025. 90001 got a hundred hits. I didn't bother after looking further.

My own small zip got 26 hits.

Whether it's called "child molestation" or "lewd and lascivious acts with minor under 14," you probably have seveal offenders nearby. Some are violent.

Each state has it's own format/terminology.

Where I live, they provide the address of the offender, or if he's skipped, that too.

EDIT: I just pulled up the first alphabetically listed sexual offender in my zip. Convicted of Aggravated Sexual Battery.

According to Mapquest, he lives in my subdivision, 1.35 miles away.

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Crime is down, but parents shelter their children as if there's a child predator on every corner
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Old 03-30-07, 06:24 AM   #19
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Whether it's called "child molestation" or "lewd and lascivious acts with minor under 14," you probably have seveal offenders nearby. Some are violent.
But that has always been the case. You don't think that you had violent sex offenders in your neighborhood when you were growing up? The only thing that has changed is that now we know where they are. That actually makes it safer, in my opinion.
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Old 03-30-07, 07:36 AM   #20
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But that has always been the case. You don't think that you had violent sex offenders in your neighborhood when you were growing up? The only thing that has changed is that now we know where they are. That actually makes it safer, in my opinion.
Of course we did. But like you said, we didn't know where they were, and how many, etc. So it might in fact be safer now that we know, like you said, if indeed these kinds of crimes have not increased. If you know where snakes live, you are safer.

But if we did know back then what we know today, would we have been as careless about where our kids went?

A very young boy in Atlanta recently went missing. Not long after, they discovered his body. Some older pedophiles, convicted sex offenders, had abused, then killed him.

It still happens, even if these people are required to be registered.
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Old 03-30-07, 07:43 AM   #21
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Look at the numbers. How many children are in Atlanta, and how many are abducted per year, on average, in the last 10 years? It is the problem of big numbers again. Even if there is 10 million against 1 chance that someone is going to get assaulted in any given day, in a city of 10 million, that means that there is one person per day who gets assaulted! And it is trumpeted on the news far and wide. But your chances are still 10 million against 1.
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Old 03-30-07, 02:36 PM   #22
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Assaults are usually by family members or friends, so it isnt the strangers in your neighborhood that people should be worried about.
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