Kids can now walk, bike, ride a bus, hitch a ride, to school without parents being afraid of arrest or fines or having their children taken away from them. The nation’s first “Free-Range Kids and Parents Federal Legislation” was added to the Every Child Achieves Act. Of course, the kids must have parental permission, but the bottom line is it is at the parent’s discretion!
The clause in the federal law regulates elementary education for all children in the United States. The clause states:
SEC. 9116. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION REGARDING TRAVEL
TO AND FROM SCHOOL…
‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Subject to subsection (b), nothing in this Act shall authorize the Secretary to, or shall be construed to (1) prohibit a child from traveling to and from school on foot or by car, bus, or bike when the parents of the child have given permission; or (2) expose parents to civil or criminal charges for allowing their child to responsibly and safely travel to and from school by a means the parents believe is age appropriate….
“Notwithstanding subsection (a), nothing in this section 15 shall be construed to preempt State or local laws.’’
This means that just because somebody doesn’t agree with your child walking to school alone, they cannot call the police on you. Good deal, right? The law has passed the Senate and still needs to be signed by President Obama, but it is a step forward for parental rights. This is an acknowledgement that families and parents can decide when their kids are old enough to be independent and practice their social skills.
Do your kids walk or bike to school? Have you ever had issues with your children being too young to walk or bike to school alone?