Dear Free-Range Kids: Just wanted to bring your attention to this bill proposed in the Rhode Island legislature. Here’s what I posted on my FB wall:
Attention all parents: Here’s a bill proposed by reps Williams, Edwards, O’Brien, Messier, and Slater. They don’t think your children are safe enough and have introduced H-7578 which would “require that for school bus transportation provided to children enrolled in grades kindergarten through six (6), a parent, guardian or authorized person be present at the child’s designated bus stops.”
AND if that’s not enough the bill requires the parent to “notify the school in writing with the name, age and relationship of the person authorized to accept the child at the designated home bound bus stop; provided, no authorization shall be allowed for persons under the age of sixteen (16) years old.”
So your 12-year-old child is not old enough to wait at the bus stop alone or get off the bus and walk home by themselves. PLEASE — Emma walked a mile to school in 6th grade and managed to wait for and get home from the bus alone starting in 3rd grade. Can we all say Nanny State? Hopefully this one won’t go anywhere — but really — what are these reps thinking? Here are their emails:
Thanks — Beth
Lenore here: Great letter, great cause. And think of the repercussions: How will any parent ever think it’s safe for a kid to walk to school, or play outside, if even taking the bus requires door-to-door adult supervision?