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Walking to School is Less Dangerous than NOT Walking

The next time you are having issues with your school (or neighbors, or ex) about letting your child walk home, please print this out. Point by point it explains how walking is not just healthy and fun, it’s actually safer than insisting children NOT walk.

This comes to us from Michael Lewyn, an associate professor at Touro Law Center, where he teaches environmental law, property and wills. His scholarship can be found at this page. His passion is below:

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45 Responses to Walking to School is Less Dangerous than NOT Walking

  1. Jessica September 27, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

    WTF is going on with that booster seat? None of that looks right?!?

  2. Brooks September 27, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    We live 10 houses from the 4th and 5th grade elementary school. I have watched walking increase steadily in the past few years. I think parents are becoming sick of the carpool mania and realizing that all the years of pedophile hysteria was a hoax. And, after seven years of trying, they are finally putting sidewalks on our street, so that will make it even better for the walkers.

    I am also seeing front yards filled with kids playing after school. Maybe we’re turning a corner.

  3. Katie September 27, 2016 at 12:40 pm #

    Great post. Probably the best I have seen on here. It amazes me idiots who drive their kids 2 blocks to school or a bus stop in a gas guzzler SUV , wonder why this planet is flooding. Or why so many kids are having asthma. They are destroying their kids futures.

  4. WendyW September 27, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    I think some goofy person grabbed the belts from the front seat and the other end of the back seat, and added them to the arrangement. Either the child herself, or the photographer in order to illustrate absurd over-protectiveness.

  5. Vicki Bradley September 27, 2016 at 1:25 pm #

    I used to feel so annoyed when I would occasionally walk with my kids to their public school and would see a friend of my daughter get into her dad’s car to be driven to school, even though she lived directly behind the school, and there was a pathway running along the side of her house (she didn’t even have to cross the street to get to the pathway). Even if the father was doing it for helicopter-parenting reasons, which is no excuse, it would have taken him much less time to walk her to school than drive her. To me, that was the height of laziness, and not caring about your child’s health and the environment. It reminded me of the scene from the movie “The God’s Must Be Crazy'” where the woman gets in her SUV, backs down the driveway, gets her mail, then drives back up the driveway to her house – the movie was using hyperbole to make a point, but now it’s reality.

  6. Flossy73 September 27, 2016 at 1:27 pm #

    This is pure gold and should be distributed to every adult in the country
    This should be reposted everywhere

  7. HW September 27, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

    Haha, Jessica, I didn’t even look at the picture until you pointed it out. But yes– driving is way more dangerous than walking if your kid is strapped like the one in the picture!

  8. lollipoplover September 27, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

    “Bureaucrats claim that if children are on their own, they will be hunted down by sexual predators. ”

    Apparently, they are dressed as clowns now:

    http://6abc.com/news/clown-warnings-issued-ahead-of-halloween-season/1528542/

    .

  9. Backroads September 27, 2016 at 4:07 pm #

    I agree, one of the best posts on this blog ever.

    I grew up in an ideal area, school-wise. A couple blocks from elementary, jr. high, and high school. Which meant… walking. I didn’t think twice. Being driven was reserved for rainy days. In fact, I remember one year a snow storm. My mom looked outside when we complained we didn’t want to walk in it. She said she didn’t want to drive in it. We didn’t go to school… which was just as well because 45 minutes later there was a call from the school announcing it was cancelled.

    Yet these same schools (I actually still live in the vicinity) are now much more full of driven kids and I know for a fact the school boundaries haven’t changed. Theoretically the number of kids being bused/driven out of practical necessity shouldn’t have changed significantly. Still, I am happy to see plenty of kids walking by my house everyday to and from school.

    What I’m also happy to see is walkers at my own school. I teach at a charter that does not provide transportation services. So, driven kids is to be expected. My principal went nuts last year and arranged a very streamlined drop-off/pick-up system with very, very high encouragement for those who live nearby to walk if at all possible.

  10. James Pollock September 27, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

    Alas, he over simplifies, most likely due to space considerations..

    Here are some anecdotal facts.

    1) when I went to 8th grade, my home was located approximately 11 miles from the school, and those 11 miles were twisting coastal highway with no shoulders, plus being on the opposite side of the bay from the school. Kind of hard to argue that walking was the safest avenue for me to transport myself to and from school, at that time.

    2) My daughter went to middle school (60 students in each grade) with a young man who was later killed, run over in the sidewalk walking home from school.

  11. Jessica September 27, 2016 at 4:41 pm #

    James, clearly you should have swam to school.

  12. Anna September 27, 2016 at 4:45 pm #

    James: “when I went to 8th grade, my home was located approximately 11 miles from the school, and those 11 miles were twisting coastal highway with no shoulders, plus being on the opposite side of the bay from the school.”

    If so, in most places you’d be eligible for a school bus then. Regardless, I sincerely doubt the letter-writer is proposing that everybody do an 11-mile Iron Man to get to school.

  13. James Pollock September 27, 2016 at 5:14 pm #

    “If so, in most places you’d be eligible for a school bus then.”
    Yes. Which heading would you put that under… “walking”, or “not walking”?

    “Regardless, I sincerely doubt the letter-writer is proposing that everybody do an 11-mile Iron Man to get to school.”
    As I said. The author oversimplifies.

    It’s fairly obvious (to me anyway) that there are situations where walking is, in fact, the safest way to get to and from school. I have an anecdote for that one, too… in grade school, my house was actually physically adjacent to the school I attended.

    There are situations where it’s a wash… walking is no more safe than other means of transportation. And there are situations where walking to school is not safe at all.

    Not only that, but children can MAKE walking more unsafe than it already is, say, by crossing streets where there is no crosswalk or overpass. I have an anecdote for this one, too… when I used to walk to junior high school, we crossed the street between intersections, because it was faster than going all the way to a light and waiting for it to change. AFAIK, nobody was hurt doing this during my time at that school… but that road, once a sleepy mostly-rural two-laner, is now a 5-lane arterial, and kids still cross between intersections.

  14. EricS September 27, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

    Sadly, despite all the facts, logic, and common sense, as well as generations of experience and proof, if people are going to believe the world is flat, it will be flat to them. Fear makes people do and believe the darnedest things. And technology and social media has played a very big roll in the way people view things these days, than in the past. It’s easier to manipulate a fearful person, than it is to manipulate someone who looks at all angles and makes the right decision for themselves, while overcoming any “fears” they may have. That’s just fact.

    http://bit.ly/2dpNzcN
    http://bit.ly/2cTDSTi
    http://bit.ly/1t9BUER

  15. EricS September 27, 2016 at 5:23 pm #

    The only way for people to stop being fearful of certain things, is either to give them assurances (without a shadow of a doubt assurances), with perhaps some perks. Or…make the consequences of their actions be more frightening that what they are afraid of. eg. Parents are afraid to let their children walk to school on their own. But if there was a law that was passed saying, if parents don’t let their children walk to school on their own, they can be removed from the home. Or the parents go to jail. Trust, they will find a way to get over their fears, and let their children walk to school on their own. 😉

  16. Anna September 27, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

    “It’s fairly obvious (to me anyway) that there are situations where walking is, in fact, the safest way to get to and from school. I have an anecdote for that one, too… in grade school, my house was actually physically adjacent to the school I attended.

    There are situations where it’s a wash… walking is no more safe than other means of transportation. And there are situations where walking to school is not safe at all.”

    But the point here is that to do an accurate assessment of the relative safety, you can’t just count up the accidents that happen in each mode of transportation: you also have to take into account the public health benefit overall of children being more active, as well as the additional danger on the road created by all those parents driving their kids and generating extra traffic overall. A decrease in exercise has an adverse outcome on public health and hence on average lifespans that needs to be taken into account. E.g., it’s been calculated that bike helmets, by reducing bike ridership, have likely had a net negative effect on lifespans across the population, despite saving the occasional life – in terms of years of life saved or lost, the negative impact far outweighs the handful of accidents prevented.

    A similar calculation would need to be done here – though personally, I have little doubt of the outcome. Just looking at kids in my neighborhood, it’s astounding to me how impossible most parents now think it is for a 2, 3, or 4-year-old to walk even a 1/4 or 1/2 mile – I mean, accompanied by the parents, to avoid questions of supervision. There’s a 3 1/2 year-old on our block who I only recently discovered is not crippled: I had assumed she was because on walks with her dad, she’s always firmly installed in a stroller, trailer, or other passive conveyance. There’s just no way this mindset does not decrease fitness and activity levels for life.

  17. JLM September 27, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

    James reminds me of the smarmy 6yo who thinks he’s really smart by asking “But what if…” every time his parent gives an explanation of something.

    And there I fail. I swore never to take the James bait.

  18. Anna September 27, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

    “Not only that, but children can MAKE walking more unsafe than it already is, say, by crossing streets where there is no crosswalk or overpass.”

    Incidentally, in case you don’t know (as too many Americans don’t), in nearly all states, every intersection of public roadways with a sidewalk or footpath is considered an unmarked or implied crosswalk, with motorists obliged to stop for or yield to any pedestrians who wish to cross – and the DMV in my state notes in a fact sheet that marked crosswalks actually tend to increase accidents. But by all means, blame the kids when they get hit!

  19. HW September 27, 2016 at 8:07 pm #

    Brooks–
    Awesome!

  20. Sam September 27, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

    Walking to school could be good exercise, but most schools already don’t prohibit walking, even if some make it inconvenient. However, many schools insist on an adult escorting each kid. In these cases the argument of exercise doesn’t work, since the schools are happy for kids to walk, – just not on their own. It is this issue that seems to be more closely related to FRK than the one of exercise and public health.

  21. Anna September 27, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

    “In these cases the argument of exercise doesn’t work, since the schools are happy for kids to walk, – just not on their own.”

    Aren’t you ignoring a major fact of real life here? While many children have enough time to spend 20 or 30 minutes, say, walking to school, few adults can spare the 40-60 minutes it would take to accompany their children on that walk, plus the return journey, twice a day. Hence, demanding adult accompaniment, 9 times out of 10 will mean a family decision in favor of driving rather than walking. We live in the real world, and policy decisions should be made accordingly!

  22. Papilio September 27, 2016 at 10:23 pm #

    “While many children have enough time to spend 20 or 30 minutes, say, walking to school, few adults can spare the 40-60 minutes it would take to accompany their children on that walk”

    My father would take his bike with him when walking us to school, and then bike from our school to work.

  23. KumquatWriter September 27, 2016 at 11:34 pm #

    My almost six year old kindergartner and I walk to school (about 2 blocks with a crosswalk and crossing guard across a busy street and one quiet neighborhood street to cross just before it). Since the second week of school, my son has been pushing me farther back every day. As of now, I stop at the “un-guarded” corner and he crossed and walks the rest of the way alone.

    This morning, a police officer pulled up next to us as I was hugging him and sending him across. I braced for any comment he might have – but he nodded approvingly and then told me to enjoy it while it lasts because his daughter is starting college today.

    It was such a refreshing moment!

  24. WendyW September 28, 2016 at 12:45 am #

    Another factor for walking to school that I have not seen mentioned here is that the whole discussion hinges on the fact that the child is actually coming from, and going back to, their HOME. Though some shift-working parents may be home at the times in question, often the kids are at some kind of child care facility. Stay-at-home parents are plentiful for the Pre-K set, but are a lot less common once the kids reach school age. Good child care can be hard to find, much less in one’s own neighborhood. Often it’s chosen for proximity to the parent’s workplace, which might be nowhere near their school.

  25. sexhysteria September 28, 2016 at 2:46 am #

    Fantastic work!

  26. James Pollock September 28, 2016 at 3:04 am #

    “Incidentally, in case you don’t know (as too many Americans don’t), in nearly all states, every intersection of public roadways with a sidewalk or footpath is considered an unmarked or implied crosswalk, with motorists obliged to stop for or yield to any pedestrians who wish to cross – and the DMV in my state notes in a fact sheet that marked crosswalks actually tend to increase accidents. But by all means, blame the kids when they get hit!”

    Yes, I’m aware that crossings of all types create crosswalks, whether they are marked or not. However, I was referring specifically to crossing where there isn’t one. As I noted previously, students of my junior high school (including me) routinely crossed the street between crosswalks. In the nearby major metropolitan area, the first day of school included a case of a child who was hit crossing a street within sight of the pedestrian overpass installed specifically to avoid having people trying to cross the street where there is no crosswalk. So, yes, I’m sticking with my thesis that kids sometimes make things more dangerous for themselves… if you want to complain that I’m blaming the kids when they get hit, well, duh… who else should be blamed? The driver who followed the rules of the road and did nothing wrong? Or the kid who tried to cross a street where there wasn’t a crosswalk?

  27. James Pollock September 28, 2016 at 3:09 am #

    “Aren’t you ignoring a major fact of real life here? While many children have enough time to spend 20 or 30 minutes, say, walking to school, few adults can spare the 40-60 minutes it would take to accompany their children on that walk, plus the return journey, twice a day.”

    I used to walk my daughter to school. Not because she needed the supervision (she didn’t, except that on her own, she tended to dawdle and arrive late) but because it gave us an opportunity to talk. I didn’t walk her the whole way, though, I used to turn back once she physically arrived at the school property… she still had to walk across the field to the actual building.

    I thought it was important, so I arranged my work schedule to allow for it. Not everybody can do that, but those that can, should. Unless their kid wants to walk with a group of other kids instead, which was also a choice my daughter used while she was in grade school.

  28. James Pollock September 28, 2016 at 3:19 am #

    “And there I fail. I swore never to take the James bait.”

    Literally nobody cares.
    Have a nice day anyway!

  29. Mimi September 28, 2016 at 5:06 am #

    Very true for all the reasons stated. Anyone who’s battled their way through the stressful school run knows it, really.

  30. BL September 28, 2016 at 5:22 am #

    “While many children have enough time to spend 20 or 30 minutes …”

    Real neighborhood schools should be closer than that.

    We’ve been going through an interesting cycle in my area:

    1) School A is dropping in enrollment. Merge it with sort-of-nearby School B and close School A (maybe even demolish it).

    2) A year or more later – School B is overcrowded. Let’s build a new school!

    If I didn’t know better, I’d swear this was a setup to give business to the building industry. But that would be unethical, no?

  31. Suzanne September 28, 2016 at 6:23 am #

    This says over 600 children are killed in car accidents but using the statistics cited it’s actually 884 age birth to 15 years. If you take the average number from those age groups and assume that number of 16-20 year olds were in a car driven by a parent that brings the total to over 1000 children a year die in a car driven by an adult. I also read your linked Wall Street Journal article and loved it. You raise a good point about being more concerned about children who are raised “virtually abandoned” those kids often have the worst life outcomes.

  32. lollipoplover September 28, 2016 at 9:40 am #

    “After seven years of trying, they are finally putting sidewalks on our street, so that will make it even better for the walkers.

    I am also seeing front yards filled with kids playing after school. Maybe we’re turning a corner.”

    You are.

    We turned that corner years ago when our bus service was cut (that’s when I came to this blog). Now, most of the kids we know walk or bike to school *alone* in a large group bike line. Prior to this, children were forbidden to bike to school- they said it was unsafe because the streets were too narrow and had no sidewalks. So when they made budget cuts and told our kids to walk or bike to school, we asked what changed to make it *safe*. Parents requested a traffic study to see if it was too unsafe for kids. It was! The state told the school district that they had to make improvements- bike paths, sidewalks, drainage, fencing, etc. They did and we’ve had wonderful access to our school without cars. It’s wonderful, mostly (ask me about biking to school during the icy/snowy winter and I won’t be saying this!). They’ve biked every day to school except for a thunderstorm when we drove them (what a nightmare morning *drop-off* is! Diabolical).

    After school, kids that bike home generally have older siblings at home but with after school sports, many are latchkey and doing just fine (mine included). There are several work at home parents on my street and someone is always around. After school is often how they arrange game/play times see who is free to do stuff. You get to know the kids in your neighborhood so much better (and those actually available to play, not going to lessons after school). The weather right now is gorgeous for games outside (seeing lots of soccer, hockey, and bike stunts) and begging for fire pits at night (kids are very good at convincing their parents to come out and build fires with them!)

    I have to say that walking/biking to school is so much more than just exercise. It’s being responsible for your own commute. Figuring out the weather (great way to learn how wrong meteorologists can be!) and preparing for all kinds of weather and mishaps. It’s taking time to organize your supplies, packing your own lunch and water bottle so it doesn’t leak when shifting during biking (big socks work great to absorb). Communicating with neighborhood kids to see who is biking each day. Learning to be a good pedestrian and aware of traffic laws and ways to keep safe.

    We’ve learned that not all cars stop for kids in crosswalks. Knowing to only go when you know the coast is clear (left-right-left) and never assume a motorist sees you. Teaching young kids the ability to AVOID accidents and stay out of harm’s way using their brains and their feet, not their SUV’s. This is such an important life skill and we should be teaching young kids these skills instead of driving them everywhere to keep them *safe*.

  33. Momof8 September 28, 2016 at 9:44 am #

    Hahahaha! Jessica, I didn’t even notice, scrolled right by it. i wonder if her extremities are numb.

  34. BL September 28, 2016 at 10:46 am #

    @lollipoplover
    Those last two paragraphs should be shouted from the rooftops. How much is lost by always being “safe”!

    I would only add, though, that these skills don’t have to be developed only in the context of walking to school. Walk or bicycle the local neighborhood after school and on weekends. If you live a Jamesian 11 miles from school, it may be the only way to get these skills.

  35. lollipoplover September 28, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

    @BL-

    Kids should be doing this all over, not just to and from school…but they aren’t.

    Hoards of kids on bikes and games are signs you live in a good neighborhood. This is what we WANT our children to be doing. The best childhood friends of are the ones that are most accessible. We have two best friends on our street and another a few blocks away. Bikes equal freedom but come with responsibility best learned within the biking distance of our neighborhood. They can find stuff to do and people to do it with and not need uber mommy rides.

    I do think it’s contagious. See a few kids, then some more, over a course of years and we now have young families with little ones on bikes, on the paths, with dad riding along side. Maybe they’re practicing to go to school or to their friend’s house. You can only hope these kids are getting some freedom to spread their wings.

  36. Havva September 28, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

    @Brooks,
    I’m glad you mentioned the carpool mania waning in your area. My daughter is in Kindergarten and from all I heard of the nightmares of the car line, I decided to walk her to and from school. Despite the scheduling arrangements that had to be made for this. My parents had told me how huge and ridiculous the line was, blocks of idling cars. I’d heard from the county planning commission that they frequently received complaints from people because the car line was so long citizens couldn’t back out of their driveways…to get in the car line.

    But so far the worst I have seen is the car line stretching all the way past one house to the nearest intersection, and causing a slight problem there for a minute. Perhaps it was the staggered release by grade, and the splitting of the school. Except that on the other side of the school, the field where they release the walkers is so packed that multiple ice cream trucks and handcarts mob the area. And while the younger kids must be picked up by parents, my daughter and I regularly get passed on the way home by what appear to be older elementary kids, who are walking home independently.

    It’s a good environment for walking. Now I just have to convince my daughter that it is okay to ride her bike. There is this a good sized old fashioned bike rack, but the only other bike ever there belongs to a teacher. And when they call for dismissal (bus, kiss & ride, after school programs, and walkers) they never call for cyclists. It feels sort of selfish to ask them to change the announcements just for my kid. On the other hand, perhaps it would be a service to legitimize bike riding. I’m half tempted, since the car line is tame, to get the hang tag and wear it like a lanyard and have her sent to kiss & ride. It is a lot closer to the bike rack.

  37. BL September 28, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

    @lollipoplover
    “Hoards of kids on bikes and games are signs you live in a good neighborhood. This is what we WANT our children to be doing. The best childhood friends of are the ones that are most accessible. We have two best friends on our street and another a few blocks away. Bikes equal freedom but come with responsibility best learned within the biking distance of our neighborhood. They can find stuff to do and people to do it with and not need uber mommy rides.”

    You’ve just described my childhood environment.

    And apparently so rare in these “enlightened” times.

  38. Amy September 28, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

    Excellent article. What strikes me about driving kids to school is that it seems like it would make everybody miserable and at least from my experience the kids seem happier when they walk. We’re not within walking distance of the school, so my kids walk the six blocks to the bus stop and go from there. Me taking them to school would be getting up way earlier than I need to (and I work late nights sometimes-so this could really suck), waking up the three year old, battling traffic around the school, to just have to drive another hour through rush hour for work and my kids would be complaining the whole time about how they aren’t babies. How it actually looks like in my life now is, older kids get up using alarm clock, get dressed, make breakfast, let me know they’re heading out and walk to bus stop, followed by me falling asleep for another hour and then getting on the road for daycare/work, missing the school traffic (unfortunately can’t do anything about rush hour). Everybody’s happy. Sometimes as parents (or kids, or people) we have to do things that aren’t convenient or are for the better of the family, or what have you. The things is though, why do that when it doesn’t benefit anybody? If I’m going to inconvenience myself it’s going to be for something good, not because society says so or because I think there’s *actually* a competition for mother of the year.

  39. lollipoplover September 28, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

    @BL-
    It was also my childhood. I don’t think it’s that rare to see kids outside playing, but the numbers are definitely down but hopefully trending up. We just don’t hear about it. We read news stories about the one child that was struck walking to school holding his mother’s hand, but we don’t hear about the millions of other American school children who arrive safely every day without incident.

    I have to believe there are pockets of neighborhoods across the US that are friendly to kids and families. Biking and walking are encouraged behaviors in children, not forbidden. Getting some adults outdoors to see that it’s not that dangerous to walk a few blocks or walk it with your kids to start out. Move the needle from paranoia to capability. Hopefully, the tide is shifting.

  40. James Pollock September 28, 2016 at 5:50 pm #

    “I don’t think it’s that rare to see kids outside playing”

    It’s not. It’s just that they’re playing on adult-approved playfields, wearing adult-approved uniforms, in games arranged by adults, all while being supervised by adults.

    Instead of, you know, a bunch of kids getting together in the sandlot to play baseball, or gathering at the schoolyard playground to play 3-on-3 basketball (because six kids showed up, if someone else shows, it’ll be 4-on-3.)

  41. Qute September 29, 2016 at 9:28 am #

    @Lollipoplover – My community is pretty family/kid friendly. I was thinking earlier this summer how nice it is to see kids of all ages running up and down the sidewalks between each others homes or riding bikes up to the playgrounds and not seeing a hovering parent anywhere in the vicinity. My youngest son, middle school, has been “roaming the streets” with his friends after school for several years now and never once has anyone decided to call me about it. While there are some helicopter parents around they aren’t the majority or the loudest. Some school and community policies are a bit on the reactionary side but by and large everyone is pretty rational.

  42. Suleymania September 30, 2016 at 3:18 am #

    Brooks, in all respect to your privacy, where do you live because we want to live somewhere like that? Where we live it is unknown for kids under about thirteen to walk to school or play outside. Furthermore, in my travels around the USA, I’ve paid attention and not seen much of these behaviors anywhere, even in supposedly “family-friendly” areas of Portland, OR or small towns in Michigan. We’d like to relocate before it’s too late for our 6yo to experience a normal childhood.

  43. MichaelF October 1, 2016 at 10:54 am #

    Hopefully it changes some minds, but minds closed to change and immured in “facts” will never reconsider the other side

  44. James Pollock October 1, 2016 at 11:10 am #

    ” I’ve paid attention and not seen much of these behaviors anywhere, even in supposedly “family-friendly” areas of Portland, OR”

    I live not far from Portland (I even have a Portland mailing address, though I don’t live in the city) and kids walk to school and play outside with regularity in my neighborhood. Have you tried Beaverton/Hillsboro? I’m not far from Westview.

    In the afternoon, I can tell what time it is by the size of the kids walking past my house. The high school dismisses first, then the grade school, and the middle schools are last.

  45. Froble October 8, 2016 at 3:25 am #

    Why not just accept that there is more than one way to handle going to and from school without judging people for choosing a way different from your own, whether or not you drive, walk, or let your age-appropriate child walk to school unsupervised. I don’t know what part of the country this study took place, and I can only speak from my own experience. I attended an inner city junior high school (middle school) which was located in a rough neighborhood, with a minority student population of approximately 80 percent or more. Since there were no schools in my own neighborhood, I had to walk quite a distance from my home to school in another neighborhood and back home again which took about 40 minutes each way. Fortunately, I always walked with a group of girlfriends and not alone. I lost count of how many times we were followed by one or another slow moving car in which the male occupant(s) would repeatedly ask us if we or any of us would like a ride. Along with that were also inappropriate comments directed at us from teenage boys and older guys. We knew to ignore the unwanted and unsolicited attention which took place on multiple occasions during the week. I would have loved to have had a daily ride to school from any of our parents in our group, but that didn’t happen. I shudder to think what could have happened if any of us would have walked that route alone on a regular basis. My family ended up moving to another city where I attended a wonderful high school only a couple of streets from my home. For me this only brings home that the threat of abduction or other crimes involving children is very real, maybe less so depending on the neighborhood, but nevertheless should not be ignored or swept under the rug. Let’s not be fooled and lulled into a false sense of security by inaccurate statements that these type of threats are exaggerated and stem from hoaxes.