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Monday, August 29, 2011

Arrested for Riding Bike to School

Could you be arrested for allowing your 5'th grade child to ride her bike one mile to school?  That certainly seems crazy as we try to encourage active life styles for our kids.  That certainly seems crazy as we try to promote safe routes to school programs.  That certainly seems crazy as we talk of an obesity epidemic amongst our children.  But that is what police in Elizabethton Tennessee are threatening.

Teresa Tryon said, "On August 25th my 10 year daughter arrived home via police officer, requested to speak to me on the front porch of my home. The officer informed me that in his 'judgement' it was unsafe for my daughter to ride her bike to school."

Ms Tryon called the mayor's office and the chief of police office in order to determine what laws she was breaking by allowing her daughter to ride her bike to school.  Her daughter's route to school was reasonably safe. 

Major Verran of the police department returned Ms Tryon's call.  She said he told me, "He had spoke with the District Attorney's office who advised that until the officer can speak with Child Protective Services that if I allow my daughter to ride/walk to school I will be breaking the law and treated accordingly.

She asked, "What law she would be breaking to which the answer was 'child neglect'".

Ms Tryon confirm with Major Verran that her daughter was indeed breaking no laws at any level, but it was Ms Tryon who was breaking the law by allowing her daughter to ride/walk to school. Even though it only takes her daughter 7 - 9 minutes to bicycle to school, she is expected to ride the bus.

203 comments:

  1. The Police State grows ever larger. That officer ought to be fired - he clearly is drunk with power. It is not illegal to allow your child to ride a bike. And riding the bus is not mandatory.

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  2. this is insane. is it child neglect to allow our kids to walk or ride up to the ice cream store or to a friends house as well? best of luck to Ms. Tyron, I hope she fights this ridiculousness

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  3. Here is Tennessee's "child neglect" law. Nothing in it can be reasonably construed to prohibit a parent from allowing their 10-year-old child to ride a bike 1 mile to school.

    Link: http://www.tn.gov/tccy/tnchild/39/39-15-401.htm

    Also, does the child's school have a bike rack? If it does, then CLEARLY the school, an arm of the local/county government, has authorized children to ride their bikes to school.

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  4. Next they'll be mandating a stop at the McD's drive thru for some artery clogging fat food too.

    What kind of ridiculous police state is this when kids aren't even allowed to ride a bike to school? So pathetic. No wonder the US is getting eaten alive internationally.

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  5. Elizabethton Police Chief Matt Bailey Phone # 423-547-6405
    Elizabethton Police Major Rust Verran Phone # 423-542-4141

    Elizabethton Star newspaper contacts:
    Editor Rozella Hardin email: rhardin@starhq.com
    Police/Crime reporter Robert Sorrell email: rsorrell@starhq.com

    Submit letters to the editor: http://www.starhq.com/contact/letters.asp

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  6. What exactly do you expect from a bunch of mouth-breathing hillbillies? I'd keep sending her on her bike and let them arrest me. Hello, CNN, boy do I have a story for you.

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  7. I have emailed the local paper there urging the paper to cover the story. I've also contacted statewide and some national media and online media. Meanwhile, if anyone has more info on this story, please send it to me at bill@billhobbs.com. Thanks.

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  8. EricBikeCO, I agree with you - except that if the cops really get mad they'll take the kid away and hand the kid to Child Protective Services, and the kid will have to bear the brunt of the mess.

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  9. wow! I let my 11 yr old son ride his bike to school today. We went over the route this weekend, taught him how and where to lock his bike up and discussed safety parameters. I feel confident that he will not only learn some responsibility, he will gain self esteem and independence. The whole reason he is riding his bike is because the bullying on the bus reached a new high last year and the school did nothing to stop it. If us being proactive is punishable by law, bring it on. I hope the absurdity of this situation is recognized by city officials and this officer is reprimanded for policing a parent unjustly.

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  10. It all depends on the route, however, if the route is bad, then I say they should charge the engineers responsible for the road with "child neglect".

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  11. If you want to send your thoughts about this to the Mayor of Elizabethton, TN, here is his contact info:

    Mayor Curt Alexander
    200 West F St #12
    Daytime: 423-543-1181
    Evening: 423-676-5205
    rcurta@charter.net

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  12. Email to the Mayor sent...
    Re-donk-u-Lous! Someone has to have a cycling Lawyer friend who can shut this BS down.

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  13. Is this even a credible story? This horribly written piece paraphrases (with quotes!) only one person. Did the author attempt to follow up with the officer or DA? This kind of demagoguery doesn't serve the cause. It's sensational drivel.

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  14. Anybody have an idea where the girl's school is and what the roads around there are like? My guess is the mother has sized up the risk quite accurately. Someone in the area ought to do a ride around on a bike or in a car, video what the traffic and road conditions are like, and post it on YouTube.

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  15. Do we have all the pertinent facts? No. This report is based only on comments made by Ms Tryon, who had initially called the League of American Bicyclists who re-directed her to us for help. Are we trying to get more info? Yes, but through proper channels, such as Tennessee's Safe Routes to School Network. Did we have the contacts noted in the comments? Yes, but we chose not to share until we got input from Child Protective Services who seem to "have a dog in this hunt" and whose recommendations all parties are seeking. Are we suggesting action at this time? No. Ms Tryon says she has contacted a lawyer.

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  16. I have called the Elizabethton Police Department and left a message for Major Rusty Verran seeking to clarify details of this story and get more information.

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  17. Hard to see how Child Protective Services would have any legal authority over whether a kid rides the bus or rides their bike to school. The TNDOT website has all laws applicable to cycling, including those specific to children. None of those laws prohibit a 10-year-old from riding a bike to school. Additionally, allowing a child to ride a bike does not fit any definition of "child neglect" in state law.

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  18. This same kind of thing happened in London a year ago - the government threatened some parents who let their kids ride bikes to school. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1291970/Couple-threatened-social-services-children-ride-bikes-school.html

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  19. rcurta@charter.net (Mayor)
    wecarter@embarqmail.com
    lapcon@chartertn.net
    rsammons@usit.net
    richard@securetestalarms.com

    Email for Mayor and some of the counsel. I wonder how much this law suite will cost them.

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  20. First of all thank you so much for the support, this is my daughter. I have presented this to all in the most factual matter possible. Her school is Harold McCormick Elementary School, however the school itself is not having any problems with her riding. There is a bike rack located in front of the school and they have assigned a place for her to keep her helmet as well. According to Major Verran a cps worker will be at my home today.

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  21. I'd like to hear what happens with the CPS worker.

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  22. Please make sure your children are armed, to prevent abduction by kidnappers (badged or not).

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  23. I just spent 20 minutes talking to the police chief. Talk about running in circles! But I did get him to admit that, 1) the child has the legal right to ride her bike on that street. 2) neighbors and drivers have complained about having to "go around" the kid on the bike. 3. There's a sharp curve and a hill and the officer was "concerned" about the child's safety. 4. The officer saw a car swing into the opposite lane to go around the kid on a bike.
    From my interview with Police Chief Matt Bailey:

    "The officer was waived down by motorist and advised of a potential problem with this child."

    The officer "was concerned with her safety."

    The officer's concern was based on "his assessment of the situation based on the road and the distance from her house."

    The DA's office told the police department to forward the "incident" report to children's protective services.

    I asked Bailey if there was any city ordinance prohibiting cycling on that street. No, there is not.

    I asked Bailey if there was any city ordinance prohibiting children from riding their bikes on that street, or riding their bikes to school. NO there is not.

    When I mentioned to Bailey that the school has a bike rack - clearly indicating they expect kids will ride their bikes to school - he said he was unaware of the school "knew where she was coming from." I then informed him that, according to the girl's mother, the school had set aside a place for her to store her bike helmet, so they clearly knew she was riding to school, and also would know where she lived, he said he didn't know anything about that.

    I asked Bailey what authority the officer had to detain the girl and stop her from completing her ride home from school. He circled back to the "safety" issue and the "blind curve," effectively sidestepping the question again and again. "He's just trying to look out for her safety," Bailey said. Of course, that's often the excuse that the government uses to trample people's rights.

    Bailey said child protective services could recommend charging a mom with neglect "if she allows her child to be put in a situation that is detrimental to her."

    "No one is interested in charging anyone. Our main concern is that the child is safe."

    I asked him if the girl had been in, or caused, any traffic accidents while riding to school. NO, he said.

    However, he said the officer saw a motorist drive into the oncoming lane to go around the girl on a bike. I suggested that maybe the officer should have stopped the MOTORIST and ticketed them for a traffic violation, since it is generally not necessary to swing into the oncoming lane to get around a cyclist - you just move over 3 feet, and most lanes have enough room to do that.

    He also kept referring to the "busy" street, although it is clearly a residential street. I would love to see traffic counts for that street - I can't imagine there's much traffic in a small town like that.

    I asked Bailey if police in Elizabethton routinely stop kids who are out riding their bikes without their parents around and make them get in the car for a ride home. He said no. Then he circled around the the safety issue again.

    He did say the mom won't be arrested if child protective services says its okay for the kid to ride that route to school.

    So I asked him if there was a local or state law that gives child protective services the authority to determine which roads kids are allowed to ride their bikes on. Of course, there is not any such law and he knew it, so he circled back around, again, to the "judgment" of the officer and of the child protective services people regarding the safety of that route.

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  24. Forgot to add one thing: I also asked the chief what the officer would have done if the girl had declined to get into the police car and had simply told the officer she would finish her bike ride home. I asked this after the chief admitted that the girl had broken no laws and had every legal right to ride her bike on that road, and had not committed any traffic violations.

    The chief said he thought the officer would have detained her there, and called for her mom to come pick her up. That's just scary. Cops think the badge means they have nearly unlimited power to tell people what to do. This girl was LEGALLY riding her bike.

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  25. Maybe all the in town kids should ride their bikes to school tomorrow, within a reasonable distance. Wonder if they have any crossing guards or maybe kids can't walk either.

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  26. Perhaps the mayor should be arrested for child neglect, given that the city, under the mayor's governance, has not created a transportation network that is safe for all users (from the view of the police).

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  27. Is there any documentation that this is true? No newspaper articles or anything? Maybe a police blotter? How do you know this story? I have searched Google and the only reference I can find is this blog. How do I know this is accurate in any way?

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  28. I interviewed the police chief by phone for 20 minutes today. He confirmed the important details. Nothing he said disputes anything the mother said. I'm trying to get more media coverage of this story. The police chief did reference an "incident report," so there is hard documentation at the police department, however I don't live there so I can't go get it.

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  29. When I was a child growing up in the 1950's I received my first two-wheeler for Christmas at age 8. My joy was quickly dampened when my parents decreed that I could not ride it the one mile to school until I was 10, and they did not relent. In a world where everywhere I look children know about things I didn't become aware of until well into my teenage years and are permitted to do things that simply weren't considered appropriate for children years ago I am stunned to discover that allowing your 10-year-old child to ride her bike to school is something in which Child Protective Services gets to insert its nose! I'd sue if I were you, mom.

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  30. It is 1 mile to school and the dangerous curve is not an issue because ALL people who walk/ride cut through a yard on the corner and from there she is within our complex. On a side note to the corner? In the 6 years I have lived here I have NEVER seen any person walk/ride around that corner - everyone cuts through the same path in the yard. When I suggested an alternative route which removes the corner completely I was told "that isn't the point"

    Bill you got the same run around I did entirely. So basically at this point if child protective services agrees with them, I go to jail and lose my kids. Nice thought there. They know very good and well I don't have the finances to sue them and they are using that to a huge degree.

    If anyone wants a copy of the incident report I can gladly find a way to fax it (I don't have a scanner)or on the police web site is a record request form.

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  31. FYI - There is more discussion of this issue at bikeforums.net (http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/762978-Police-quot-judgement-quot-versus-Law?highlight=riding+bike+to+school) beginning with a post by the Mother of this child.

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  32. I did forget to mention I was on the road in question 4 times today? I passed a total of 8 cars in the 4 times I was on the road.

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  33. You should let the police chief know that this story is now circling the planet. I found out as it was shared through Facebook from someone in South Carolina. I am from East Tennessee now living in Texas. I have shared it and now it is in Europe and South Asia.

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  34. Ok being that the child committed no crime. But was detained and as soon as the officer placed her in the car she was then technically and legally placed under arrest for nothing. Could it be pursued that the officer be charged with false arrest? I would also suggest that the mother lodge a formal complaint with the police dept against the officer for an unlawful detention and arrest.

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  35. Bob, I pressed that issue with the police chief. Tried to get him to see that the girl was detained despite doing nothing illegal. I even asked what the officer would have done if the girl declined to get in the cop car and said she would get home on her bike, thank you. Chief said the officer would probably have detained her and called her mom to come pick her up. That is just scary - a cop who thinks HE is "the law."

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  36. Either way as soon as he detained her then arrested her by placing her in the car it was an unlawful detention and arrest.

    The safety issue for her arrest is a moot point. My question would be was she in imminent danger? If the answer is no then he had NO authority to arrest her. Keep in mind that imminent danger is very narrow in scope. She had to be within minutes of injury or death for imminent danger to apply. From what I gather from the above article and what I have read on the issue she was NOT in imminent danger.

    The mother needs to pursue this. The officer is in dire need of remedial training along with the chief.

    Definitions below;

    ar·rest
       [uh-rest]
    verb (used with object)
    1.
    to seize (a person) by legal authority or warrant; take into custody:

    noun
    5.
    the taking of a person into legal custody, as by officers of the law.

    Imminent Danger Law & Legal Definition

    Imminent danger is an immediate threat of harm, which varies depending on the context in which it is used.

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  37. From all I've read about this it appears the police were responding to complaints from motorists who were inconvenienced by a cyclist. Perhaps some were truly concerned for her safety but I doubt it. They cloaked their displeasure in the safety issue. The police responded to the complaints using the same safety issue. Normally everyone involved has the same tacit agreement that motor vehicles shall not be impeded by non motorized vehicles. In this case the Mom and daughter did not agree. Neither do I.
    Bravo to all who help stop the tyranny of speed.
    Bruce

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  38. Stunned....unbelievable , I've never heard anything so ridiculous, hells bells at that age I had my own paper route doing the morning papers before school and evening papers after school. Sounds to me more like road nazis flexing their ,muscles and having the police on their side IMO


    and this is coming all the way from little old New Zealand!

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  39. Mom, Can you escort your child to school on your bike and pick her up until this all is worked out. Looks like she needs some protection from the bullies (cops).

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  40. Isn't it more like government neglect? Trillions of dollars pissed away, and in 2011 they have left the land so unsafe that they think it's unfit for humans. The blessings of the welfare state just keep piling on. Is the boob too toxic / unsafe for the infant? Where will it end with the control-freaks?

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  41. As a homeschooler we are constantly under pressure from the cps, do NOT let CPS in your home, you have the consitutional right to your home. Have your lawyer present when they show up, talk to them from your front porch

    This all hinges on one complaint, the officer responding to the complaint, now everybody is in cya mode.

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  42. All this and then we complain that our kids are fat and lazy. The drivers and police in Elizabethton need some education. And one policeman needs a major attitude adjustment. He can't make up the law as he goes along.

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  43. Follow the money. The School district is probably being subsidized for the number of children using the bus, and needs to keep their numbers up to qualify.

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  44. Must be part of Michelle Obama's health drive. Anyone know the kid should be doing Piates with her personal trainer. What a bunch of stubborn clingers hanging on to their bikes and cheap shoes!

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  45. To those who think the school is involved, the mother told me the school knows the child rides her bike to school and is fine with it - they even arranged a place for the girl to store her helmet during the day.

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  46. You'll find CPS is a law unto themselves and can confiscate your child upon a whim.

    All because some idiotic "adult" drivers were inconvenienced for a few seconds by a child on a bicycle.

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  47. If there were motorist complaints, then the police should have them available for testimony so that mother and daughter can "confront their accusers" in court...

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  48. GET A LAWYER.

    Do NOT speak to CPS without counsel present. You do not want to inadvertently place yourself in a situation where you effectively cede due process protections in this matter.

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  49. The cop was right in doing what he did. It says it right in the Bible, "Thou shall not send the children to school by bicycle or foot...."

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  50. Can I play the Dissenting Voice today?

    What I'm seeing is, this 5th grader riding her bike to school has somehow attracted the ire of at least one driver, plus the officer witnessed her in a biking situation that he felt was unsafe for her.

    She's not an adult, and if this story was about a cop who watched a fifth grader play in traffic and did nothing while she got hit, we'd all be outraged the OTHER way.

    Clearly, mom and cop disagree about the safety of her chosen route. If I were the cop, I think I would have been expecting a different reaction, like maybe "thanks for watching out for her - I thought it was safe, but you've probably seen more accidents that I have." I'd also have to consider the possibility that, if I, as a cop, knew that mom would be sending little bikergal on a route I consider to be unsafe and inappropriate, then I may have a professional duty to watch for this and stop the girl."

    If I were making an initial determination for CPS, I'd think "hmmm, officer says child is biking unsafely to school, mom told officer to butt out and insists child continue taking that route to school. I generally defer to the police as fact-finders when it comes to "dangerous situations", and so I cannot treat this as a he said - she said equal situation. I'd better at least have a home visit."

    I've seen way too many truly harmful neglect situations to just walk past this incident thinking "dumb obtrusive cop." And, bikergal's mom, don't take that to mean I suspect you're wrong or out of line here - that just means I wouldn't be able to simply ignore this and assume you were right. After enough dead kids, you check all these stories.

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  51. I used to walk to school every day since first grade. It was about a mile away (maybe shorter as things seem longer when you're a little kid). All the kids on the street did.

    Later, in 7th grade, sometmes I would ride my bike to junior high which was about four miles. I never asked permission and no one ever taught me the best route. I was riding my bike all over after school was out anyway.

    What a stupid stupid cop.

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  52. Here is the incident report:

    On 8/25/11 I was monitoring traffic on Cedar Avenue when I observed a young female riding her bicycle southbound on cedar avenue. I observed that vehicles had to slow and negotiate around the the bicyclist. I stopped and spoke with her at the intersection of Bradley Street and Cedar Avenue at which time I identified her as (her name) 10 years of age of (my address). She said he that she rode her bicycle back and forth to school every day. When I ashed why she did not ride the bus that stops in her neighborhood, she replied she had been kicked off the bus before and did not like it. She said she has a brother and sister that ride the bus ona daily basis. In my opinion this section of the roadway is not a safe place for a child of her to be riding unsupervised. I escorted the child to her residence at which time spoke with her mother Teresa Tryon. I informed Mrs Trying that I believed that the child should not be riding her bike to and from school unsupervised at her age. Ms Trying became became defensive and stated that (child name) had been through a bicycle riding course and she was perfectly OK with her riding her bike to school. When I told her I believed it was a safety issue for (child) she said she was OK with and believed (child) to be safe. I informed her that I would have a report and it would be filed to DCS. Once again she seemed unconcerned and stated that DCS had been there last year on the same complaint. She said that DCS told her that it was OK for (child) to ride her bike to school.

    The distance from HME to (my address) is one mile. The sidewalk ends in the area of Linden Aven approximately .3 miles from the school. At the point the child would have to ride in the roadway until reaching South Hills Drive. Cedar Avenue at this time of the day is heavily traveled with vehicles and school buses and in my opinion is unsafe for a child of her age to be riding unsupervised.

    8/25/2011 16.21
    I called CPS and spoke with Pamela Winters and advised her of the situation. She said to fax a copy of the report and they would follow up on the reoprt. I advised her of the details at which time she asked if there was bus service to the residence. I advised there was and she stated the situation would be taken care of.

    (1 point is wrong in here..I DID NOT say they where on the same issue - I said they were here on an unrelated issue and I inquired WHILE they were here regarding this)

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  53. Oh and by the way? When I inquired about an alternative route? I was told that wouldn't help either.

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  54. Google maps has a street view of the curve and hill in question (I think). Looking at it, I'd have to say there's no way I would let my 5th grader navigate that alone during school rush hour. There may be a safe way to approach the school by bicycle from the other direction. Several of the schools in my suburban district do not allow bicycling to school, because even though they may be in the middle of a quiet neighborhood, the streets approaching the school are not wide enough to be safe for cyclists and automotive traffic at school rush hour.

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  55. When did we decide that children should never, under any circumstances, ever be at risk of anything? I think my whole childhood would now be considered illegal.

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  56. Ma'am?

    Looks like you and the officer have a difference of opinion about how safe your daughter's bike route is for her. Legally, it's been my experience that a judge listening to this is going to assume the cop has no dog in the fight, and thus no reason to exaggerate or lie or embellish. A judge would also wonder why you were fighting this so hard, especially when, if you're incorrect about the route, your daughter would be endangered.

    You may be completely in the right here. But in a child endangerment petition hearing, a judge will almost always err on the side of safety.

    There's enough in life to fight about. This battle isn't a good choice. (But then, it seems almost every other commenter disagrees with that.)

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  57. Keeping them fat and stupid in the South.

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  58. I just want to point out that by time I was 10 years old I was babysitting the 3 kids down the street and riding my bike a hell of alot further than 1 mile. This is regression. We are keeping people from growing up and maturing. people live at home 'till they are 25 and still called kids, but not 100 years ago a 16 yr old could be considered a man and expected to take on the responsibility if faced with it. Why are people content with regression

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  59. My whole childhood would have been illegal as well. We're becoming as bad of a nanny-state as England is.

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  60. Ok the point is clear no laws are being violated in this point. However, I will add and stress that I have proposed alternative routes on a less traveled street to the officer and his commanding officer. They have said this isn't the point.

    A large part of the traffic issues are perspective. The school buses? One goes the complete other direction first - she is home before it is near her. The other is at the school corner when she lets out. At MOST there may be 1 school bus on the opposite side of the roadway (if it is running late).

    Yes I understand their concern however, We as a nation want to wail about child obesity,GetFitTn encourages children to ride, programs like Safe Routes to School are here to help our children do so safely so rather then come after me over this - why are we not working together to fix this problem rather then ignoring it?

    Honestly - no, I would rather not have a 3 ring circus revolving around this however they are attempting to side step the issue itself instead of saying, let's try and make it safer, let's work together to find a better way because after all we are here for public safety.

    It becomes a point to fight when the police attempt to enforce judgement - not laws.

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  61. Bobby, I agree with you, but I also agree with the mother. At what point is local government and police too intrusive? Whether the street is seen as unsafe by you or the officer involved or by everyone, it is legal to ride your bike there. Until there is a law prohibiting riding a bike on that particular street or in that area, no law has been broken and no action can be taken legally. There is no "bike license" that I am aware of.

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  62. What is needed is a strike. Parents should keep their kids out of school for a day or a week, during which time there should be a bike ride, from homes to schools and back, also some workshops for the kids and families where they learn about the Founders, Declaration of Independence, Constitution and the libertarian philosophy that the country was founded upon.

    This should go on for days.

    Such disobedience is sorely needed if we are to get our country back.

    As for school, I am not a believer in government schooling. The populace is way too passive, and it is because of government schooling.

    See my essay at http://www.alicelillieandher.blogspot.com

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  63. WTF!?!?! i used to ride a bike/walk a mile to school all the time.

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  64. This is crazy... Do they keep children from riding their bikes in the summer for recreation? If it's ok for them to ride their bikes anywhere in the summer, why can't they ride it to school? Ridiculous.

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  65. "Until there is a law prohibiting riding a bike on that particular street or in that area, no law has been broken and no action can be taken legally."

    Well, here's where people can get blindsided. What you typed is logical and rational and intuitive, and so has little to do with child welfare law.

    Bikergal can be riding completely legally - on a sidewalk, even - but if someone (like the cop here) convinces a judge that the child's health, safety, or welfare are somehow being placed at risk, and the parent won't address that and remove the risk, then the judge's duty is to do whatever is in the best interest of the child. Period.

    Rights don't really matter in this context. It's not a criminal case against mom (most likely), so she can't stand on her own rights. Since this isn't about punishing anyone, she can't claim that there must be a legal violation for the court to act.

    And, yeah, I too rode my bike everywhere - miles from home - by the time I was in third grade, and I sympathize with bikergalmom here. I just want to make sure she understands what she would be fighting, and what "they" would have to prove in order to win. It's definitely no "beyond a reasonable doubt" burden for them.

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  66. Bicyclists are vehicles, and have a right to the road, and the obligation to obey all the laws that a motor vehicle obeys. If a motorist drives unsafely around your child, that is not your child's fault. It is the motorist's fault for Unsafe Passing. They should have gotten a ticket if the policeman was so alarmed that he felt he needed to take action.

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  67. bobby, they are threatening to arrest me for child neglect if I do not comply until child protective services makes a ruling. Yes that is criminal - even though I have broken no laws, nor has my daughter.

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  68. Send the child to temporarily live with relatives out of state. If this state is that dangerous, then keeping the child out of state is the best course.

    Then sue everyone involved.

    Consider moving afterward. Once these knotheads get started, your only protection is to be out of their reach.

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  69. I rode my bicycle or walked to my elementary school. It was six blocks. I had to cross four suburban intersections. I rode my bicycle or walked to my middle school. I had to cross three intersections, one of which was a four lane 35 mph busy street. I rode my bicycle to my HS. It was about 1.75 miles.

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  70. bobby said, "I'd also have to consider the possibility that, if I, as a cop, knew that mom would be sending little bikergal on a route I consider to be unsafe and inappropriate, then I may have a professional duty to watch for this and stop the girl."

    Police do not have a duty to protect, according to the Supreme Court. As far as I know, that applies equally whether the individuals needing protection are adults or children. So the "professional duty" for which you are arguing is in fact the discretionary license to detain wherever and whenever the officer deems an individual to be doing something unsafe. In the case of adults, such license is incompatible with a free society.

    In the case of children, I can see how the traditional doctrine of in loco parentis could empower the state at times to act on behalf of parents. But the traditional understanding also includes the idea that anyone acting in loco parentis is essentially deputized by the parents and subordinate to their authority. For the state to claim greater authority over the well-being of a child than its own parents is scary indeed.

    Invoking CPS in this circumstance is threatening the nuclear option: is there any more fearsome possibility to a parent than having strangers forcibly take his child under color of law? As such, it must be reserved for only the most egregious breaches of parental responsibility: cases where no ordinary reasonable man could doubt that actual harm occurred or was imminent, and that said harm was the direct effect of parental action.

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  71. When I was 10, my parents and those of my friends let us hike up into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and camp there overnight, without parental supervision. Aside from rolling boulders down hills and starting a few grass fires with our campfire, we did little damage. The resulting feeling of competence cannot be acquired by playing video games. If you want wimps for boys, parents, block their every natural impulse.

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  72. NOT letting CPS in is a ticket to an emergency search warrant and a world of pain. With the Emergency Search Warrant, the police will come too to enforce it. I'm sure the CPS worker is going to be very annoyed at this bullshit. And dollars to donuts "motorists" mean the one motorist who claimed to have swerved because of her. (Likely trying to get out of a ticket.)

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  73. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AlrFOBmdVI

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  74. PC @ August 30, 2011 8:31 AM,

    I also looked at Google and Bing, I did not see any street view. Can you show me this? I looked at the topo and only observed about around 120ft elevation change in the route and most of this is from Cherry Street to the school.

    Please note is seems the childs route is along Cedar to the south.

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  75. This is the school. It will allow street lvl view http://g.co/maps/cn5s

    This is the park area, it wont allow a street view http://g.co/maps/zjg6

    She does have 2 hills to go up and down, she maneuvers both of them fine. Lol my 10 year old is an avid cyclist. And if it will help I will measure the road width. The amount of traffic on the road I could do so easily without danger.

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  76. I spoke to the chief. He explained what happened. He said that the officer was concerned for the girl's safety, after her repeated demonstration of not being safe. So, he brought it to mom's attention. We don't know what happened between the mom and the cop, but it has gotten all blown out of proportion. Bottom line, the kid rode her bike this week to school and there is no law to effect that.

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  77. @showhank

    Google Earth has decent Streetview imagery of the route in question. I'd allow my 10 year old to ride that route.

    I do however, wonder what precipitated the early visit from CPS.

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  78. David A. Turner, Jr. said... "I spoke to the chief. He explained what happened. He said that the officer was concerned for the girl's safety, after her repeated demonstration of not being safe."

    That's all well and good, but the police still haven't answered the questions I'm interested in: what SPECIFIC actions of the girl did the "repeated demonstration" consist of, and why was the officer concerned to the point that he brought up CPS? The police are being WAY too vague. Why?

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  79. David Turner, look up in the thread, Bill Hobbs had a talk with him also. The police chose to blow this out of proportion by choosing to forward this to child protective services AND advise me if I allow her to continue to ride I could face child neglect charges.

    Also David Turner, please read the incident report the officer submitted. If she was indeed acting in an unsafe manner it should be stated within the incident report. Quoted from BillHobbs in a previous post:

    "The officer "was concerned with her safety."

    The officer's concern was based on "his assessment of the situation based on the road and the distance from her house."

    No where does it say she as acting unsafely. I just finished riding home with her and outside of she could stand to ride a little closer to the right she did just fine.

    If the chief did indeed tell you it was "after her repeated demonstration of not being safe." then the story from them has changed yet again!

    As a point of note - A local newspaper will be coming to do an interview tomorrow as well. And 2nd point of note, the child protective services report was made Friday- no one has been to my home as of 3:34pm 8/30/2011

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  80. If the chief said anything about "repeated demonstration of not being safe," he has certainly changed his story from the one he told me yesterday when he said, more than once, that the girl was NOT riding unsafely, did NOT cause any traffic accidents, and was NOT breaking any law or ordinance.

    Both he and the arresting officer made it clear that the girl was not doing anything unsafe or illegal. Suddenly, now that they are in CYA mode, the chief is changing the story? Read the officer's incident report. It says NOTHING about the girl riding dangerously (and certainly not "repeatedly").

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  81. Amazing they're arrogant enough to assume the bus is safer. What's if a child's being bullied? When I entered middle school, I spent only a couple of weeks on the bus before I was pretty much threatened and my parents insisted I stop for my own safety(no, the bus driver didn't do anything to help; anyone who thinks they can rely on adult help on the bus is a fool). Fortunately my mom was able to drive me, but if not I would've been in a true quandary. If this is the new rule, it's going to put at least a couple of kids in more danger, mark my words.

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  82. Having lived in Chattanooga, TN, I feel that this sort of incident happens since cycling is largely perceived as "mountain biking" and "cruising around in a park" as opposed to a viable option for commuting. (Although this attitude is changing with a growing cycling community there; I can't speak for the rest of TN of course.) There's very little shoulder to ride on and few bike lanes, so many times you're limited to sidewalks when you can get access to them or sharing the road with tons of traffic. You also get the feeling that people perceived you as "too poor" to own a car and thus have to "suffer the indignity" of only having two wheels.

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  83. Why can't we look it as being a privilege to only have two wheels?

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  84. Bill, actually the police do have the authority to take the girl off the road and compel her into the police car against her will and without her permission. This issue (though not this case) came up on Glenn Reynold's site and there was a cite of a SCOTUS case where the Court affirmed that orders of police officers are binding. (Might have been Volokh's site, come to think of it.)

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  85. Police state? Maybe, but then again, maybe not. Could it be that the officer was doing his job and protecting this little girl? Although I hadn't thought of this initially, but a little research shows that the city of Elizabethton has 54 registered sex offenders living there. That's one sex offender for every 248 people in Elizabethton. And these are registered sex offenders. There is no way to count the unregistered and as yet caught sex offenders. I also found that in 2010, the incidents of reported rapes in Elizabethton was almost twice the national average. With this in mind, I think the officer actually did this family a great service. As my wife continually reminds me, the days of "Father Knows Best" and Beaver Cleaver are long gone.

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  86. I would lay money this all started because some motor vehicle driver didn't want to have to slow down and stop dialing her cell phone while driving her 40 lbs overweight spoiled brat to school.

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  87. Bicycling is safer than driving. She is statistically far more likely to sustain a serious injury or death in a car for that mile than on a bike.
    Plus she is exercising.
    Idiot cop.

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  88. Sounds like a job for the ACLU.

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  89. TennesseeWoman: You need to call your local Tennessee Constable (Carter County has eight of them) and file a complaint with them against the officer who has perpetrated this baloney and the mayor. And if necessary, any CPS personnel who attempts to intimidate you.

    The constables are retained in some counties as officers who have the power to arrest misbehaving law enforcement officers and politicians.

    Give yours a call today.

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  90. This article upset me and I called the police department (I remembered how I rode my bike as a 10 year old) They told me that there was no threat of arrest, no threat of child protective service. They said there was an issue of the girl riding unsafely. Something about going against traffic to get around a school bus. (Perhaps giving her a ticket would have been appropriate, but the officer was being nice).

    The chief sounded very aware of bike issues, did not seem anti-bike in any way and said this had nothing to do with telling the parent the child could not be biking.

    Frankly, I regret having called. I am reminded that with this sort of thing we often do not get the whole story and as outsiders it's difficult to know what's really going on. I have on several occasions been part of a news story and have known the real story which has had very little relationship with the public story that was reported.

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  91. Donald Sensing - I'm not sure. But even if you must comply with a police officer's order, that doesn't make the order retroactively lawful. This girl had done nothing wrong - she'd broken no law, violated no ordinance, caused no traffic accident, etc - and yet was detained by police.

    Thomas Paine - Protecting the girl from what? Exercise? The "sex offender" data is interesting, but do police routinely in that town go around and if they spot a kid playing outside, take them home in the squad car or shoo them into the house? No.

    Now, I don't believe that every parent would be making the right decision in every neighborhood to allow their child to ride their bike alone on every street. I don't even know if this mother made a wise decision or not. I'm not from there, don't know the road, don't know the kid, etc., etc., My point is this: It isn't MY call. Nor is it yours. Nor, frankly, is it the police officer's, the police chief's, the district attorney's or child protective services' call. They DO NOT have the authority to tell a mother she can't let her kid ride a bike to school. Unless state law or city ordinance prohibits cycling on that street, it is SOLELY the mother's call. And even if every last person on earth thinks it is unwise, the girl is not their child, and they are entitled to their opinion, but NOT to force their opinion on this mother as law.

    The reason we have laws written down is so that law enforcement, elected officials, judges and bureaucrats can't make up rules on the fly and tyrannize us. We have laws governing who can use that road. The officer substituted his judgment for the mother's right to parent her child, and the daughter's ride to ride her bike on that road. NOTHING in local, state or federal law gives him the authority to impose his opinion on her in place of what the law says she's entitled to.

    That's it. That's the bottom line.

    All the discussion about WHY the officer might have thought she was unsafe is beside the point. There was no imminent threat. There was no sex offender crouched behind a tree, ready to spring. There was no convoy of 18-wheelers barreling down the road toward the girl, two abreast, flattening cars and small dogs that happened to be in their path. There was just one motorist who had to move over a few feet to pass her - which is what the law requires them to do - and maybe some neighbors or other motorists who complained about having to share the road, or called the police because they thought their opinion of the girl riding her bike to school was of more value than the mother's opinion.

    There's no clause in the Constitution that says your rights can be abrogated by people who are, A) annoyed by you or, B) are busybodies who think they are smarter than you.

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  92. TennesseeWoman,

    Have you considered starting a petition at Change.org to put more pressure on the police and spread your story?

    If you're interested, please send me a message and I would be happy to answer any questions, craft strategy, and help you get started!

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  93. Shouldn't Barney Fife have been doing something more productive, like guarding the local donut shop?

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  94. Christopher, the chief is changing the story to cover his ass and his department's ass. Yesterday, I repeatedly asked him if the girl had violated any traffic rules or caused any traffic problems, and he said no. The officer did not see the girl pass a school bus, based on what he wrote in his "incident" report, and based on what the chief told me. In fact, the chief told me the whole thing started when "the officer was waived down by motorist and advised of a potential problem with this child."

    "He was concerned with her safety," the chief said. I'm not sure if he meant the officer or the motorist.

    The chief then told me that the officer thought it was unsafe for the girl to be riding there based on "his assessment of the situation based on the road and the distance from (the girl's) house."

    Also, the chief claiming there is no threat of child protective service arrest is bogus. The officer's own report notes that he referred the incident to child protective services. The chief told me the DA told the police department to refer the incident to cps. And the mother was told that if she allowed the child to ride again before child protective services said it was okay, she could be arrested for child neglect.

    The chief's actual words to me: "If child protective services determines that she is putting her child in a dangerous situation they could charge her with child neglect." And: "The DA's office told us to call" child protective services.

    The fact that child protective services actually has no legal authority or responsibility for establishing rules governing cycling or what specific roads can be used for seems lost on these people. State law says who can use the roads, and what is acceptable behavior while using them. The girl broke no law, violated no traffic ordinance - I asked the chief specifically if the girl was observed riding in an unsafe manner or violated any local or state traffic laws and he said no.

    What the police chief should do right now is publicly apologize to the mother and the girl, withdraw the incident report from the DA and child protective services and toss it in the trash, and train his officers to enforce the actual traffic laws rather than making up his own on the fly.

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  95. There are always 2 sides to these issues that usually don't come out completely through online forums - yet, history has shown that when it comes to cycling and US roads - the overwhelming reaction from cities and law enforcement is to always take the side of the motorist.

    Doesn't take a genius to see in this case the cop thought he was doing the right thing at first and when someone had the audacity to even suggest that maybe he was actually wrong he did what all cops do - as they have been trained - keep the authority in the situation come hell or high water.

    In this case the cop did a poor job of it. Everyone else is in CYA mode. Everyone is too concerned with not being wrong to just simply do the right thing - start over...have the cop ride to school with the kid every day the next week.....next time he might be more inclined to stop the motorist.

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  96. Bill Hobbs, thanks for the terrific job you did following up with the police department.

    Very clear and complete aerial photography of the area in question is available at the State of Tennessee Assessor's website. Except for somewhat more than 50-60' at the north end of South Cedar Street where it crosses a railroad line (that runs adjacent to the school on the north side, BTW) to join E Doe and Hattie in an unusual tricorner intersection, the length of S Cedar is an unlined residential street. That is, there is neither the width nor the traffic to warrant dividing the street into lanes. Everywhere else in the country that I have been, motorists are responsible for avoiding children and dogs running into the street after a stray ball, to detour around cats lazing in the sun on the warm pavement, and so on. There is clearly a walkway provided on the east side of the street for several blocks approaching the school that is intended to keep the children out of the school parking/drop off zone traffic in the morning and afternoon.

    I had recently been considering moving to the Elizabethton area to get out of the maelstrom around the DC area; but I can't see that Elizabethton is any better if the local police are allowed to legislate from the benchseats of their cruisers.

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  97. (Sigh) The police department is continually changing it's story over and over again. How frustrating. Right or wrong as I may be I am sticking with the facts. I know the police won't apologize to me but none the less I pray that this causes some other parent less hassle in the future

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  98. As I said earlier, call one of your Constables. There are three that live within a mile of you, and two that live in your neighborhood.

    One of their duties is to protect the citizens who directly elect them from abuse by other law enforcement agencies.

    Whether your constables are willing to do that or not, I do not know. But that is one of the reasons they are there.

    The Constables living closest to you are Robert Carroll, Jerry Miller, and Harvey Shaffer. Contact information is available here: http://www.tnconstables.com/directory.php

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  99. the streets on your neighborhood seem perfectly safe to me. it'd be wrong if that had happened in l.a. which is where im from. Bully cop on his rag! let parents choose what is right for their children as long as your not breaking any laws....and tennesseewoman, you did nothing wrong nor did your child

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  100. I applaud TennesseeWoman's courage and energy in standing up for what she believes is right. As I like bicycling and think it should be encouraged wherever and whenever possible, I hope she and her daughter prevail.

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  101. 'Although I hadn't thought of this initially, but a little research shows that the city of Elizabethton has 54 registered sex offenders living there. That's one sex offender for every 248 people in Elizabethton. And these are registered sex offenders. There is no way to count the unregistered and as yet caught sex offenders. ' -- 'Thomas Paine'

    Which sounds very scary and and unnerving...but did you check to see _what_ offence they committed? Because in most States, it's remarkably easy to get listed as a sex offender, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes not. Not every person on the sex offender list is a rapist or a pedophile. And it's almost impossible to get a name off the list, regardless of the offense. Sometimes that's good, sometimes it's not.

    As for the days of 'father knows best' and 'leave it to beaver', they aren't gone because they were never here. The world was just as dangerous in 1951 as it is 2011, though admittedly it isn't remembered that way most of the time. What's changed is mostly the _perception_ of danger, driven by TV and movies and an 'if it bleeds it leads' philosophy of news and an entertainment industry that trades on scaring people.

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  102. The comments section of this is wonderful, and full of (seemingly) very well-verified information.

    It would be great to see a follow up post that compiled some of this info (like the police report, the route to school, the conversation with the police chief) in a logical way.

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  103. Mr. Hobbs:

    Generally, the police do have the authority to order us to do or not do things, lawful or not, whenever they make a reasonably supportable decision that "public safety" requires it.

    Thus, the police can order us to step back away from a burning house, they can order us to step off of the freeway, they can order us to climb down from tall, precarious places, and they can order us to stop biking on a roadway when the traffic and speed is such that the officer doesn't believe it can be biked safely (this last one from a specific court case in my state).

    And, should they so order us, and we disobey, we can be convicted of disobeying a lawful police order (specific wording varies by jurisdiction, of course.)

    And they do not have to win the actual "was it really that dangerous" argument later in order for you to be found guilty of DaLPO. They're not held to that standard. If you're watching a building burn down, and a cop decides that the place you're standing is too dangerous, tells you to move, you refuse, and so he tickets you and moves you, you will not have a defense to the ticket by showing that your determination of the safety of your spot was more correct than his. Cops are allowed to make reasonable errors in such situations - so, if the cop's determination that your spot was unsafe was not entirely UNreasonable, his order will be deemed to have been lawful.

    It's structured this way because we have generally assigned a public order/public safety supervisory role to the police, and we want people to obey such orders instead of engaging in arguments about the correctness of the cop's decision.

    So, if the cop here shows some reasonable basis for ordering the girl off of that road, then, for the short-term period of risk that her presence entailed, his order is a lawful one, which we must obey.

    (Note that the question of ongoing or future conduct is much less settled; this deference to cops' emergency orders doesn't usually extend beyond that immediate moment in time. A cop can't say "climb down from that tree, and don't ever climb that tree again." For future purposes, we CAN go to court and argue that the cop's decision about safety is wrong. It's just the quick and immediate orders - the "get back NOW!" sort of orders - that get this special deference.

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  104. Here is the WJHL-TV News (11Connects.com) story that aired tonight:

    http://vp.mgnetwork.net/viewer.swf?u=f3ec59d424c5102faba2001ec92a4a0d

    I can't say this delicately so, here goes:

    Elizabethton, TN, Police Chief Matt Bailey lied to WJHL-TV News in Johnson City. Told them opposite of what he told me. Told them something not supported AT ALL by the original "incident report" filed by the officer in the case.

    I interviewed Chief Bailey for 20 minutes on August 29. He told me SEVERAL TIMES, in response to SEVERAL QUESTIONS, that the girl was riding safely, did not violate any traffic rules and did not cause any problems. He confirmed that the reason the officer stopped the girl was a complaint by a driver who waived him down. There was no mention of a parked bus or the girl riding around the bus in the wrong lane, no mention of a car having to stop because of the girl on the bike.

    Now he tells WJHL these allegations - which are NOT MENTIONED in the original incident report AT ALL. Not even hinted at. These allegations did not surface until TODAY. The chief - who was not at the scene - did not see these things happen. The officer who stopped the girl from riding her bike did not mention these allegations in his original "incident report," the contents of which have previously been posted in this comments threat.

    I can not conclude anything other than that these allegations are lies, falsehoods made up in an effort to shift blame for this ridiculous incident away from the Elizabethton Police Department and onto a 10-year-old girl.


    If any lawyer wants to bring a slander suit against the police chief on behalf of the girl, I'll pay my own way to Carter County to testify.

    Elizabethton Police Chief Matt Bailey could have been a man and admitted his officer made a mistake. He could have done the classy thing and accepted responsibility as the leader of the department. He could have apologized to the mother, blamed the incident on his officer's overzealous desire to keep kids safe, and let it drop. Instead, he has declared war on a 10-year-old girl.

    What a jerk.

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  105. I just reread the police report - and yes either the report OR the chief is lying through his TEETH. Bill there is a place to comment on the video if you want add that information. And omg I looked horrible (gah)

    On 8/25/11 I was monitoring traffic on Cedar Avenue when I observed a young female riding her bicycle southbound on cedar avenue. I observed that vehicles had to slow and negotiate around the the bicyclist. I stopped and spoke with her at the intersection of Bradley Street and Cedar Avenue at which time I identified her as (her name) 10 years of age of (my address). She said he that she rode her bicycle back and forth to school every day. When I ashed why she did not ride the bus that stops in her neighborhood, she replied she had been kicked off the bus before and did not like it. She said she has a brother and sister that ride the bus ona daily basis. In my opinion this section of the roadway is not a safe place for a child of her to be riding unsupervised. I escorted the child to her residence at which time spoke with her mother Teresa Tryon. I informed Mrs Trying that I believed that the child should not be riding her bike to and from school unsupervised at her age. Ms Trying became became defensive and stated that (child name) had been through a bicycle riding course and she was perfectly OK with her riding her bike to school. When I told her I believed it was a safety issue for (child) she said she was OK with and believed (child) to be safe. I informed her that I would have a report and it would be filed to DCS. Once again she seemed unconcerned and stated that DCS had been there last year on the same complaint. She said that DCS told her that it was OK for (child) to ride her bike to school.

    The distance from HME to (my address) is one mile. The sidewalk ends in the area of Linden Aven approximately .3 miles from the school. At the point the child would have to ride in the roadway until reaching South Hills Drive. Cedar Avenue at this time of the day is heavily traveled with vehicles and school buses and in my opinion is unsafe for a child of her age to be riding unsupervised.

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  106. Here's a better story link. WJHL's website lets you post comments to stories on their site and their Facebook page.

    EPD: Unsupervised 10 year old should not ride bike to school

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  107. We have been bumped up a post also, I just noticed

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  108. Lance Armstrong weighs in via Twitter:

    That's ridiculous. I'm glad I was so "neglected". #thanksmom

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  109. WOW, are folx having that hard of a time recognizing what a police state we live in... some folx are questioning thee legitimacy of this story while others are defending the cop for "protecting" thee little girl. Wake up folx!
    I do want to thank Craig for his excellent observations.
    Do we really want to continue living in a state of fear, keeping our kids "safe" at home in front of thee screens getting fat? and ourselves as well?
    It is this fear that is allowing the government/corporations to gain more and more control of our lives, as we become more and more dependent on them. Shake it off folx, gain more control of your lives. Give up thee gas and thee insurance as well. Ride your bikes, and learn to keep them maintained yourselves. Teach your kids thee same lessons (and your neighbors as well).
    Yes, thee agents of control (CPS and cops) are out of control. They don't follow thee laws. They enforce lifestyle standards on us as THEY and thee powers/wealth they serve see fit. Let your kids swim nekkid in thee creek... have them taken away because it offends thee sensibilities of some CPS workers. Listen to what thee homeschooler above has to say. And don't even get me started on cops.
    Upon asking if I was breaking any laws, I've had an officer answer "oh I'm sure I can make something up"... 2 more cop cars pulled up as he kept amping up thee intimidation... oh, and it turned out, he was thee shift supervisor on duty... what was I doing that so offended his sensibilities?, chasing a semi-feral rabbit around a mown field on my bike at ~age 36... this was in thee black (heavily patrolled) section of (upstate NY progressive town) less than 70 yards from thee community bicycle shop I ran at thee time.
    Thee cops are out there to do anything but actually protect you (well unless you happen to have a lot of money and power).

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  110. And it rages onward...

    http://www2.tricities.com/news/2011/aug/30/epd-unsupervised-10-year-old-should-not-ride-bike--ar-1275159/

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  111. Good luck with this - I hope you can fight this for all it's worth. I've shared it via twitter to FreeRangeKids.com - they might know how to get you help with legal fees, etc.

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  112. Contacts at the city:
    http://www.elizabethton.org/about/contact.html

    I just gave the city manager's office a call.

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  113. I'm confused - the issue here seems to be that when on the hill, the car behind, rather than slow down due to lack of visibility of oncoming traffic, entered the oncoming lane to go around the cyclist. The cop saw this.

    Why wasn't the car driver stopped for this crazy dangerous maneuver??!

    Is there something i'm missing? Go for the easy target, a kid? A cyclist?

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  114. Holy cow, I am stunned at this reaction by the cops!! A mile, a FREAKING MILE is too far and or too dangerous to ride a bike to school? Roads too narrow, come to Tokyo, I'll show you narrow roads :)
    This "I have a badge you have to do what I say" mentality has to be stopped.

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  115. I stopped and summarized this blog into the following thread in bikeforums.net. I would like to stop and summarize some points in this blog.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/762978-Police-quot-judgement-quot-versus-Law?p=13158536&posted=1#post13158536

    One thing we all must keep in mind is this about her safety. I respect the police are concerned with her safety however from my point of view she could take the bus and be bullied, punched, hit, kicked, stabbed. On the way to the bus she could be hit by a car, attacked by a vicious dog, the victim of a drive by shooting. Realistically the school bus COULD crash and kill her.

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  116. In all fairness to the cop.. there was an incident just this year, (http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2011/jul/14/8-year-old-brooklyn-boy-killed-dismembered-walking/) where the mother let her kid walk to school for the first time. he was picked up by some creep and murdered that same day on the way back home. I don't see a crime here. The cop was out of line. ..but devil's advocate..some caution should be used where needed.

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  117. Let's reach out to freerangekids and see what happens.

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  118. Bill Hobbs, did you record your conversation with the chief? Tennessee is a one-party consent state, if I'm not mistaken. Also, you can pretty much ALWAYS count on the cops to change their stories later, especially if the issue in question gets more attention.

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  119. Strannik - FreeRangeKids is one it. I've just been sending them all the info and links.

    Jimdigriztn - Unfortunately, I didn't record the call. I was using my iPhone and I have an on-board recording app but I forgot to hit the start button.

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  120. The bottom line issue here is simple: in a free society, who gets to decide if your child rides his or her bike to school? Whose judgment gets to control the decision?

    You?

    Your busybody neighbors - who don't know your kid as well as you do nor, frankly, love them as much as you do?

    A well-meaning police officer - who doesn't know your kid as well as you do nor, frankly, love them as much as you do?

    A passing motorist who doesn't like having to pass kids on bikes - and who doesn't know your kid as well as you do nor, frankly, love them as much as you do?

    Child Protective Services - who don't know your kid as well as you do nor, frankly, love them as much as you do?

    The DA - who doesn't know your kid as well as you do nor, frankly, love them as much as you do?

    Who?

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  121. What form of communication will be required for government thugs to understand that this kind of high-handed behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated?

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  122. Well I am speaking with an attorney because although I am concerned for my daughters safety I also want to know my police are doing their job correctly. This being said I am attempting to determine who is lying. Is it the police chief or the officer.

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  123. if the route is'unsafe' should the city make it safe - since its right near a school & I assume ids have to also walk to school?

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  124. Is the distance short enough for the kid to walk some of the way to school? Maybe she can push her bike on the sidewalk for the "dangerous" bits.

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  125. I think your all missing the point. Your child in public schools belongs to the State, not you. The helpful Officers of the State are merely pointing it out. Of course as a ward of the State, the schools are not responsible to prevent bullying or abuse while using the State system. After all, you have turned your child over to them for indoctrination. There isn't time to make sure it is efficient or useful, just time to imprint that the State is all that matters and to feel good about it. That and identify what group they belong to so they are treated appropriately. Welcome to the collective.

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  126. This is what the front of EVERY school should look like...

    http://picasaweb.google.com/112876494227188810120/EindhovenPicasa#5140730171329072514

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  127. I had a paper route when I was 10 years old. It was approximately 3 miles long. Were my parents guilty of "child neglect"?

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  128. I've been pleased with the many earlier informative and reasonable comments by Bill Hobbs. In his last he states a question long needing frequent repeat:
    "The bottom line issue here is simple: in a free society, who gets to decide if your child rides his or her bike to school? Whose judgment gets to control the decision?"

    I will add that the US (and virtually all other Western societies) is not "free" in the sense of being one of full liberty (or even of maximum available actions, how I and husband Paul Wakfer define "freedom"). It is highly regulated, having become smotheringly so in the past 2 generations. (I am 66 and can easily recall riding my bike miles on populated suburban-like roads, none of which had "bike paths".)

    The frustration voiced by Bill and many others (here and elsewhere) is quite reasonable. The actions of "law enforcement agents" - who have the legal authority to initiate physical force - like the officer in this incident, are all that make all the regulations/edicts/mandates/laws/directives/etc. more than simply words. Without the enforcers, these words are simply soundwaves and scribbles.

    The "protective" basis claimed by proponents and apologists for such government rules is gradually turning much of the population in the industrialized Western world into psychological/mental children in adult bodies dependent on governments for every decision - unable to think wide viewed long-term, incompetent to analyze situations and unwilling to take responsibility for their own actions. Instead they mostly simply obey and do as expected, directed and even ordered. Such individuals are a fine source of votes, enforcers and tax revenues for the rulers - the government and their friends.

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  129. How sad --- a child that has no alternative than to be packed onto a bus to get to a school that is only a walk-bike trip away from their home.

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  130. Dobovedo - AMEN!

    Pente - yes, and probably violation of child labor laws as well!

    Kitty - thank you.

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  131. Dobovedo,

    It's inspiring, but there are a couple of quirks that make it not quite right, in my opinion. Notice that every single bike has a rear fender - it's required by law, which, in my opinion is overreach by that government. Also, notice the bikes are all kinda crappy. That's because the Dutch steal stuff like bikes so nobody bothers to get a nice bike because it will disappear. There are gazillions of bikes in Holland but very few ones that are any fun (to me).

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  132. Earlier today (as an update) a journalist came to interview me. She casually told me in speaking with the police chief now they are suddenly interested in an alternative route. After dragging me through the coals with cps, the DA and etc now they say this..

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  133. khrome and a couple others seem to be voicing the fear mentality that has overtaken our nation; that is, if a scary event happens somewhere, therefore it means that it is possible, even likely, that it could happen to you. Especially crazy is our fear of "predators," based almost entirely on high-profile stories in the media that are outside the norm. Your chances of being kidnapped by a sex offender are less than getting struck by lightning. And certainly much less than from dying in a car accident, yet nobody worries about kids riding in cars.

    CarpeOro: regardless of where your child is schooled, the state still retains the right to protect him or her from you if you are a danger to them. And, to those of you who think this is somehow a symptoms of "big government": it is not. It has everything to do with our fear-based culture and how government officials (and private companies, too... many churches and other organizations now have ridiculous safety policies for children) feel they must protect to the maximum extent or be fired (or sued). Let's keep our head here.

    I have appreciated the knowledge and common sense of most of what I've read here. I think it's absurd that this happened at all, and that it was even asked whether the girl's neighborhood was serviced by a bus. So what if it was? Why should she be required to take the bus? What Bill Hobbs has been saying is correct: whose job is it to parent our children? there are children who are beaten and killed by their parents, why are the police and cps worried about loving parents who let their child ride a bike to school? I've heard other such crazy stories over at FreeRangeKids and it all points back to our culture of fear and people seeing danger where none exists.

    To the mom involved: I am so sorry this happened to you. As a mom, it outrages me (heck, as a thinking citizen it outrages me). I do think part of it has to do with motorist complaints and I agree that you should not let cps in your house. Best wishes to you.

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  134. That is complete dumb ass bull. Sorry for the bad language but this crap is getting way out of hand. To the mother, fight this as much as you can. In my state, once CPA is involved, they will find almost any reason to take your kids.

    Stupid stuff like this is happening all over. Kids arrested for lemonade stands. People arrested for having vegetable gardens. The over authority of such institutions is growing. What was once seen as innocent is now becoming unlawful. Maybe it is us who is becoming too protective when we hear the horror stories, but yet we can't always protect. The bad will always find its way to exist.

    FYI. 28 yrs ago I started to walk/ride a bike to school that was at least 3/4 mile away. Some times I did so with the other 3 or 4 kids in the neighborhood. My 5th grade year I carried a trombone with me. Cold days, hot days, even some rainy days, I tugged along. I enjoyed it, and wouldn't change it.

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  135. Sadly, if CPS doesn't take children, they won't have budget. So they are by default encouraged to make a case whether there is one or not.

    So what's the latest update on this?

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  136. Pink Panther Cps is this case has been rendered pointless because they have been approached by the parents of the child in question on this issue. Both times they documented that there was no reason the child should not be allowed to ride. Once there was Media attention their 72 hr window closed with no reaction from them. It is my belief that this has become to visable for the agency's liking.As always my observation could be wrong,however I sincerely believe not.
    I want everyone to remember the whole focus of this from the parents viewpoint; securing their child's right to ride her bicycle to school. remember please there is a 10 yr old girl on the end of this bizarre set of events. Children should never become ammunition in adults arguments!

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  137. I can only presume that behavior like this explains why gun sales are up 26%, and police killings are up 42%. The police don't want to fight actual crime, as it is too dangerous. They would rather screw with honest people and collect revenue.

    My wife and I just moved to TN less than a year ago. We already want to leave.

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  138. Is there no limit to the continued ignorance people are living in. I'm 54 and grew up being "out of the house" all day biking and playing with friends. Now kids can't bike a mile? Shall we all crawl into a hole somewhere and stop living? Fear based thinking is rampant and no way to live or, for those who profess to "love Jesus", to honor him!

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  139. Today's letters to the editor

    http://www.starhq.com/news/html/news/allarticles.asp?cat=letters

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  140. Found a link to this blog entry on Full Spectrum Dominance (http://www.full-spectrum-dominance.com/). Sent link to Lew Rockwell.

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  141. The advice to get a lawyer shouldn't be overlooked. When you're dealing with the government, you're not actually dealing with rational humans any longer.

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  142. Thank you to all individuals involved, taking their time and effort to this subject. I would love to take the advice and retain an attorney, however financially I am unable to and appear to be unable to find an attorney pro bono.
    (for some reason my AIM wont let me post so I am using a different way - but it is still BikeMomTn)

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  143. I just moved to the Tennessee from the Great State of Texas. I am thinking about allowing our boys ride their bikes to school next year. Being a former police officer in Texas, I wouldn't even had made a report, much less a case. I would've probably just waved and asked her to be careful. Unless, of course, I actually observed her doing something unsafe or illegal.

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  144. I live in Texas. Kindergarten through middle school kids ride past our house on the way to school on bicycles, skate-boards and scooters. Cops are not afraid of the bad guys so they are busy with real police work.

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  145. Well cps came to the house on the bike issue and someone also someone complained in the same time frame nutritional neglect. The nutritional thing was already confirmed unfounded, The cycle issue they said they would be back in touch. So I guess we'll see what happens

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  146. Forgot to mention there were TWO cps workers here, rather then the normal one and there was another complaint that my bf smacked her across the face for not doing chores. I asked her (my daughter)about this and she has no earthly IDEA what in the heck they are talking about

    I DID make very clear the levels precaution I have taken, including the fact she will not ride when it is dark or in inclement weather
    Is this like harass mom til she gives in?

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  147. I did Have some qualms about blasting city government for what could be an officer erring on the side of caution, But after hearing that the Child protective agency has been used as a club here, I say they deserve what they get!There are numerous examples through out history of civilization gradually sliding into a tyranny. it doesn't happen overnight, rather 'to make the trains run on time' 'to fix the economy' or 'for your safety' or your children's. it happens bit by bit and since it is not all at once we say to ourselves 'that's reasonable' after all its only a little more than last year. If you followed this storey from the beginning, you can see how this police chief has revised his story at least 4 times. Usually we expect a measured reasonable and honest response from law enforcement, in this case knowing he has lied 4 times, can we trust anything he says or promises? was the original report even factual? or is it the officer lying? hmm one or the other right? at this point it matters not which, the end result is a confidence issue in the entire department!

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  148. http://www.fark.com/comments/6530321/-5th-Grader-arrested-Child-Protective-Services-notified-because-girl-rode-her-bike-one-mile-to-school-Tennessee-tag-screams-out-for-creation

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  149. Omgosh what a circus. Well update to all you kind folks. Today in the Elizabeththon Star the chief has back tracked AGAIN

    http://www.starhq.com/news/html/news/articles/articles.asp?day=Thursday&article=nw-bikegirl.html

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  150. Thank God I don't live in Tennessee! The mother may wish to contact Steve Magas in Cincinnati, who calls himself the Bike Lawyer, and has provided help on several cycling related cases here in Ohio. Maybe he can set these police officials straight. I believe he recently represented an adult cyclist in Trotwood, Ohio, who was cited for cycling on Salem Avenue (Ohio 49), for impeding traffic. The case was eventually decided in the cyclist's favor

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  151. So they show up and just happen to bring up two new issues out of thin air?

    THAT is exactly why I told you needed a lawyer present at their meeting.

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  152. WJHL: an Elizabethton Police officer put his car in park and waited on the school bus parked in front of him.

    (Eliz Star)While stopped behind a school bus at the three-way stop at the intersection of Cedar Avenue, Watauga Avenue and Southside Road, the officer noticed a girl on a bicycle coming around his cruiser on the left and past the school bus on the left toward oncoming traffic.
    (Official Report) On 8/25/11 I was monitoring traffic on Cedar Avenue when I observed a young female riding her bicycle southbound on Cedar Avenue. I observed that vehicles had to slow and negotiate around the bicyclist. I stopped and spoke with her at the intersection of Bradley Street and Cedar Avenue.

    1. He is in front and behind the bus…on 2 corners at once? This is a block difference.
    2. The officer has noted the vehicles have to slow and negotiate around the cyclist but no mention of traveling in the wrong direction? Almost being hit by a vehicle? Why are these facts not noted in the report?

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  153. (WJHL) Bailey says this time the officer stopped the child, put her inside his cruiser, and drove her home

    (Eliz Star) Bailey said the officer then put the girl in his cruiser and took her home so he could talk with her mother. He told Tryon about the two incidents and wished to use the time as a "teaching moment" to discuss bicycle safety and develop a safer, alternative route for the girl to get to school.

    (Official Report) In my opinion this section of the roadway is not a safe place for a child of her to be riding unsupervised. I escorted the child to her residence at which time spoke with her mother Teresa Tryon. I informed Mrs Trying that I believed that the child should not be riding her bike to and from school unsupervised at her age.

    The facts remain she was brought home…the consistency stops there.

    1. This is a teaching moment versus “the the child should not be riding her bike to and from school unsupervised at her age”.

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  154. (Eliz Star) "Let me reiterate, no one has ever told this child she could not ride her bike," Bailey said. "No one has ever told this mother she could not ride her bike, as I understand it. The officer was going to make this a teaching point because he had witnessed the two near misses. This was a safety issue. His intent was to talk to her mom and discuss an alternate route for her to ride to school. We, the police department, have nothing against anyone riding a bike. We have our own bike division in the department."

    (Official Report) The distance from HME to (my address) is one mile. The sidewalk ends in the area of Linden Avenue approximately .3 miles from the school. At the point the child would have to ride in the roadway until reaching South Hills Drive. Cedar Avenue at this time of the day is heavily traveled with vehicles and school buses and in my opinion is unsafe for a child of her age to be riding unsupervised.

    1. Again we reiterate teaching point versus judgment. The official report clearly states the officer advised the mother “…in my opinion is unsafe for a child of her age to be riding unsupervised”

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  155. George, the police won't even return my calls much less meet with me! I have been attempting for 2 days to contact them. Now I am entirely confused because the newspaper headline reads

    "Girl can still ride bike to school, police recommend safer route" but nowhere is an alternative route suggested. If they are making a suggestion to a safer router..uhm should they advise me to this?

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  156. If he were really doing his job, he would have ESCORTED her (either leading or following) to make sure she got to the destination rather than detaining her. He's in a friggin' squad car with lights, he can instantly make the situation safe with the flip of a switch, and he CHOSE not to! Give me a helpful sheriff like in Mayberry any day of the week over this crap. And by the way, the road is safer than the sidewalk. I'd like to see the "officer" assigned to bike duty, if I'm honest......

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  157. I just read the newspaper story again. This line jumped out at me:

    [Police Chief Matt] Bailey noted that there is no sidewalk in this area for her to ride on.

    Doesn't the officer know that it's illegal under Tennessee law for cyclists to ride on sidewalks that are not specifically designated as bike paths? Tennessee Code Annotated 58-8-173 (c): No person shall play on a highway other than upon the sidewalk thereof, within a city or town, or in any part of a highway outside the limits of a city or town, or use thereon roller skates, coasters or any similar vehicle or toy or article on wheels or a runner, except in such areas as may be specially designated for that purpose by local authorities.

    In plain english: you can't ride a bike on the sidewalk unless local authorities have specifically designated it to be a bike path.

    So, Chief Bailey apparently does not understand the laws he is supposed to be enforcing.

    Relevant links: Tennessee Bike Laws

    TNDOT Bike and Pedestrian Program

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  158. Ms. Tryon:

    Please, please, please(!) contact an attorney now!

    Call the local ACLU, and better yet get a reference from these bicycle rights attorneys:

    http://www.geklaw.com/pi_bicycle_accidents.htm
    or
    http://www.bigappleinjuries.com/

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  159. Thank you Bill, I had not seem the comment about the sidewalk. No one will still return my calls.

    And a question I have? The headline states "Girl can still ride bike to school, police recommend safer route" where the same route?

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  160. Bill Hobbs,

    I don't think you'll be doing anybody any favors by pointing out to the police that it's illegal to ride on the sidewalk.

    Secondly, are you sure? For example, San Francisco has two conflicting laws. One forbids sidewalk riding while another states that children under 13 can ride on them. Are you sure there's not other relevant legislation, perhaps in the town, that allows children to ride on sidewalks.

    Note that I'm not suggesting that riding on the sidewalk is a good idea in this case. From what I can tell, she'd probably be safer riding in the street.

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  161. http://bikeportland.org/2011/09/01/neglect-charges-follow-10-year-olds-bike-ride-in-tennessee-58426

    worth reading (although it is not resolved. I believe "police recommend alternative route" states they have a route in mind? Well, I haven't heard anything at all.

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  162. Unknown I get the impression you know something but can't say and I respect that.

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  163. Ms. Tryon needs to call a good lawyer and then let them try to touch her. She could end up owning the dang town.

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  164. Just for informational purposes:

    http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j377/tennesseedelight1/82511_report.jpg

    the address blocked for obvious reasons.

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  165. Stick with it Teresa -- I'll share my personal kid/bike/cop story here too. We live on a farm. The only "road" to our farm is a BIKE PATH that runs right through the middle of our 60 acres. The only cars on this bike path are us, our one neighbor, the mailman or UPS if we get a package, and the meter reader. On three separate occasions, someone has called the police because my 8 1/2 year old daughter has been riding on the path. On the third occasion, the officer TURNED MY DAUGHTER OVER TO THE CUSTODY OF A STRANGE MAN ON A BIKE to "escort" her back home, while he drove in his car to our farm to hassle my husband. Nothing more has come of this, but I won't back down and I hope you won't either. Thank you for taking this stand for all of us.

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  166. Ever heard of the "Low Hanging Fruit" theory? It is always easier to enforce your will on law abiding citizens. The real criminals are harder to catch. There are many programs designed to reduce crime. They put more officers on the street to reduce violence and then they wind up setting up more speed traps and DUI checkpoints. Those violations generate much more revenue. Our liberties are slowly being eroded. All in the name of "Protecting" us from ourselves. Fortunately, I live in a community where law enforcement still respects my rights. But I know that with Eric Holder as the top cop, with his selective enforcement of laws, our individual freedoms have a big red target painted on them.

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  167. Ok Mom next time hit them with this when they start embellishing the issue and deviating from the official report.

    In police work if it is not documented then it did not happen. PERIOD

    Then when they try to say well I saw it so it did happen or some such pull out the report and say according to your official report it did not happen.

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  168. I was riding a bicycle, pony, or walking to a country school in kindergarten. By 10 years of age I was driving a farm tractor down the road to our farm fields. What's this country coming to?

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  169. Well CPS has verbally advised me that they have no problems with her riding. However, now we are under siege from the community because of Bailey's conflicting stories. The harassment is growing and its affecting us all. Sad but true. I do wish I could afford an attorney, that would be most helpful at this juncture. If anyone knows of one who might be willing to help in any way (even answering questions) I would appreciate it.

    On a side note, I find it odd that if we as individuals changed our story like this - we would be arrested.
    All relevant media at this time:

    http://s1082.photobucket.com/albums/j377/tennesseedelight1/

    http://www2.tricities.com/news/2011/aug/30/epd-unsupervised-10-year-old-should-not-ride-bike--ar-1275159/

    http://www.starhq.com/news/html/news/articles/articles.asp?day=Thursday&article=nw-bikegirl.html

    If anyone can help my email is TennesseeDelight@aol.com

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  170. The authorities can lie to you and/or about you. It is a crime for you to lie to them/or and about them.

    I sympathize with the family and hope someone will step forward and help these people.

    I am wondering if Bill Hobbs has told the news people about his conversations with the police chief and mayor?

    Did I understand correctly, that CPS completed their report without contacting the mother? How is this possible? Nothing like getting both sides of the story before passing judgment on people. This is atypical for CPS.

    I want to warn the mother: CPS makes money when they take your child away from you. They have no incentive to keep your child in your home. They do have incentive to remove your child. Be very, very afraid of these people. Do NOT speak to them without an attorney present. Get a recording device and use it. No need to hide it. If you can not afford one use pen and paper and record everything they say to you. Make them wait as you write. (After all, who is inconveniencing whom?) Get names, business cards, dates, etc. Never let them into your home without a search warrant. Dirty dishes and a pile of laundry will become "horrible living conditions." Family court is different than any other court. They do not abide by the same rules and they will happily make that abundantly clear to you. Everything you say will be twisted, taken out of context, and used against you.

    As to the posters that asked, when will this madness stop? My answer is, unfortunately, I do not know when, I only know how. Sometimes violence is the only answer. We are fast approaching that day. This incident is a huge problem to this family but it is just a small portion of the abuse the public is having to endure everyday at the hands of the people in power. How much more are we going to endure? It is important to fight every small abuse of power. Saying it isn't worth the trouble is the very attitude that led us to the these kinds of injustices in the first place.

    But what can I do? I am just one person with no power. Educate yourself about what is happening all around us. Educate your children, your family, and your neighbors. Knowledge is power. Get some!

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  171. Amazing. How should we keep our kids 100% safe at all times? Some parents let their ten year old kids ride horses. Some parents let their ten year old kids go swimming. Will all active recreation become prohibited?

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  172. Where is the legal defense fund? This gal is going to be harassed endlessly until a lawyer puts a stop to it.

    Tennesseemom: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET A LAWYER. PLEASE PLEASE.

    PLEASE.

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  173. It doesn't matter what you can afford. The cops and CPS and mayor are going to testalie and try to take your kids from you, destroy your name, get you fired, anything. GET A LAWYER. Make it your first priority.

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  174. TennesseWoman, I don't know if this coverage of your plight has reached you, but here's the link: http://wjcu.org/files/audio/shows/outspokencyclist/wjcu-the_outspoken_cyclist_2011-09-03.mp3

    As a father of 5, avid cyclist, cycling with my family, and having dealt with Child Protective Services, I understand your extreme emotional corner you are painted. Understand that CPS is an agency, and as such, until they file charges in court, can say/do/document anything about you that they want to. Like has been mentioned here, understand that CPS can talk to your daughter at school without your permission. Also understand that you have the right to refuse to talk to them, allow them into your home, or talk to your daughter at your home, without a warrant. A lawyer most likely will NOT be able to really do anything to help you until CPS files charges. So to stop the harassment, and to have a lawyer do you any good, you most likely have to force their hand to either press charges, or back off. Tough choice, I know, but maybe understanding that without charges, they are just so-much flapping their mouth, you will be comforted. Either way, I would not talk to them without a lawyer, and remind your daughter that she doesn't have to talk to them, if she chooses not to, even if the school folks or CPS says she must. She gets to decide. CPS will try to act like they have more rights/powers than they actually do. Until you tell them no and the issue goes to court, you don't know where their demands may end, some of which are NOT granted them by law.

    I recommend a Bike League class for you and your daughter as a way to show that you have done your due diligence. I know any judge/jury would be impressed by a formal class. I know that the League of American Bicyclists referred you back to Bike/Walk TN, but a class is one way LAB can directly help you.

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  175. This is ridiculous and I'm sorry she is going through this. Could she turn on to the police officer by making is a public safty issue that the police/or town need safe ways for children to be able to bike and walk that route (I know you said there is one) but if he is citing safety issues and as a police officer his job is to ensure public safety, than he is failing in his job.
    How would he react if an adult was biking this route? is that still an unsafe route?

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  176. Thank you Mike! I had NOT seen this

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  177. The girl was weaving. Video of route shows blind hill and blind curve. Girl was weaving in these areas. If you are on your little bike at 6 mph and car comes over hill at 35 mp - what could happen? I know the story - bikes have right of way and right to go on road. But if your will to live is strong you better watch your ass or it will turn to bloody pulp when hit by car. I saw class mate at 10 years old get hit by car - still remember blood coming from every hole. He weaved when a car was passing. Yeah I know, car should not have passed. All traffic should have moved at 4 mph while kid weaved his way up the narrow road. All you bikers that think you can't accidental hit a bike are lying to your self. I almost hit a bike, it was dusk speed limit 50mph, just getting cold window a little fogged. OMG there he was almost hit him. Thank God. Demand your bike road and get killed. Layers love it. Your relatives will make a big wad of cash. Maybe this lady is going for the cash?

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  178. Lobby for bike lanes because cars and bikes do not mix. My brother-in-law just got killed on a bike. The elderly gentleman just didn't see him. Not a bad man - just did not see him. At least he got 50 years in. I hope this little girl gets to more than 50 and I hope she keeps riding her bike. Listen to the police they only stopped her because they were worried about her. Lobby for more safe bike lanes not for cobs to let little girls ride little slow crappy bikes on busy roads with big fat cars. You idiots.

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  179. Dude, there are hills but the blind curb she doesn't go around. Sad but true. The road is wide with plenty of room. I'm sorry to hear your brother in law was killed but that doesn't give you the right to call people idiots.

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  180. It's not worth engaging with cagers; they're trying to justify their decisions, not interact with reality.

    Lawyer lawyer lawyer lawyer.

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  181. "Cagers" - What ever that means. Does it mean idiot? Just consider - could the little girl have been riding unsafe in unsafe conditions? OK you are all not idiots, but some of you are not considering that the little girl may be mentally and physically unprepared to do battle on the streets with typical drivers. Guess what - we are all typical drivers. By the way I love to ride my bike. Bikers get killed all the time on the road. Also, have you seen the physical condition of the mother? Is she taking good care of herself? If she is having trouble caring for herself could she also not be taking appropriate care of her daughter. Do you think the mother can ride a bike? I believe strongly in freedom and I bet the police officers involved do to. Maybe you should consider that the police did the right thing. How many of you have seen a 10 year old with blood coming from every opening. I am all for bike lanes and more bike ridding by all.

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  182. Dudewasup;
    I think attacks on someone's appearance is un warranted and should not be tolerated. This about an over extension of police powers infringing on a cyclist's rights, not a beauty contest. If You are unwilling to see the real problem here please let the rest of us fight for your rights in peace thank you.

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  183. IF the cops say its unsafe to ride a bike then
    have her WALK.
    IF the cops don't have a problem with WALKING then the issue has been narrowed to form of TRANSPORTATION.
    Then FIGHT that discrimination.

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  184. BajaJoes;

    a number of children walk the same route to and from school, without police intervention. So The issue has already been narrowed to the form of transportation automatically.

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  185. Do the children that walk - walk in the street so that cars must swerve to miss them? I never commented that the mother was unattractive. But her appearance did lead me to wounder about her intellect. Some of you should consider that you may be caught up in group think. You repeat the lines you know your online friends will support and disregard other possibilities. You want to be left alone so you can pat each other on the back with your blog post. Wake up.

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  186. "over extension of police powers infringing on a cyclist's rights" Its a 10 year old girl ridding in traffic on a bike designed for a driveway. She may not have even had drivers ed. Can the little girl pass a drivers exam? Does she need to know the rules of the road to ride her bike on it? Were the police really concerned about the little girl or were they trying to look tough by driving her home?

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  187. Bill, that law you quoted on 1 September says the exact opposite of what you say it does.

    'No person shall play on a highway other than upon the sidewalk thereof…'
    That means you can't play (or skate, or any of the other listed activities) on a road except if you're on the sidewalk. And that means you can play (skate, etc.) on the sidewalk.

    However, there's nothing there explicitly about cycling, and it's a bit of a stretch to say that a bicycle is a 'similar' wheeled appliance to a pair of roller skates.

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  188. It is just insane what city, state and federal governments think they have the right to dictate in our lives. How long before they're deciding what we eat and what time we go to bed?

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  189. Rhiannon - you're right, I misread that. However, other state law gives people the right to ride their bikes on the road. http://www.tntrafficsafety.org/htm/Laws/cbslaw.htm#55-8-172

    There is NO requirement that people ride on sidewalks where there are sidewalks. In fact, the state law you said I misquoted DOES imply that sidewalks that parallel highways are off-limits for cyclists unless specifically designated as bike paths.

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  190. The bus is great! Totally safe. I remember friends (bullies I called them) hitting me in the back of the head. Cute girls making out with said bullies. A girl grabbing my ass (probably the best day on the bus). Drugs for sale, bus driving yelling. Great experience.

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  191. "the person knew, or should have known upon a reasonable inquiry, that abuse to or neglect of the child would occur which would result in physical injury to the child."

    In documents they written above lines, what i understood from that doc is "to protect the teens from child labor act or from making them to do a dangerous act, but it's not mean that to stop them riding the bike or stop them to playing in ground, dancing etc..."

    Las Vegas Traffic School

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  192. Hi

    I read this post 2 times. It is very useful.

    Pls try to keep posting.

    Let me show other source that may be good for community.

    Source: Secretary KPIs

    Best regards
    Jonathan.

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  193. Avoid leaving your beach cruiser out in the rain or outside overnight if dew is a possibility for the next morning.

    bicycle grips

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  194. Hi

    Tks very much for post:

    I like it and hope that you continue posting.

    Let me show other source that may be good for community.

    Source: Police captain interview questions

    Best rgs
    David

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  195. Bob - I have been scouring the Web to try and pull up an exception to children in some given age range, allowing them to ride the sidewalks. So many states have this allowance, yet I find no mention of it (yet) for Tennessee.
    I am processing both sides to this argument, not appreciating the idea the the officer acted in a way beyond his authority, or that they keep altering the story to make it more convincing...but also that I am often the patient driver having not only to go around someone who is biking in the center of the lane (instead of the curb) but joggers that run in the middle of the road, and children that weave carelessly, crossing from one side to the other without even looking around...
    I am patient, but the car behind me, and those oncoming aren't. It's stressful and annoying - and this is in a quiet neighborhood.
    I wanted to follow one child home, to inform his parent of his need for evaluation after he darted out right in front of me (and thought nothing of stopping traffic) but nowadays one can't be sure how well the message might be received.

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  196. I see that this incident happened last year, so I hope it has been resolved. What kind of NWO police state are we living in when stormtroopers threaten you for letting your kid ride a bike to school? I either walked or rode a bike to school from grade school, thru junior high, to high school, when I was old enough to drive. Of course, I grew up and went to school in the '70s, when the 'law' still knew its place somewhat. Nowadays the government is the enemy of the people, the cops serve the moneyman, they keep robbing us of our earnings, personal property, and liberties, inventing dirty tricks to steal our firearms, and attempting to whoop us into submission. Time to make a stand.

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