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.