Oh my gosh, yes. Walking to school is such a little freedom, and it is through navigating these little freedoms that our children grow up to be strong and intelligent teenagers with greater freedoms and, eventually, into adults who have all the freedoms we have. We want our children to grow into strong and successful adults, but this can’t happen if we don’t give them opportunities and tools with which to stand on their own two feet.
As school kicked off on Tuesday, the Ottawa Police Service warned parents via its Twitter account not to let kids walk to school alone. The police suggested that parents instead find a neighbour kid to walk their child to school. There’s safety in numbers, and that’s not bad advice.
But why the first half of the tweet? Why the admonition, instead of positive advice, especially for new parents sending their kids off to school for the first time?
The police force tweet speaks to this bizarre, irrational fear we have bought into that there are perverts and criminals around every corner. It’s the same logic that infects federal government rhetoric about tough-on-crime legislation.
The problem, fundamentally, is that it’s just not true. Generations of kids have walked to school every day, with few problems.
There are real ramifications. In the United States, one parent found herself facing charges after leaving her…
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