What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

23 May 2012

Seriously? Suspended for cycling?

I follow Lenore from Free Range Kids on Twitter, and today she posted this story about 65 high school seniors who were suspended for one day after they rode their bikes to school.

I'll let you read the contents of the article if you so desire, but the gist is that the students (who would all be at least 18 by this point in the school year, and therefore are legal adults) organized the ride, got police escorts so they would be safe, and even the mayor brought them donuts for the ride. But, the principal didn't know about it (how she managed not to know is unclear), so she ranted at them and sent them all home.

In response, a local bicycle shop gave the principal a free bicycle. Brilliant.

The school must not have any of
these. Or maybe the principal
doesn't know what they do.
I'll spare you all most of my usual ranting about schools and bicycles, except to say this: I feel pretty strongly that schools should not tell kids how they may and may not get to school. I feel pretty strongly that that's the parents' decision for little ones, and (I hope) the parents and students should decide that together as the kids are ready for more responsibility. It's not the school's decision, and it's certainly not the Principal's call to suspend them once they've safely arrived at school. After all, I'm pretty sure she doesn't expect all the kids to call her to check in before setting off in their cars every morning!

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

things are getting just a little nutty out there in educaton land

Alex said...

That's pretty crazy. I used to ride my bike to school all the time, and now I ride to work. I can't imagine what her problem was - who doesn't want less traffic on the road anyway?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard! I rode my bike to school in both Jr. High and High School.

a runners' life said...

The principal ought to be suspended for her stupidity. Seriously, people like that should not been in authority. I've never heard something so silly in my life, ok maybe I have, there are a lot of stupid things going on lately, but riding to school (and walking) should be promoted not punished. What a joke.

Su said...

I knew I had the smartest readers ever! :)

I've heard that schools are worried about being sued if something happens to the kids while they are coming/going. But it seems easy enough to me for them to include a release in the stacks of paperwork that parents already sign at the beginning of the year, you know?

JEFritz said...

I read the article and it seems like they weren't suspended for riding to school but for protesting the suspension of their friends for a prank, which is wrong, but in a different way. It's still totally ridiculous, though.

Su said...

Yikes, I just saw that I had the same link twice. Fixed! I read it as them being sent home because they rode their bikes to school, and she saw it as a prank. But it didn't even say that they got to school late, so I'm still not clear on why that's her call.

Chadwick said...

There was a complete retraction according to ABC's report. But, as per your consideration, I do think it is the responsibility of the school superintendent to know when students get there, because it is their responsibility to know when the kids arrive. So, they are in a tight spot as school representatives. They do keep tabs on those who drive to school and those who walk and those who are dropped off and those who take the bus. I wonder what is not being shared in the various stories being told.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Silly woman, probably annoyed that she was not the centre of attention on this occasion.

Karen Peterson said...

I guess I'll need to read the whole article, because I can't for the life of me figure out why kids wouldn't be allowed to ride bikes to school. Our high school had a giant cage out front full of bike racks because there were a bunch of kids that rode every day.

Su said...

I would like to acknowledge that she did issue a serious apology the next day. And I, too, would be horrified if a bunch of police cars pulled into the parking lot of the school I was in charge of, along with 60 of my students. But, I still think she needed to settle down and find out what was going on BEFORE overreacting. Even if she thought it was a prank, all she had to do was ask one of the police officers what was going on. And then count to 100.