The Wheels Of The Paranoid Police State Keep On Turning
Charlotte Allen sent me a link about police in Elizabethton Tennessee threatening to arrest a woman for...yes...letting her 10-year-old fifth grader ride her bike to school -- a seven- to nine-minute trip by bike.
The mother, Teresa Tryon, is instead supposed to put her daughter on the bus. Tom E. writes on BikeWalkTennessee:
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'".
I rode my bike almost every day to Bond Elementary School -- about a 10- or 12-minute trip from my parents' house. I thought my parents were horribly overprotective, but it turns out they should have been brought up on charges for not wrapping me up in swaddling clothes (even at 10) and carrying me lovingly into school and to every one of my classes.