Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Taking risks as children

Thank you John Gill (these “Johns” can be confusing, ehhh?) for your comments on the bike riding schoolchildren -  - that I previously posted.

I know my comments are made in ignorance of the 'full facts' - there is always more to be said from both sides – and I’m sure you garnered more information from the radio talkback.

I refer to the comment in the original report I published:

"Oliver and Gillian Schonrock allow their eight-year-old daughter and five-year-old son to cycle the one mile (1.5 kilometre) journey to school on their own. The couple taught their children a route on pavements through the backstreets of the London suburb of Dulwich to teach them independence and self-confidence."

Just how risky is Dulwich these days, anyway – I still remember it as a quiet, neatly established urban area with plenty of cycle pavements that were well frequented?

The parents took the time to teach their children the ride route.

It was only a mile (1.5klm)?

Please tell me, has the H and S environment swung so far to the right that bike riding children have replaced the fear of damage from conkers?

I am aware that due vigilance and care needs to be exercised, especially where children are concerned, however, the parents seem to have that responsibility well in hand. I love to see independence fostered in our young and I believe that some risks are well worth taking.

I repeat - these children were in their own time and not in school time. Other than riding to school and home I would suggest it is none of the school/teachers business and falls solely within the precinct of parental responsibility and appropriate decision making.

At age 8 I was riding a BSA Bantam motorcycle, hunting with a .22 bolt action single shot rifle and riding in the back of a trailer being towed by a tractor as we gatherered fruit from the pick-up points in an orchard!

What do we do next? Perhaps we should stop the Duke of Edinburgh Awards for venture scouts, or, maybe, ban all school excursions?

1 comment:

Gill - That British Woman said...

I saw this story and couldn't believe it either, I mean what sort of world are we living in that we're not "allowed" to let our own kids bike a mile too and from school?

Crazy, crazy, crazy!!

Gill in Canada