Parents question whether their children should walk to school
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS) —
Parents might have grown up walking to and from school, but recent local incidents raise the question.
When is a child too young to be walking alone to or from school?
This all stems from last week’s Jacksonville Middle School incident where a 7th grader tried to be lured away while walking home from school. Now, parents want to know if there is a law that says how old a child should be to walk home alone.
"A lot of places recommend children under the age of ten are not allowed to walk home unsupervised," Sergeant Kris Rhodes with the Springfield Police Department said.
Rhodes said there's no law that says when you can and can't let your child walk home alone. It's completely up to the parents or guardians.
"Some children mature faster than others some don't so it's kind of up to the parents to kind of gauge where their children are at," Rhodes said.
We asked some parents what they think.
"No, he's 18 now but when he was in school we only lived two maybe three blocks from the school but no he still didn't walk home from school until he was like ten," Michelle Carroll a Springfield parent said.
"The world is just so dangerous, it doesn't matter where you live, you can't control who's driving by," Donna Degroot a local grandma said.
If your child has no other way of transportation. Sergeant Rhodes said it's important to talk to your kids about stranger danger and at least make sure you walk the route with your child once before letting them on their own.
"They can point out, here is a place you can go if something happens, you can go to this places to that place and someone will be able to help you out," Rhodes said.
Even then, some still wouldn’t feel safe enough.
"The buses aren't even safe anymore either," Betty Underwood, a local grandma said.
"There's too many predators, it's not safe anymore," Carroll said.
For any parents who do have a child walking to and from school, always make sure they walk with a friend or a group of friends if possible.
Also, remind your child to never get in the car with a stranger under any circumstances.