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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down A sign of the times we live in

    I use the tram to get to and from uni, and yesterday I noticed a 12-13 year old schoolgirl opposite me who was asleep. She had her phone in her hand and was in quite a deep slumber with her head back and mouth wide open. I couldn't help wondering if she had fallen asleep from exhaustion and whether she had missed her stop or something. I get off the last stop and this girl was still on the tram, sleeping. Everyone else got off and never noticed her and I got worried for her thinking she might go all the way back to the city if she doesn't get off or get hurt in some way. I shook her awake and told her that we had reached the last stop. Although she thanked me and got off, I was angry and frustrated by the fact that no one noticed her......when did people become so self-centred?!? I hate to think of my kids in her position when they grow up

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    This makes me feel really sad. I have boys who are still only tiny, but every time I read something like this - or for example, news stories about kids being bashed at parties, girls collapsing while drunk, etc etc - I just feel really, really sad. You just wish you could keep them safe and innocent, not send them out into the big scary world!

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  4. #3
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    Totally agree tikigirl! My DH and I have already discussed our children will not be using public transport and will be happy to get a call at 3am to come and pick them up. You can't even trust taxis anymore. This is many years away for us however I fear things will be even worse then!!!

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    When I was a teen, I had recently moved from New Zealand (where the legal driving age was 15) to Australia (where it was 17½ at the time).

    I remember thinking how unsafe it was to travel on public transport as a 16yo (frequently propositioned by adult men) and thought that if the driving age was reduced it would be much safer (for me).
    Last edited by sweetseven; 04-09-2013 at 11:08.

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    I suppose people probably think if a child is old enough to ride alone on public transport then their parents have judged them as having enough common sense to handle a situation in which they miss their stop?

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    I used to ride the bus to the city but never alone. I think that was at about 15. I would only let my kids do it with friends. Never alone even at 18.
    Good on u for waking her up. We can only hope if one of our kids get themselves into a situation like that someone like you is around keeping an eye out

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    I was catching 2 buses and a train to school from 5 years old, and then the same home again. I did have my older sister with me until 6 years of age. By 7, I was doing it alone. This was in the 80's and I lived in a pretty dodgy area of Sydney and the suburb I went to school in wasn't the greatest either. In fact, it was where Anita Cobby was kidnapped.

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    Unfortunately I think it's not about trusting your children it's more that you can't trust some ppl in society

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    Actually what I first thought was not that she was too young to be catching public transport - I used to catch a bus several suburbs from the city centre in NZ when I was that age. It was the image of her asleep and vulnerable that got to me. I imagined a schoolgirl exhausted from schoolwork, extra-curricular activities, homework, a long commute (and no doubt lots of time on technology/socialising), and being so tired she crashed out on the tram. And then everyone just ignored her. I think anyone looks vulnerable asleep on public transport and then very disorientated when they wake up. Then I just felt sad because she is still pretty young (not too young to be catching the tram, but young), and I imagined my own boys in that situation years down the track. And then I got to thinking about teenagers in other situations of vulnerability. I teach teenage girls. Yes, they're old enough to be trusted to do various things, but they are still young, and the part of their brain that enables them to make sensible decisions/judgements and understand consequences doesn't become fully developed for a few years yet. It would to be nice to think that adults could look out for them a bit, like this lady did.

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    I wonder if it is a sign of the times or if people are just so insular when they are on public transport they don't really notice what is going on around them? I used to fall asleep on the train on the way to work most mornings lol, I seemed to have an inbuilt alarm clock that woke me just before my stop, no one ever roused me, if I wasn't asleep I had my head in a book, not looking at what was going on around me.
    I personally think high school is plenty old enough to get yourself to school on public transport (I'm guessing by 12-13 she was in year 7 or 8?).


 

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