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  1. #1
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    Default Parents charged for child walking to school

    "A gobsmacked parent has been rapped over the knuckles for allowing their children to ride or walk to school on their own in a rural Queensland town.

    Police from Miles, 200km west of Toowoomba in Queensland, have taken the controversial step of fining parents whose children, under the age of 12, have been making their own way to and from primary school.

    The extreme act comes after police were shocked at the number of students under 12 walking or riding to school unsupervised during regularly patrols of the primary school zones in the town of just 1,800 people at the start of this school term.

    Before you jump up and down about the thought of being charged for such an offence – it gets worse. You could even do time for the alleged crime.

    Parents can face up to three years behind bars “for not taking reasonable steps to ensure children under 12 are properly supervised” according to Queensland law.

    What a magnificent use of police resources.

    Police have even distributed a stern flyer throughout the tight-knit community. One outraged mother sharing it on Facebook, and it was shared thousands of times online.

    It states that kids “under 12 cannot walk or ride to school alone, there must be some level of supervision”.

    “Blatant disregard for this responsibility has already led to criminal charges against a parent in Miles and others could easily face prosecution,” the flyer says.

    “We are determined to provide the safest possible environment for our kids and our community and we ask everyone to play their part.”

    Miles Sergeant Benjamin Wiltshire clarified just exactly what these “reasonable steps to ensure children are properly supervised” actually means.

    “There’s a different expectation for 11 year olds than there is for a five or six year old - that’s common sense - and a lot of this comes down to what’s reasonable,” he told 2GB.

    “It actually says in the legislation that whether the time or distance is unreasonable depends on all of the relevant circumstances

    “So if you’re riding across the road or 100 metres to the school on a pushbike with a group of 11 year olds is certainly a different case to a five or six year old walking across town completely unsupervised.” "

    http://www.*******.com.au/parenting/...aign=editorial


    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I just read this in the comments section of the article link on Facebook:

    This is MY hometown. If people only understood the massive changes that have occurred with the downturn of mining & now the influx of undesirables/drug addicts/pedophiles with the offers of free rent to fill empty houses, you would rethink letting your 5 year old ride to school. It's not the same town & not everyone in it at present are nice country people.

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  4. #3
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    if it is those on the younger end of the age spectrum I would have no problem with some sort of repercussion, but something with the potential of jail if that is the only offence is not the right answer. As the parent of a 12 yo who has been able to walk to the shop on our street or a friend's house a few streets away for a couple of years now though, for the older kids, say 10-12 I think it is overkill providing the distance isn't too great as coming into high school they need to start developing some independence & responsibility (I know for my DS next year he will be walking 15 mins to the bus stop, then catching a bus by himself etc for high school & I wouldn't like for this to be his first time having independence).

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    Seems quite extreme for a town in Australia

    I've never been to Miles, nor heard of it - is anyone on the hub familiar with this place? Is it completely crime-ridden and terrifying

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    Default Parents charged for child walking to school

    Quote Originally Posted by atomicmama View Post
    I just read this in the comments section of the article link on Facebook:

    This is MY hometown. If people only understood the massive changes that have occurred with the downturn of mining & now the influx of undesirables/drug addicts/pedophiles with the offers of free rent to fill empty houses, you would rethink letting your 5 year old ride to school. It's not the same town & not everyone in it at present are nice country people.
    My initial reaction was it is way over the top but if the area was that bad ( how do they know peadophiles are freely roaming the street??) and I had to live there then I suppose I wouldn't let DS walk either but if it is that bad then why do these other parents still do it?

    We are in Sydney and if they have that law here then my sister and SIL would both be arrested as their kids have walked to the station, got a train and walked to school since 5th class (age 10) and my DS will be catching the bus to school from 3rd class ( age 8 - but I will drive him to bus stop as its too far to walk!)

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    Default Parents charged for child walking to school

    Quote Originally Posted by atomicmama View Post
    I just read this in the comments section of the article link on Facebook:

    This is MY hometown. If people only understood the massive changes that have occurred with the downturn of mining & now the influx of undesirables/drug addicts/pedophiles with the offers of free rent to fill empty houses, you would rethink letting your 5 year old ride to school. It's not the same town & not everyone in it at present are nice country people.
    These were my concerns. It's easy to be outraged but there has to be another side to it.

    Is it a small town with high crime and delinquency? Is there a high rate of unemployed or useless parents sitting on their asses booting their young kids out the door because they can't be bothered walking with and checking on their own kids? And what's the absenteeism rate at the school?

    My main concern is how grey the legislation is- what exactly is "reasonable"?

    I guess police have seen young kids left to wander the streets and they have the local knowledge that what is happening is not acceptable and trying to do something about it. I don't think it's a blanket rule that would apply if anyone lets their 11 yo walk to school in any town that they will be fined.
    Last edited by Little Miss Sunshine; 05-08-2016 at 14:17.

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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicmama View Post
    I just read this in the comments section of the article link on Facebook:

    This is MY hometown. If people only understood the massive changes that have occurred with the downturn of mining & now the influx of undesirables/drug addicts/pedophiles with the offers of free rent to fill empty houses, you would rethink letting your 5 year old ride to school. It's not the same town & not everyone in it at present are nice country people.
    If that's the case I think that wasting police time and resources on kids walking to school is a bandaid approach and distracts from the real issue.

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    I think groups have always been safest for children travelling without parental supervision, and perhaps rather than fines and stern warnings, police/authorities should focus on educating parents and kids about that as a safe option.

    It's difficult to know what's right when we have "walk to school day" and we are told your kids are getting fatter & unhealthier but we are not legally allowed to let them walk or ride anywhere?

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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicmama View Post
    I just read this in the comments section of the article link on Facebook:

    This is MY hometown. If people only understood the massive changes that have occurred with the downturn of mining & now the influx of undesirables/drug addicts/pedophiles with the offers of free rent to fill empty houses, you would rethink letting your 5 year old ride to school. It's not the same town & not everyone in it at present are nice country people.
    Nothing like quoting myself 😂

    In the whole context, I can see how police may conclude that it's unreasonable and I don't like the idea of a 5 year old going anywhere alone, but the paedophile comment doesn't really change anything for me; there are, undoubtedly, paedophiles everywhere. Whether or not they're convicted is a different story, but it's something we ALL have to weigh up... not just this small town where (I'm assuming) there are now known pedophiles.

  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BornToBe View Post
    I think groups have always been safest for children travelling without parental supervision, and perhaps rather than fines and stern warnings, police/authorities should focus on educating parents and kids about that as a safe option.

    It's difficult to know what's right when we have "walk to school day" and we are told your kids are getting fatter & unhealthier but we are not legally allowed to let them walk or ride anywhere?
    It also doesn't help that the laws about supervision are usually a grey area, and that we're all going to come to different conclusions when making a risk assessment.


 

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