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Biking to school: USA-0, Netherlands-1

Kenowa Hills High School suspended seniors for riding their bikes to school.  Yes, you read that right.  As their senior “prank”, the seniors decided to ride their bikes to school, with a police escort.  When they got to school, the principal suspended them for disruptive behavior:

A good time was had by all, except for school Principal Katharine Pennington.  Apparently dismayed at not having been informed about the event, Pennington suspended the participants for the day, forbade them from participating in today’s senior walk — an annual tradition — and said they could potentially not walk during their graduation next week, Rachel Nicks, the mother of one of the participating students, told ABC News.

Nicks said she was aware of the biking plan and had given her 17-year-old honor student son, Cody, her full approval. Shortly before 8 a.m. Tuesday, he called her to say he’d been suspended.

“And I said ‘What did you do?’ And he said, ‘I didn’t do anything. They’re suspending me for riding the bikes. We’re all being suspended,’” Nicks told ABCNews.com

She was outraged, as were many other parents who showed up at a scheduled school board meeting Tuesday night.

“The disruption to the classroom, the disruption to the school day, was not these kids,” Keri Whip, a parent of one of the bike riding participants, told the board. “It was the principal.”

 It could be worse.  In my neighborhood, residents have a habit of calling police if teenagers walking through the deadly quiet developments make too much noise.  You know, talking, laughing to each other?  The principal sends home emails to parents warning them to get their children off the streets before they get their asses hauled off to jail for, I don’t know, being human.  {{rolling eyes}}  It’s all a matter of control.  Too many people feel they need to control the behavior of others even when it’s not their jurisdiction.  If the principal wants to make and enforce rules on campus, that’s one thing.  But once those kids leave school grounds, she’s not allowed to dictate their mode of transportation or the amount of noise they make when they’re walking safely as a group home and socializing.  And giving in to hypervigilant residents who complain about a teenager’s right to talk while walking on a public sidewalk is exceeding her authority.  People need to chill.  This is not a Clockwork Orange kind of suburb.

So, how do kids get to school in the rest of the world?  Let’s forget about the third world where sometimes they zip line over steep chasms or walk miles for water.  How do they do it in places like the Netherlands?

Check it out:

Holy smokes!  They even *talk* to each other while pedaling.  There is no bike nanny standing by making sure they ride single file with a regulation length of space between them and the next rider.  It’s sick, I tell you.  The Netherlands is full of danger and a child sexual molestation just waiting to happen.

Do you have any idea how much money school districts across the country spend on busing their kids to school?  It’s shocking.  We should be encouraging our communities to build bike paths so kids can ride to school.  But nooooo, not this country, where parents wait at the bus stops with their 12 year olds until the bus comes and gets them.  Predators, you know.  Or they might wake the neighbors with their talking.

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