This story is almost unbelievable. I say almost, because these days there’s almost no limit to the ways that bureaucrats and public employees can circumvent common sense in an attempt to force their will on the citizenry. In Tennessee, apparently, it’s against the law to allow your kid to ride their bike to school. What law, they won’t say – but trust them, they’re the police – it’s against the law.
Teresa Tryon said, “On August 25th my 10 year daughter arrived home via police officer, requested to speak to me on the front porch of my home. The officer informed me that in his ‘judgement’ it was unsafe for my daughter to ride her bike to school.”
Ms Tryon called the mayor’s office and the chief of police office in order to determine what laws she was breaking by allowing her daughter to ride her bike to school. Her daughter’s route to school was reasonably safe.
Major Verran of the police department returned Ms Tryon’s call. She said he told me, “He had spoke with the District Attorney’s office who advised that until the officer can speak with Child Protective Services that if I allow my daughter to ride/walk to school I will be breaking the law and treated accordingly.
She asked, “What law she would be breaking to which the answer was ‘child neglect'”.
One of the commenters on the site included the link to the Tennessee “child neglect” law, and noted that there is nothing in there that could be reasonably construed to prohibit a parent from allowing a 10 year-old child from riding a bike one mile to school. Aren’t supposed to be encouraging kids to exercise more? If you noticed the feature image for this post on the home page, it shows a sign encouraging kids to ride or walk to school. I guess those weren’t Tennessee kids.
Barring some circumstance that presents serious danger (like riding on a heavily traveled road), shouldn’t it be up to the parents to decide whether their child can ride a bike to school? Why must the state feel compelled to interfere in every aspect of our lives? One reason, I suppose, is there’s way too many of them, and they have to find something to do.