OAK BAY editorial: Paid escorts not a solution

Is our time so strictly scheduled, or is our fear so high, that we are engaging the idea of hiring staff to walk our kids to school?

Have we really come this far?

Is our time so strictly scheduled, or is our fear so high, that we are engaging the idea of hiring staff to walk our kids to school?

At the risk of sounding like old fogies, most of our generation walked to school (10 miles up hill both ways in three feet of snow with no shoes) without the aid of a parent, let alone a paid escort.

Those of us lucky enough to have an older sibling were dragged along by our pigtails if we dawdled or dragged our feet through the intersection.

There were no crossing guards to stop four lanes of traffic and no parent volunteers patrolling the playground watching for our arrival.

Miraculously, we survived.

Our kids too, walked to school.

In the ‘80s and ‘90s, parents would escort elementary-aged kids to avoid “stranger danger” or enlist older kids, friends and neighbours, to be their guide.

Volunteer parents or teachers patrolled the playground watching for stragglers and phone lines were dedicated for parents to let the school know ahead of time if their child would not attend. Likewise, if a child did not show up for class, a parent was notified within the hour.

Yes, times have changed, but making time to walk or bike to school without taxpayers forking out for a chaperone is a change we don’t think is necessary.

Hiring cartographers to map a route to school is just plain silly. Ask any third grader to draw out a sensible path from home to school and within minutes you’ll have your solution.

Add 20 minutes to your morning routine, talk to friends and neighbours about sharing the duty of walking or biking kids to school, even carpooling will ease the crush of cars around our schools each day.

Getting kids and parents out of vehicles for the commute to and from school is not a matter of dollars, it’s a matter of sense.