Risks Kids Face walking to and From School

Jazmin Quinn and Adriana Leiss

In recent years there has been an extreme decrease in the number of kids walking or biking to and from school. According to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nationwide survey of parents of children ages 5 to 18. They provided valuable information about the obstacles children can face walking to and from school or bus stops.  

Obstacles   Percentage of parents identifying with the obstacles 
Distance to school:  61.5 
Traffic-related danger:  30.4 
Weather:  18.6 
Crime danger:  11.7 
Opposing school policy:  6.0 
Other reasons (not identified):  15.0 

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2005) 

Many parents do not allow their children to walk or bike to school for fear of traffic, crime, the distance from school, and weather patterns. Those parents would rather drive their kids to school. But what happens to the kids when their parents do not have a way to provide them with a ride to and from school? They are then forced to either walk to school or catch a bus. Doing that everyday does not sound that bad but many students must start walking while it is still dark outside to make it to school or the bus stop on time.  

Walking in the dark alone is not only stressful, but it can also be dangerous. Many kids avoid this by walking in groups but not all kids have anyone else to walk with, so they must walk alone. From firsthand experiences I know that walking to the bus stop can be incredibly stressful, especially when it is dark outside. It makes me constantly look over my shoulder at passing cars and to see if anyone is following me. Another downside teens must deal with while walking to the bus stop is, most bus stops are a decent length away from their house.  

According to a survey conducted by Jazmin Quinn and Adriana Leiss most kids say they walk between 4-15 minutes away to catch a bus to school. We also found out that kids that do walk to school walk between 5-30 minutes away to arrive at school.  

Another reason parents prefer to take their kids to school themselves is because of the crime rates according to reports by various sources they provided us with information about the kidnaping rates and when the children are most vulnerable. 38% of children abductions happen while the kids are walking to and from school. 43% involved children ages 10-14. 72% of these abductions were female. The number of children that go missing each year is terrifying. According to the FBI Child exploitation and human trafficking task force (CEHTTF) more than 460,000 children (about half the population of South Dakota) go missing every year.  

In conclusion, schools should make bus stops closer to the child’s houses. The county should have police patrol the areas where there are bus stops located between 6:00am and 9:00am. They should also patrol the streets that are closer to the school for children who must walk to school.