Parents, not the government, should decide when kids can travel alone on the bus

Parents behave differently now from when I was a kid. No one today would even think of having a six-year-old walk a mile back and forth to school, like most children did a generation ago. But what about four kids taking public transit?

In British Columbia, a father was told his children, aged 7 to 11, were too young to ride the city bus on their own, even though he had spent months preparing them. It started, as so many things do today, with a complaint made to the authorities. But unless the children were misbehaving, it’s hard to know what there is to complain about. They’re travelling in daylight, not at night. And because they’re in a group, they can look out for each other. Plus, kids today are equipped with cell phones. So unlike in my time, they can call for help.

What, exactly, is it that could go wrong that wouldn’t happen when the oldest child turns 12, which is when the government says it would be okay? Ultimately, if their father thinks they’re ready, no one, not even the government, should say otherwise.

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