The Chainlink

Child Protective Services called in... for girl riding bike to school (Tennesee)

I don't know if anyone else has seen this blog post about a 10 year old girl who was picked up by the police and CPS called because she was riding her bike to school.


Read through the entire comment thread, the blogger called the police cheif for an interview, close to the bottom the comments include the police report and the mom chimes in a few times.


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'".


I wasn't riding my bike to school at 10, but I was by 6th grade. I also walked a six year old neighbor to school when I was in 6th grade.

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I rode to school when I was 8. But that was in the 70's.  We lived in a totally different world back then.  


Someone down south earlier this summer had their kids taken away because they were too poor to afford A/C and that was considered neglect by child protective services.  


Next you will see people getting ticketed by cops and their kid's guardianship threatened because they are allowed ride in the front bucket of a bakfeit "in traffic" and they consider that endangerment to the child and poor parenting.    


This is nanny-statism run amok. 

And the car companies smile with glee!
Funny and yet troubling.  Too late to reconsider their desire to secede?

I read parts of an interview, and it's pretty amazing how ignorant of the law the police were. The driver admitted pulling over into the oncoming traffic lane, also claiming there was a blind curve. If they moved over actually on the blind curve that would be breaking the law, if they moved completely into the lane on a double yellow that would be breaking the law. But does the cop give the driver a ticket, or educate her on the law? no, he detains the girl. (Note he did not arrest the girl).


But this goes far beyond bikes and police ignorance of the law, you can google stories of family services called on parents who allowed their children to just walk to school, or play outside unsupervised. We (and the UK it seems) are becoming a nation of busybodies terrified of strangers.


If the streets are too dangerous for children to be riding bicycles to school, then the way to solve that isn't to disallow biking, it's to make the streets safer.

Working to make the streets safer is great and all but it takes time.  In the meantime, the streets are too dangerous for children to ride bikes on, then the prudent thing would be not to let them ride until the streets are safe enough to do so.  

Dan Korn said:

If the streets are too dangerous for children to be riding bicycles to school, then the way to solve that isn't to disallow biking, it's to make the streets safer.

I think it wasn't a matter of the streets being overly unsafe.  It was more of an iffy judgement-call by an anti-bicycle cop who wanted to make an example out of someone ,and push around a mother by yanking on the chain of her 10-year old chlid. They are trying to make a precedent -and a bad one at that.  This type of thing needs to be stopped before they can do this and make bicycling to school "too unsafe" for ordinary kids.


This is just an abuse of authority.  This cop sounds like the "get off the streets and back on the sidewalk" type to me. 



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