Parents can get kids to school safely

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What's the Carson City School District supposed to do?It has to set a policy for how far it will bus students to school, which it has determined will be two miles for middle schools and the high school and one mile for elementary students. (The district could attempt to provide bus rides for each and every student, but that's impractical and expensive. Taxpayers wouldn't stand for it.)

While the radius may be an arbitrary distance, any line is going to include some students and exclude others. The one- and two-mile distances don't seem to be unreasonable, although we're not the ones who have to walk it. It comes down to your comfort level.

That's why some Eagle Valley Middle School parents are upset the district has canceled three bus routes, which were providing rides to their children inside the two-mile radius. They were getting a service that's no longer provided.

Their concerns about safety are valid, but only to the point they can be addressed by the schools. Walking routes are now available in areas where they weren't before, and crossing guards will be provided where necessary.

Schools have taken on greater responsibility over the years for the safety, health and welfare of students. From breakfasts to after-school programs, they've tried to fill in the gaps of a society dominated by two working parents, or by single-parent families.

On the other hand, schools don't have the ultimate responsibility - the parents do. And schools have their gaps, too, especially when it comes to the amount of money they spend on functions not directly related to the classroom.

Those gaps are often filled by parents, who volunteer their time and help raise money. Parents must be the answer at Eagle Valley Middle School as well.

Shared rides and parents who walk groups of students along the routes to school are the best ways to deal with the concerns. It works elsewhere. All that's required is some organization.

As for neighbors who worry about vandalism or obnoxious behavior by a few kids, well, that's a matter of parental responsibility too. As far as we can tell, that's one thing that hasn't changed over the years.


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