Walking 1.8 Miles

Updated on September 26, 2010
H.M. asks from Jamestown, NY
19 answers

my son just went to a middle school and he was suppose to go to another middle school but half of it is closed down cause of reconstruction. he nows has to walk 1.8 miles just to get to school i dont have a car to take him. it takes 1h and 15 min to walk it and i called the school and they said he is capible to walk cause its under 2 miles. he is only ten years old. what i dont like is when its starts snowing and winter out and he has to walk i.t do you think its fair that they wont bus him cause he is able to walk?

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So What Happened?

my son is in the 5th grade and i do walk with him but its up 2 steep hills and he has a bike but i dont feel safe enough for him to do that alone we pick up a friend on the way couse his mother also dont have a car. i called the borad of school and nothing. i just feel like a child under the age of 13 should not walk that far. there are many things that could happen if he rides his bike alone or even walk with a friend on the way to school u never know.

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answers from New York on

Is there anyway he could walk the opposite direction and catch a bus that is 2miles from school? That way he would walk between a .2 and .5 of a mile. Would they allow you to do that?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

It's not really a matter of "fair," it's a matter of expense. Buses are a huge part of the public school budget, and there has to be a dividing line somewhere. I never attended a school after third grade that wasn't a couple of miles away. The exercise was great. A child can generally walk at a speed of 3 m.p.h. (or faster), so a 1.8-mile trip should take no more than 40-45 minutes, taking stop lights into account.

I hear that you are worried. I know parents are much more concerned about safety now than when I was a child, but unless he lived in a particularly hazardous neighborhood, I think 5th grade isn't too young to walk alone or with a friend for that distance. There is much to be said for giving kids a bit of freedom and responsibility.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

Hi H.,

I sympathize with you, but lots of schools are cutting out bussing and raising the boundaries to at least 2 miles away - this is a pretty common boundary I think. Especially if the school has had to absorb additional kids, this is probably not an area they can bend.

An hour and 15 minutes is pretty slow walking for 1.8 miles. He should be able to do this in under 45 minutes - the "average" child walks 3 miles per hour. The average adult walks 2.7 mph. See if you can make it a game to increase his speed. Walk with him and this gives you great time to spend with him (most kids will talk more if you are in a non-confrontational stance - ie walking next to him where he doesn't look directly at you). If you are walking with him you can make sure he is safe.

This is actually GREAT excercise for him in good weather (even as it gets into the 50's it's ok for him to be outside). Most schools have cut out PE, so consider this a good way for him to be active.
Incelment weather (rain / snow / freezing temps) is a different story - so it's good you have some time (at least a month or so) to figure out what to do.

It's not about if it's "fair" - it's about finding a solution. Most schools now have listserves where parents can communicate with each other or send out questions or requests - or they have a notes area in the main hallway.
So - get in touch with other parents and find some help. Is someone willing to swap out drop off / pick up if you babysit their kid one overnight every other week? Would you be able to pay someone a nomial fee (if it's on their way anyway another mom may do it just for $5 a week).
If nothing else have the PRINCIPAL contact parents who live in your area (they may not be able to release the names to you, but would be able to contact them directly) to see if anyone is interested in sharing transportation with you.

And remember - to get to school our parents walked 3 miles / in the snow / up hill - BOTH WAYS!!!! lol!!!!!!

Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Is the 1hr 15 minutes due to stoplights for crossing the street? Other than that, there is really no reason to take that long to walk 2 miles.

That said, I hate the fact that they want a 10 year old (what's that, fourth grade?) to walk that far. Is it possible for you to walk with him?

Can you, at least for good weather, get him a bike?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I'm confused. He's 10 and in middle school? Ten is usually the age for 4th grade and middle school here is 7th grade. Walking that far should not be a problem for a 7th grader. I understand your concern for a 10 yo. In today's world he should not be walking alone or even with other kids that distance.

If he's advanced (meaning that he's in the 7th grade even tho he's only 10, the school district should be helping you find a solution. I'd call the District Office.

I agree with the suggestion that you find other parents who are driving their child to school and ask to carpool. Although if their children are older they may not be driving them.

I walked that far when I was in grade school. There were a group of us that walked together. Some older and some younger. We walked no matter the weather. If your neighborhood is safe and in a small town, then it's not unreasonable to walk. Does he walk only on side streets in a residential neighborhood? Can he walk with a group of children?

I sense that I'm missing some info here. A 10yo would not ordinarily be attending a middle school nor would he be taking over an hour to walk 1.8 miles.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lincoln on

There is no way I would allow my 10 year old to walk almost 2 miles to school! You are right to be concerned. Remember the squeeky wheel gets the oil, so go be your son's advocate and get him put in the closer school.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

No, I don't think it's fair, but sadly, it sounds like it's on you to work something else out. I hope that, at least, you are able to walk with him.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albany on

When my school district changed our bus route requiring my sons to sit on the bus for more than an hour, I called the bus garage and complained. They changed the route to be able to accommodate us. The sqeeky wheel gets the oil, so ask. Many times the school can work out alternatives for those who are inconvenienced, but only if they know that you have a concern. The worst that can happen is that you may have to find an alternative solution, as others have mentioned.

Good luck! With the anxiety that goes along with the first days of school, it is too bad that you also have this. I'm confident that you will solve your problem.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Edit: For those of you who think: "Not to be an alarmist but kids are getting snatched off the streets left and right and are vanishing into thin air," Check out this article. http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/08/30/129531631/5-wo...

Teach your child to be safe and he will be safe. Think of all the poor kids who are molested. It's usually by a family member, or a Catholic priest, someone they trust. Kids who are abducted are often abducted by the estranged spouse.

2 miles was also the limit for providing buses in my town. In the city, it's 1 mile. I think the best thing is to have him walk with a group. If any other parents are worried, you might try to get a petition going or try to convince the BoE to change the rule. In the winter, try to find some parents that he can ride with and pay for gas to help out. Don't they cancel school in your area if it snows? A 2 mile walk should take about 1/2 an hour at a slow pace. It's certainly good exercise and will keep him healthy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

normally I'd say that distance for a 10 year old to be walking is fine...but in this day and age, I wouldn't allow it. Not to be an alarmist but kids are getting snatched off the streets left and right and are vanishing into thin air. I would atleast make sure he's got buddies to walk with, get him a bike, or something to make sure he arrives at school quickly and SAFELY. You have every right to worry...you're a mother.



answers from Pittsburgh on

That's nuts! I hope he's not walking that distance alone. Can he carpool with someone at least on some days?



answers from Jamestown on

Yes it is unfair. Go to the school's transportation department and complain again. If that still doesn't work, go to a school board meeting and make your complaint known.

If all that fails, try to find someone close to you who can drive him with their kids.




answers from New York on

Walk it with him and see how fast you can do it together - he should be able to walk faster than that - 3 miles/hour is walking at a brisk pace. It's great exercise, time outside, time away from the computer/tv/gaming without junkfood. Think of all the things that it is good for. When it snows, he'll have boots, hat, gloves, etc. My parents walked to school as did all the generations before them. If you are supportive and positive about it, he'll come around to enjoying the freedom and adventure.



answers from New York on

Maybe you can go over their heads and talk with the superindendent? It seems like you have an extenuating circumstance that they might work with you? I wonder if they'll let you walk to a bus stop that is .2 miles away instead?



answers from New York on

Absolutely not, especially since he was supposed to go to another school.
I would raise holy hell and not stop until something changed.


answers from Fresno on

That's a long walk. Is there a city bus that he could ride to get him at least part of the way there? Any neighbors who drive their kids to school that he could carpool with? Now while the weather's nice he should be able to walk that distance in around 45 minutes or so even at a leisurely pace, but I agree that when the weather gets worse and the days get shorter, he will be doing a lot of this walk in the dark and in very cold conditions. That would worry me. The school district should be able to help with this, I would think!


answers from Albany on

I would raise hell. 1.8 miles for a 10 year old to walk to and from school every day??? That's just crazy! I would be on the phone with every administrator and their boss until I got a bus for the kid!



answers from Binghamton on

Back when i was young, it was fairly common to have to walk to meet a bus or walk to school. We could do this without our parents having to worry about it. But in this day and age, with sex offenders being released to live among our families, there is no way i would allow any child of mine to walk to school no matter how far it is! I would either move closer to the school, arrange a ride with another parent, or i would check into home schooling. I would not take any chances with my childs safety. More than one child has disappeared walking home from school, even when they are with other children! The dangers are just too great for a child of that age! At the very least, i would make sure to walk with the child to make sure he got there safely! Kind of makes one wonder what we pay school taxes for! If the school systems can afford to run the busses to take children to sporting events in other towns, then they can afford to pick up all children no matter how close or far they live from the school!



answers from New York on

I know you already posted that you are walking with him and thats great. But, what about in the winter or if you are sick or something. I wouldn't give up yet! Call the transportation dept, go to the office at school, go to PTA, maybe you;ll find another parent that can drive. Write a letter to the superintendent stating your concern and telling them if anything happens they will be responsible! Be strong for your son.

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