Students (not Leo) walk to school. Photo by Dan Slee on Flickr.
Recently, we posted contributor stories about times they’d walked in places where most people don’t. A reader who is in middle school, Leo from Maryland, posted this comment which we think is worth highlighting:
I am an urbanist, stuck in suburbia. (I’m in Middle School, so “stuck” isn’t exactly the right word.) Anywayyy…... I am an urbanist, right? And I also like walking, biking, public transit, etc.
So, I bike or walk to school almost every day. I live about a mile from my school. People are SHOCKED when they hear I bike or walk to school. The school doesn’t bother salting the ped. walkways to school, so they are covered in ice the day school reopens after a snowstorm.
I was walking to school, and I fell and slipped twice due the the ice. My HW was soaked, b/c my backpack fell in snow. 1st period teacher wouldn’t take my HW even though I did the work correctly, and you could still see my answers. I tried to explain the situation, he wouldn’t listen.
His solution to my problem? Tomorrow, have your parents drive you to school. Lol, my mom’s left for work already when I leave, and my dad works till midnight, and is asleep when I leave.
Perhaps Leo and his school could work with an organization like the National Center for Safe Routes to School, which focuses on providing students and parents with options to get to school on foot or by bike. (Update: Locally, there’s also the Safe Routes to School Regional Network.) It may be too late for Leo’s homework assignment, but it’s never too late to improve walking conditions in all of our communities.