Originally Posted by junipermuse
Are you saying its bad for parents to drive High Schoolers to school? My parents drove me every day of high school. It was about a mile and I usually had to walk home at the end of the day, unless I could convince someone to drive me home (except my freshman year when i went to a school that was much farther away, then my parents drove me and I took the bus to the closer highschool and walked home from there). Most of my friends had cars or were allowed to drive their parents car to school by 11th and 12th. I'd certainly want to drive my kid to school rather than make them walk if it was possible. High Schoolers are so busy with activities and homework (and they need more sleep than adults, so its good to save them the morning time as well) it seems mean to not drive them if you can so at least you've saved them the 20-40 min of walking/riding the bus.
First, let me say that my kids have been driven to school when they were young, so I understand that it may be the only option available. But we carpooled when we could and used school buses or public transit when available, rather than have a single passenger/single vehicle situation.
There may be good reasons to drive a high school student to school. Some posters in this thread have given examples. In the case I referred to, the teenager refused to take the bus and wanted a personal chauffeur and the mom complied, yet she disparaged moms who walked with their younger children to school. She admitted that he was capable of taking the bus and he had no other excuses - no bullying issues etc. - but she didn't want to endure the grief he would bestow if she left him to take the bus. I don't know how she resolved the inconsistency (they were helicopter moms, she was simply supportive of her son's needs).
It seems mean to me to drive a high school student when there is a convenient public transportation option and it isn't necessary for other reasons: conflicting schedules for other activities, safety issues like bullying, or others mentioned above. It's mean to the environment to chug oil and spew noxious exhaust from idling vehicles into the air around schools. It's mean to create an unsafe traffic zone around schools where drivers double park, make U-turns, back up without care and otherwise endanger children. It's mean to foster dependence and physical inactivity. I think that if public transit (including school bussing) is available, then people should be encouraged to use it and high school students have fewer excuses than elementary school students to forego this option. By the time my kids attended high school, I wanted them to be able to manage situations of bullying, drugs and anything else they could face on a bus - since those situations could arise just about anywhere else they go.
When I look at all the cars idling in front of schools - including high schools - I know that every single parent has a justification for driving their kids every day. I wonder though. I wonder because some of these same parents make a big issue about healthy food in the cafeteria, but don't seem to care about the exhaust fumes that the kids on the school playground are breathing. I wonder because the bullying they avoided on the school bus just takes place on the playground and in the hallways and bathrooms and on social networking sites instead. I wonder because any drugs available on the school bus are also going to be offered on the school grounds and in the bathrooms and at the parties my high schoolers attend. I wonder because there is a huge dependence on fossil fuels and maybe there won't be enough left in the future for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren to enjoy being personally chauffeured to school - or heat their homes, for that matter.