Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Civil disobedience in Saratoga Springs 

The proprietor of this blog put up a post a couple of weeks back entitled Let your child walk to school, that generated a rather lively conversation in the comments.

In a similar theme, I present for your consideration the sad fact that riding a bike to school actually constitutes civil disobedience in Saratoga Springs, New York, where the practice has been prohibited.

Seventh-grader Adam Marino is getting a firsthand lesson in civil disobedience.

The 12-year-old and his mother, Janette Kaddo Marino, are defying Saratoga Springs school policy by biking to Maple Avenue Middle School on Route 9. The Jackson Street residents pedal more than four miles together each way to the middle school on nice days despite being told not to by school officials and police.

"I guess you can say that we continue to do what we feel is our right," Kaddo Marino said recently. "We feel strongly we have a right to get to school by a mode of transportation we deem appropriate."

The biking debate started last spring, when school district officials told Kaddo Marino that Adam was violating school rules by biking to class. Walking to the school also is not permitted.

Kaddo Marino challenged the policy and asked the school board to change it. The district charged a committee to review the rule, which was instituted in 1994.

At the start of school in September, Kaddo Marino thought that she had a nonverbal agreement with school officials to allow her son to ride his bike until a new policy was resolved. But on the night before classes started, school authorities called parents to say that walking and biking to school would not be tolerated.

When the pair stuck with their plan, they were met by school administrators and a state trooper, who emphasized that biking was prohibited, Kaddo Marino said.
There was no mention whether dogs or fire hoses were employed.

Maybe the next leg of the civil rights movement will be reclaiming normal life from the nanny state. Bring on the freedom riders!


By Blogger GreenmanTim, at Wed Sep 30, 03:55:00 PM:

Saratoga Springs, where it is ok to bet on the ponies but not to ride a bicycle to school. Good life lesson there.  

By Anonymous Blacque Jacques Shellacque, at Wed Sep 30, 04:43:00 PM:

The school has no legal responsibility over what occurs on Route 9, she added.

Then for God's sake, leave the kids alone to decide along with their parents on how they'll get to school.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Sep 30, 05:34:00 PM:

We really need to start setting up guillotines in our towns.

Just kidding, really; I'm squeamish as heck about blood. But these idiot rulers of ours are getting way out of hand.

OT, but you folks have to check this out. Obama, the Manchurian candidate (except he's not a Commie-- it's worse!).  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Wed Sep 30, 06:27:00 PM:

How overbearingly stupid can such micromanaging school officials get? I started walking two miles to school in third grade. In 7th grade I biked, which entailed going part of the way on a wood path, parking the bike in the woods and walking 100-200 yards through the woods to the school.

I guess I could have gotten a lock for the bike and ridden on an asphalt road all the way to school, but it was more fun going through the woods.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Sep 30, 07:56:00 PM:


What does fun have to do with anything? This is about forming the character of the still maturing citizens of this country to knuckle under to the Authorities, no matter what guise they assume this week.

Rules for everything, and you best learn to submit now, or there will be trouble later, buster. This kid is in for a world of hurt, he'a already made the list.

Only approved "non-conformity" will be allowed; the clues will be in what the cultural leadership deems is appropriate "rebellion", or "dissent".

"Everthing not forbidden is mandatory!"

How did we ever come to such a pass? What has happened to America? What a bunch of sheeple we are. It's depressing beyond belief. And no fun, either. The kid still has to wear one of those ninny helmets. I've biked thousands of miles in my life and NEVER worn a bicycle helmet. I guess that makes me a trouble maker, huh?


By Blogger joated, at Wed Sep 30, 08:47:00 PM:

Okay, understood the US 9 is a busy road. Still, if Mom and Dad are okay with his making the trip, a four mile bike ride to school when the weather is good would go a long way to keeping this young man physically fit.

As long as he does not get on the school bus, or get into a fight while at the school's designated waiting area, where does the school get the right to say students can't bike or even walk to school? If the area to and from the school is that unsafe, perhaps they should tear the building down.  

By Blogger Country Squire, at Wed Sep 30, 10:16:00 PM:

This young man is truly getting an education. He is being allowed to ride his bike to school supervised by a parent, he is getting some exercise and he is getting an up close and personal view of how his rights can be trampled by a bunch of over reaching school administrators. I almost said he was getting a lesson in civil disobedience but that’s hard to do when you're busy laughing at these morons.

God save us all from these small minds!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Oct 01, 01:17:00 PM:

O.K.....I'm not a lawyer, but I used to be a cop. If it is otherwise not unlawful for them to ride their bikes along the highway, what was the Trooper doing there? And while I can accept the fact that the school can control whether or not a bike comes on school property, I cannot believe that the law allows them to control the actual mode of legal transportation used to convey the child to school, especially when under the direct supervision of a parent. Would they prohibit an Amish child from coming to school in a buckboard?  

By Anonymous Brian Schmidt, at Thu Oct 01, 06:41:00 PM:

You can see Highway 9 on Streetview in Google Maps. It's got a wide, paved shoulder. Looks pretty good to me for bikes.  

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