Down with the School Run
Posted on: 15 February 2011 by Alexander Hay
Are your children really so vulnerable that they can't just walk to school?
The School Run of course.
Now, let's see it from the parents' perspective. They live in perpetual fear as, at any moment, their precious little snowflakes may be rent limb from limb, ravished, set on fire, run over and possibly happy slapped if they were to walk to school on their own.
These are perfectly rational and sane fears and do not in any way constitute paranoia or an unhealthy relationship with youth and risk. Oh no, it's for their own good... Such thinking makes the streets of Surbiton sound like Harry Harrison's Deathworld, but in reality your children aren't probably going to die. (Honest.)
For the odds of anything tragic befalling one's children are actually pretty small. A child has around 0.05% chance of dying or being seriously injured in a road accident per year. As in, it will take on average 200 years for every child in the UK to meet gory ends under the wheels of a speeding SUV. You'd hope they'd have moved out by then.
Murder? Well, every person is due to be brutally murdered once every 100,000 years or so, which might a bit high, but we're all due at least one mugging every 250 or so years and some general aggro every 31.25 years, so on balance it all evens out.
In other words, your child's main fear of walking to school is getting wet - almost 36% of days in the UK end not in bloodshed but umbrellas, which do rather a good job in keeping them dry.
Compare and contrast to the heavy traffic, environmental damage and how being car-bound and sedentary makes children unfit and you have yet another example of an overreaction doing more harm than the perceived threat. Won't someone think of the children?