The instant we both don’t have to work and can pull our kids out of public schools you can bet we are going to do just that.
Anna Engelsone of Rockville said she didn’t think twice about starting to send her 10-year-old daughter, Liz, to school on a Ride On bus this school year.
When her daughter’s principal told her Montgomery County Public Schools was contacting Child Protective Services, she was shocked.
“As a parent, when someone says they are even considering that, it makes you feel threatened and defensive,” Engelsone said.
But the school never followed up with Engelsone, and now she wants other parents to know her story.
She posted it on Free-Range Kids, a blog that advocates for parents to let children to be trusted to have personal responsibilities. Greater Greater Washington, a local blog, picked the story up.
Not every 10-year-old is fit to ride a public bus alone, Engelsone said in an interview, but that is up to the child’s parents to decide. Liz, a fifth-grade student at Garrett Park Elementary School, is mature enough to handle it, she said, and she is doing fine.
In her posting, Engelsone includes emails she claims came from Garrett Park principal Elaine Chang-Baxter that detail how the school system wanted CPS to investigate, not to determine neglect, but to confirm the appropriateness of Engelsone’s decision.
“I didn’t need CPS to tell me what was safe and what wasn’t,” Engelsone said in the interview. “I imagine they have much better things to do with their time than advising parents with mundane decisions.”
Engelsone said her family moved from inside the Garrett Park service area to just outside this summer. She continued to send Liz to the school, which is now about 3 miles from where she lives, because she likes the school, she said.
Once her transfer application went through, she received a call from Chang-Baxter saying MCPS wanted the principal to call CPS, Engelsone said.
Gazette.Net: Rockville 10-year-old’s Ride On route to school raises questions.