Or “Let them walk to school” as Marie Antoinette might have said had she thought to worry about how her peasants educated their children. Recently however in many countries the idea that schoolchildren should walk to school on their own has become controversial. Fortunately many of these schools have also stopped teaching the works of dead white males like William Shakespeare so pupils at them are spared the dangers of encountering these lines:

Then the whining School-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.

And of course it isn’t just limited to letting the little darlings walk to the school. Cycling, taking the train (or public bus) is equally frowned upon by the officious jobsworths of Child Welfare Agencies and the like. Parents have been fined, threatened with having their children taken away and more for doing things today that were standard practice when they were growing up 30ish years ago.

Of course not all nations are this stupid. In Japan millions of school children make their way to school, then to various after school activities and then back home by foot, bike, or public transport every day. In my experience the very youngest – kindergarteners and first graders – tend to be accompanied, especially at the start of the school year, but all the rest get the freedom to make their own way to school and eventually back home again in the evening. None of them get kidnapped, killed, raped, injured or suffer any other indignity. I’m sure some of them do silly, potentially dangerous things – in fact from personal observation I can confirm that little Japanese boys will poke at frogs in rice paddies and hit each other with sticks – but they very rarely come to harm. In fact the times when bad things do happen are so rare they tend to be front page news. And although some parts of the UK are full of idiot bansturbators who want to stop children making their own way to school in other areas of the UK children still walk to school on their own. In fact in the UK, for a variety of reasons, recently various schools are fining parents if they drive their children to school.

Given that there are documented benefits for children from exercise and every third day it seems someone weebles on about “the obesity crisis”, you would think that a sane educational establishment would recommend that children use their own legs to get them to school as much as possible. The fact that many parts of our various wonderful governments seem to make the easiest and simplest way to force children to exercise as difficult as possible is just another reason why sensible people are suspicious of government and the theory that it knows best