Is this in effect at all of the schools in Charlottesville or Albemarle or just Crozet?
From the New York Times (and I know I’m pushing Fair Use, but this is important):
Certain realities also shape these procedures, such as the schedules of working parents, unsafe neighborhoods and school transportation cuts.
But when these constraints are mixed with anxiety over transferring children from the private world of family to the public world of school, the new normal can look increasingly baroque. Now, in some suburbs, parents and children sit in their cars at the end of driveways, waiting for the bus. Some school buses now have been fitted with surveillance cameras, watching for beatings and bullying.
Children are driven to schools two blocks away. At some schools, parents drive up with their children’s names displayed on their dashboards, a school official radios to the building, and each child is escorted out.
When to detach the parental leash? The trip to and from school has become emblematic of the conflict parents feel between teaching children autonomy and keeping them safe. In parenting blogs and books, the school-bus stop itself is shorthand for the turmoil of contemporary parents over when to relinquish control.
Parents’ worst nightmares were inflamed recently by the re-emergence of Jaycee Dugard, the 11-year-old girl who was kidnapped on her way to the school bus 18 years ago in northern California.
The fear of abduction by strangers “has become a norm within middle-class parental circles,” said Paula S. Fass, a history professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of “Kidnapped: Child Abduction in America.” “We try to control our fears to the nth degree, so we drop our children off right at school. It’s a confirmation that ‘I’m a good parent.’ ”
In 1969, 41 percent of children either walked or biked to school; by 2001, only 13 percent still did, according to data from the National Household Travel Survey. In many low-income neighborhoods, children have no choice but to walk. During the same period, children either being driven or driving themselves to school rose to 55 percent from 20 percent. Experts say the transition has not only contributed to the rise in pollution, traffic congestion and childhood obesity, but has also hampered children’s ability to navigate the world.
Update 18 September 2009: WCAV did a nice story, with my daughter’s television debut!