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A divorced father from Canada was reported to authorities for letting his young children commute alone.
Adrian Crook started teaching his kids to commute to school in 2015. Eventually, he let the children, currently aged 7 to 11, commute by themselves. He uses a GPS tracker to monitor their location and ensure their safety.
Crook said that he wants to teach his children independence and practicality at an early age. He claimed that in the last two years, his kids never got into trouble while commuting on their own.
However, an anonymous commuter who saw the kids without an adult reported the situation to the Ministry of Children and Family Development. The ministry investigated the situation. After interviewing the children, the ministry decided to prohibit Crook from letting his children commute without supervision. They warned that if he continues to do so, he might lose custody of them.
The decision surprised Crook because he previously consulted a transit operator about his plans. The operator told him that there is no minimum age for kids to ride the bus on their own. Crook shared his experience through his blog, where he also asked for financial help to take his case to court.
Some parents who commented on his blog agreed with Crook’s sentiments. One parent even said that authorities also scolded her for allowing her child to play a few blocks away from home. One called the ministry’s decision absurd, saying that he also used to commute alone at a young age.
Another critic warned that overprotective parenting, which is becoming more common in recent years, can pose harm on children.