South Jordan mom cited for neglect for allowing child to walk to school

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  • DAGS Murray, UT
    Dec. 20, 2010 4:19 p.m.

    Hey, It's Me - I can't remember where I read it, but he did talk to the driver who said they had been following the kiddo for 30 minutes because they were worried about him being alone. I'm sure the officer checked it out thoroughly. (I would hope).

    Hopefully, the mother at least sends a cell phone or walkie-talkie with the kiddo so she can keep track of him. This whole story just makes me sad.

  • Hey It's Me Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 20, 2010 11:22 a.m.

    First of all when I was in kindergarten back in the early 60's I walked 9/10th of a mile to and from school. BUT HERE IS WHAT IS BOTHERING ME the police officer said he saw a van driving slowly behind the boy and that's why he stopped and picked up the boy. If he thought the van was suspicious WHY DIDN'T HE PULL THE VAN OVER AND QUESTSION THE DRIVER? It could be that a perp is still on the loose because the police officer had to make his opinion (point) known to the mom!

  • kygirl Philpot, KY
    Dec. 18, 2010 10:32 p.m.

    Wow...I was totally shocked about many aspects of this story. First, I cant believe how drastically the school system could cut a basic service such as transportation!! Second, I have never seen a five year old child walk alone to school....perhaps we are more overprotective in KY, but I wouldnt let a child that age out of my sight alone! I am a social worker and see everyday the horrible things that could happen to children. Also, I am a single, working mother and manage to get my son, who is involved in sports and orchestra, where he needs to be. I even regularly take home some of his friends from practices when their parents work or have no transportation. I would never want to see one of his friends walking a long distance by themselves in the cold of winter. Im sorry, but I think this mom is just too inconvenienced to be bothered getting her ownself out of the house to pick up her child! Also, why is this child's father not helping out with transportation arrangements? We are giving mom all the blame, but he is just as repsonsible!

  • ProudUtahn St. George, Utah
    Dec. 17, 2010 6:27 p.m.

    keep politics out of this. some 5 year olds are more responsible than 13 year olds. it is all in how they are taught. sounds to me like this mother is on the right track in teaching her children to be responsible. with 2700 w so dangerous then bus the students to a safe point past and let them walk from there and extend the one mile from the stop not the school. that could save on bus routes.

  • Idaho dude Meridian, ID
    Dec. 17, 2010 2:12 p.m.

    I laugh everytime I see a comment that says something to the effect of "I walked a long way to school as a elementary student and nothing ever happened to me, or my friends", given as some kind of proof of safety.

    You maybe were safe, but how many countless number of kids have been raped, beaten, or killed because they were such easy targets for predators? Just because nothing happened to you doesn't make it a good idea, or an example to be followed.

    Simple fact is the child is at risk for harm based upon these actions. I wouldn't let my 6 yr. old walk that far by himself, and even if you think it's safe, how many abducted kids parents thought the same thing...

  • voluntaryist Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 17, 2010 1:14 p.m.

    Buy everyone a tax funded bus, with a tax funded driver. But make sure it runs on natural gas!

  • Mom of 2 Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 17, 2010 12:52 p.m.

    If this mother absolutely cannot walk/drive her child to school, that's one thing. In this case, however, she WILL NOT take him. She can...but she won't. And that's the problem I have with this whole thing.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Dec. 17, 2010 12:39 p.m.


    What was your point again?

  • Hugsnkisses Logan, UT
    Dec. 17, 2010 5:38 a.m.

    I have not read all the comment but I feel I should chime in.

    First of all, the majority of kids that are abducted are abducted by people they know. A person has a better chance of being struck by lightning than for a child to be kidnapped by a stranger.

    Second, crime has gone down to 1970 levels. It was more dangerous growing up during the 80's than it is now.

    Peoples perception of crime is skewed due to the media's portrayal of it. Law & Order and other such crime shows cause people to think the world is a more dangerous place than it is. The news only focuses on negative stories because that is what boosts its ratings.

    You can look up the numbers at the Department of Justice Website.

  • Sarah B Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 17, 2010 4:19 a.m.

    typical lazy mother. I see it all the time. They think nothing bad can ever happen in "Zion." There is nothing more important this mother could be doing with her time than seeing that her very young son travels to and from school in the safest manner possible. I'm sorry she has to deal with a cp child, but lots of moms have to deal with really tough situations to get their kids to school safely, and do it everyday.

  • jcmom Sandy, UT
    Dec. 17, 2010 12:20 a.m.

    Yes, but in Europe they do things this way, and in Colorado they let them run across 6 lanes of traffic, no problem. And according to practically every post from out of state their children walk 2 miles uphill, in the snow, each way!

    But in South Jordan, on this particular day, at this particular time, a trained police officer made the determination that this child was placed in a dangerous situation by his own mother.

    I trust the police officer who was on the scene and had all the facts in front of them. Let the mother explain it to the judge. Maybe she'll get some kind of medal for mother of the year!

  • DeeDee1 Smithfield, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 11:10 p.m.

    In Europe all children walk to school and back or ride their bikes. Yes, 6 year olds on a bike to school. There are no crossing guards and no buses with stop signs. Children are taught to use the traffic lights, all have a walk button and it stops traffic for them to cross safely, at least as safely as a crossing guard tries to do here. There are no more accidents recorded with buses or crossing the roads as there are here. Just less tax money spend on crossing guards and safety measures that don't seem to make a difference if children are taught safety well. There are little traffic "Play grounds" that parents use to teach their children safety before letting them out on the big roads. It works for Europeans, I am sure the children here are just as smart.

  • mecr Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:45 p.m.

    I honestly don't understand she says she can't walk him to school but the citation won't let her be a scout mother? I guess she does have the time for that? and she did mention she could drive the kid...

    Yes, we all walked to school but that was 20-30 years ago! we are talking about 2700 W, a way busy street. Not mentioning criminality which is way higher than 20-30 years ago. Time's changed, unfortunately, and as parents, we have to make a lot of sacrifices, therefore, just drive the kid and get over it. 5 years old can't defend by himself. Carpool, groups, there are options. And as somebody said, where are the other student's parents? they can't give the kid a ride?

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:11 p.m.

    If we stopped giving the rich massive tax breaks we could probably afford to pay for crossing guards

  • baseballmamma Alpine, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 8:59 p.m.

    this mom told the tv news yesterday people have offered rides but she feels like her kids need the exercise instead. that is mindboggling. at the very least she needs parenting classes.

  • OakA27 Provo, Utah
    Dec. 16, 2010 8:47 p.m.

    Hey Lyle, the police are not out of control. The police are looking out for this kids safety. Are you trying to tell me that his safety is less important than knowing the situation. Here are the facts plain and simple, his mom is being irresponsable by letting her 5 YEAR OLD SON walk to school by himself! The boy is 5. I know it's 'happy valley' here but have you ever heard of common sense? The boys safety is at stake everyday he goes to school; now more than ever now that his mom published his walking route, name, school, etc. Let's focus on the important thing shall we?

  • OakA27 Provo, Utah
    Dec. 16, 2010 8:40 p.m.

    I agree with Adam too! You can't pretend some creep isn't out there. Isn't it worth a small part of your time to take you son to school instead of wishing you had when he is gone? It isn't just the creeps, he might know how to cross a street but there are horrible drivers out there. Teenagers drive through my neighbor hood with a complete disregard for the people around them. What about drunk drivers? Why do you trust someone behind the wheel of a car around your children if you have a say in it? seems like bad parenting and that needs to be fixed for the childs safety. his safety is number one here.

  • towlboy27 Provo, Utah
    Dec. 16, 2010 8:29 p.m.

    I can't believe this story.. the boy is 5 and his brother is 8 and they walk to school by themselves. when i was in middle school my mom drove me to school. what are the boys gaining from this? they don't need any exercise they are young boys who I am sure are running around constantly. Why would you put your child in that kind of danger? I know I would never put my child in that kind of danger ever.

  • msliberty Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 7:54 p.m.

    I agree with "Adam"! Where in the world are these little guy's neighbors? NOBODY should have to go alone! Do we not live in neighborhoods?! Can we not look out for one another? Come on "neighbors"! Get with the program!!!!

  • Floyd Johnson Broken Arrow, OK
    Dec. 16, 2010 7:34 p.m.

    With these standards, I wonder if my parents would still be incarcerated for the things I was allowed to do alone 30 years ago....

    With decent weather, my seven-year-old rides his bike to school (sidewalks and crossing guard) unsupervised. No chance my four-year-old would be on her own. What is the appropriate age to start? Depending on the location, somewhere in between.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 7:16 p.m.

    Fight the citation in court!

    Ask the school board if those 6 figure salaries in the school board administration are more important than safety of the actual attendees of schools.

    Ask your neighbors NOT TO ELECT the same local officials (BOTH SO. Jordan city and JSD officials who CAUSED THIS MESS!

    This fight SHOULD have been between So. Jordan City and JSD, the victim in this case is the mom caught in the middle of THESE TWO entities' incompetence!

  • catfulloffun Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 6:48 p.m.

    The police don't have BETTER things to do than harass a single mother with six kids?

  • Lyle Springville, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 6:37 p.m.

    To cite the mom and *fingerprint* her for letting her kid walk to school indicates to me that the police force is out of control. It is infuriating to see such interference with and intrusion into this family's life by somebody who does not know them, does not understand the situation, and who thinks the child belongs to the City of South Jordan and not the mother.

    And the school district considers a route "hazardous" if there are no sidewalks? Such a pathetic excuse. They should see some of the rural bus routes my friends rode.

    Fingerprinted! If I lived in South Jordan I would raise such a stink.

  • DAGS Murray, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 6:36 p.m.

    If had a couple of little buddies with him, I think it would be a completely different situation. Even though we only live two streets from the school, I still encourage my kids to use the buddy system.

    And the fact that the mom has refused help from her neighbors infuriates me. To use her son as a political pawn is irresponsible.

    It's also worrisome that every unsavory character that reads this paper now knows the boy's name, age, parent's name and the route he walks to school. What was the mother thinking when she let this be published?

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    Dec. 16, 2010 6:33 p.m.

    I've read that statistics for child abduction have not risen at all in the past 40 years since I was a grade schooler (and walked to and from school by myself), but what has changed is people's perceptions of the danger. Also, what has changed is obesity rates; due to parents driving kids to their every destination.

  • Lindsay Payson, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 6:17 p.m.

    While we're at it lets give the kid chemo because he might develop cancer while walking home from school. Because we parents in Utah obviously are incapable of making decisions, correct or otherwise, for our children without government agencies getting involved.

  • Gunner South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 6:13 p.m.

    We are dealing with the same thing here also in So. Jordan only at a different school. We are not in a subdivision, and if our kids want to get to a sidewalk, they need to cross a busy 2200 West with high school kids coming too and from Bingham High school. If they don't cross the road, they need to walk 1/4 mile to get to a crosswalk on the shoulder of this very busy road. So. Jordan could put a sidewalk in here very easily. But they won't pony up the tax dollars to do it! Not like they don't charge enough to make up for it. If it keeps a little kid from getting hit by a car, I'd gladly pay an extra $10 a year in taxes. It's called being too concerned with having a great "Country Fest" in July. You pick, a dead child or an extra carousel at your town days?

  • Y Ask Y West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 5:43 p.m.

    Grampa R,

    Do you know what a wheelchair is for?

    Use it!

    Do you know what walking your kids to school might look like?

    Try it!

  • pharmacist South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 5:39 p.m.

    I know it was awhole different world back then, but I walked home kindergarten by myself back in 1955. It must have been maybe half a mile.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Dec. 16, 2010 5:40 p.m.

    Keep reading comments about 5 being too young -- usually regarding abduction and/or safe crossing. Regarding the former -- 10 is probably too young to fend off an adult trying to abduct you. In fact adults get assaulted, too. It's just not a valid argument.

    As to the latter, absolutely children younger than 5 can be taught to cross streets safely. The fact he's "reminded" by his teacher to wear the neon orange indicates being taught.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Dec. 16, 2010 5:39 p.m.

    My issue was that our kids could exit our back gate and walk less than a half mile to their elementary school. It involved three houses down crossing Smoky Hill Road (3 lanes each direction, 45 mph) here at an uncontrolled intersection. Thought it was (still do) wasteful to collect our neighborhoods children 5 houses up the street in the opposite direction to take a bus there. All we needed was volunteer parents as crossing guards. Instead, we have parents "driving" to the bus stop and 50+ kids who could easily walk together to school getting fresh air and exercise, and being self sufficient instead coddled.

    Our 4 kids walked K-7 to that school -- faster, outside less time, could run later than the bus time, could get to friends houses after school/then home... Middle school and high school were approx 1 mile... seminary/church 1/2 the mile... they walked/rode bikes/jogged...

    Kudos to this mother! Hope the charges are dismissed.

  • southjordankc Riverton, Ut
    Dec. 16, 2010 5:34 p.m.

    I have a child that attends Monte Vista and I am somewhat familiar with this situation. I know for a fact that parents have offered to drive this little boy home from kindergarten and neighbors have offered to car pool as well. However the mother won't allow anyone to drive him because she is trying to make a point to the district about safety and busing issues. I do agree that the busing situation is frustrating, but at what point does her sons safety take precedence over her issues with the district.

    To ASSUME that neighbors, parents, and those in the community are not stepping up trying to help or are not concerned about his safety is a gross misunderstanding of the situation.

    Regardless of what the district does or doesn't do.....we have an obligation to keep our own children safe!

  • jcmom Sandy, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 5:31 p.m.

    A 5 year old DOES NOT have a good enough sense of timing to cross this dangerous road 2 times a day by himself. It is not a pedophile that is the danger for this child, it is the traffic!

    Are there not enough auto pedestrian accidents already that we have to entice another?

  • Macaw Herriman, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 5:19 p.m.

    My children also were under the 1 mile limit for a school bus when I lived in West Jordan. It was a very dangerous route and my children would have had to cross 90th South along 2700 West. Our neighborhood fought for a bus but with no luck. Luckily we were able to do carpools to get our children to school safely. Doesn't this woman have some neighbors who could help her out? I don't think it hurts to have children walk a mile to school but 5 is a little young for such a long distance.

  • Grampa R South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 5:17 p.m.

    I am on the moms side 100% on this. I also have a child that goes to this same school. Jordan school district told us last Aug. that my boy would no longer be bussed, but was to walk since we are only a little less than a mile. My son is a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair. We also informed the school distric about the no sidewalk and heavy traffic. He would have to wheel down the street durning the snow seasons. Made no difference to the distric UNTIL we threatened to hire a lawer. Then the agreeded to bus him again this year. (He has been bussed since kindergarten.)My boy is 9 years old and in 4th grade.
    Yes I side with the mother.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 16, 2010 5:11 p.m.

    This child came from his mothers body--therefore it's her choice to have him walk home from school.

  • PP Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 5:04 p.m.

    If the city takes one cent for taxes to bus kids then it needs to bus all the kids. Period. Anything else is the government discriminating against taxpayers.

    I think a better solution would be to add up all the children that want or need to be bussed and divide the cost among all of them. Make it part of the cost associated with school. Any taxes used should be for needy families that honestly cant afford the fee. The cost would probably be half what the school district pays for bussing.

    Why do we always cry when our "free" services are taken away. Are we going to riot like they are doing in England and Greece?

  • Hi Huntington Beach, CA
    Dec. 16, 2010 4:56 p.m.

    I am so tired of government or other people telling parents how and what to do with their children. The child was taught by good parents and should be allowed to grow up and go to and from school by himself. I grew up walking to and from school and church by myself and there shouldn't be any problem. The problem we have now is that kids aren't allowed to grow up and depend on themselves. Obviously the parents have taught him to be careful and given him rules. You teach correct principles and let them govern themselves. It still applies today.

  • Chachi Charlottesville, VA
    Dec. 16, 2010 4:54 p.m.

    The real problem here is to be found in the urban planning. We insist on zoning our subdivisions for residential use and nothing else, and the result is that we have to drive in order to get to everything: shopping, school, and work.

    Because we drive so much and our trips on average are so long, we require an enormous amount of road infrastructure, taking up even more land and making the sprawl even worse.

    The victims are nondrivers: people like 5-year-old Noah who have to walk in an environment designed so exclusively for the automobile that there aren't even sidewalks along his route. Let's get back to designing towns for humans, not sprawl for cars. Daybreak is a good example of a step in the right direction.

  • Y Ask Y West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 4:38 p.m.

    This woman needs to walk her child to school. Bring the younger sibling and the disabled sibling along. It will be healthy for all of them.

  • MajMarine Providence, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 4:40 p.m.

    kishkumen | 4:05 p.m. Dec. 16, 2010
    American Fork, UT

    How was she "correctly cited for neglect"?

    How does a police officer determine what "neglect" is? Why don't they cite all the parents of the kids that smoke? After all, isn't that bad for their health? More people die from smoking than from walking home from school and being abducted (no, I have no studies to back up that claim; I'm just shooting from the hip, but I'm pretty sure it's true). Isn't it a form of child endangerment to let your child smoke? If a police officer sees a middle-school kid smoking, should he/she pick up the child, take him home, and cite the parent for neglect? How about citing the parents of kids that use drugs? Drink? Speed?

  • Charles History Tooele, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 4:38 p.m.

    Our state, is filled with uncaring conservatives who want to pas the buck and point fingers at everyone else.

    I do not know the right answer but our state put this mother in this situation.

    Butters said that we should get rid of the buses because parents should be responsible for the transportation of their students. Some do not have that ability, so either pay the tax money or leave her alone and our society will pay the consequences, (child kidnapping, a dead child, or a ignorant child because they do not go to school.

    We put that mom in that situation, all of us, for electing our politicians!

    We reap our rewards.

    Why do the Utah Conservatives want to hurt the children of Utah? Why do we need to slash the budgets and have the largest class sizes and so on?

    These are questions that we need to ask ourselves.

    This mom was put in a unwinnable situation but many families are put into these same situations and it does not get noticed. From health care to education to providing food for our children. But the Utah conservative will say tough, deal with it!

  • Lucy Phoenix, AZ
    Dec. 16, 2010 4:28 p.m.

    The police officer was out of line! Granted...I would not have let a kdg child walk a mile and a half to school, but that's just me. I'm not, however, telling another parent what to do. Cited for neglect. Give me a break.

  • Chickenchaser Centralia, WA
    Dec. 16, 2010 4:23 p.m.

    Merry Christmas scrooge with the badge. What cops and schools are doing today in the name of what we feed into nutcrackers I say we are going to do the dogs.
    And picked up off the street? Sure it could happen, but you can be taken right out of your bedroom, and there is much evidence to support that claim.

    And while scrooge is scouring the streets for the innocents his family could be in jeopardy. Perhaps we should stay in bed 24/7.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 4:18 p.m.

    What the police officer did in this case was the right thing to do. Why doesn't South Jordan City create some special assessment areas and get those darn sidewalks built? The City is being negligent by not putting in the sidewalks and is ignoring the Americans with Disabilities Act. Utah Law allows for the creation of special districts just for this type of sidewalk work. No excuses.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Dec. 16, 2010 4:14 p.m.

    If she could ride bikes with him for 2 weeks why can she not for the rest of the year.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 4:05 p.m.

    The mother tried to get the school to bus him.
    The mother went to the school board.
    The mother makes sure he has someone to go with in the morning.
    The mother makes sure he has a clearly visible jacket.
    The mother contacted the boys teacher & has her on speed dial.

    This is the unintended consequence of people trying to 'cut the deficit'. The school can't afford buses, the boy walks.

    The mother has 5 other children, has taken this action and some say she is a bad mother.

    I disagree.

  • kishkumen American Fork, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 4:05 p.m.

    Why is this a news story? The mother was correctly cited for neglect. It sounds like she had more kids than she is capable of taking care of. But hindsight is 20/20 so she will now just need to suck it up and provide the care each of her kids need. Seriously, why would that ever be OK to allow your pre-school kid or kindergarten kid to walk to school alone?

  • Sarah Nichole West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 3:52 p.m.

    She was given a citation because it was the second time in a year that the police had to intervene on the child's behalf. The first warning should have been sufficient, but it wasn't.

    The article states that the mother was able to drive her son, but would rather not.

    There are more than a dozen registered sex offenders along his route to school.

    He was walking alone, later than the other kids. Nobody else was walking to school at that time.

    A van was following him for half an hour, and the officer noticed and stepped in before something bad could happen to him.

    It wasn't the first time it'd happened. The first time, he was in preschool.

    The mother deserved her citation.

  • Northern Logan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 3:31 p.m.

    "I thought Utah was overrun with "get the government out of my life" conservatives. How is it that so many of you are perfectly happy with government telling a responsible, law-abiding mother how to raise her children?"

    Agreed Agreed Agreed.

    It may or may not be a smart thing for her to do, NONE of us know since we are not there. But the government needs to stop legislating good ideas and common sense.

    Again people; inch by inch you ability to make decisions for yourselves is being siphoned away.


  • Curt Conklin Provo, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 3:05 p.m.

    This is Republicanism Utah at its very worst. Utah Taxpayer's Assn should be proud.

  • focus South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 2:59 p.m.

    This story really hits home for me because I too am a South Jordan mother of six who lets her kindergartener walk to school by himself. (He walks home with his older brothers.)

    I live in a different part of South Jordan, with sidewalks and only one block from the school. However, it scares me to think that there are people in authority, patrolling my streets, that could give me the same citation, or worse. This kind of police-state is not good.

    I firmly stand by my decision to let my kindergartener walk to school by himself. He is getting exercise and feels proud to show responsibility. I even believe it is good for my children to experience a little adverse weather on their daily commute.

    Clearly this mother has put much thought into her choices. It's just awful what she and her children have gone through.

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Dec. 16, 2010 2:47 p.m.

    The mother needs to wake up. I'd suggest she do an internet search for the number of previously convicted child predators who live just a few blocks along the path of her 5 year old child walking all by himself! Perhaps that will knock some sense into her.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    Dec. 16, 2010 2:45 p.m.

    I'm glad the police got involved. Somebody needs to talk some sense into this mother who thinks she has done all she can.

  • cynic Appleton, WI
    Dec. 16, 2010 2:27 p.m.

    I thought Utah was overrun with "get the government out of my life" conservatives. How is it that so many of you are perfectly happy with government telling a responsible, law-abiding mother how to raise her children?

    I walked to school every day of kindergarten, as did all of my friends. Nobody's parents ever got arrested for child neglect.

    Parents have a duty to provide food, clothing and shelter for their children. If a child suffers because of a parent's inattention to these duties, that is neglect. The irony here is that the mother didn't cause the child to suffer at all. The police officer's ridiculous intervention is the only thing that caused suffering.

  • sjgf South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 2:00 p.m.

    I am absolutely appalled at the actions of this South Jordan police officer.

    Since when do police officers and other "public servants" have the right to tell a parent that their way of raising a family isn't appropriate?

    When I read stories like this, I feel like I live in the USSR under Stalin, with the state totally out of control in the way it wants to shut down our freedoms and control every aspect of our lives.

    Come on, South Jordan, tell your henchmen/women to let people live their lives in freedom!

    (I've had a few personal experiences with the police force in South Jordan citing people for things that the police officer didn't understand, was totally unaware of the laws involved, yet he had to personally insist that his own "common sense" was the law. I won't go into details here, but seeing it happen in this story tells me this is not an isolated instance of police abusing power.)

  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 1:41 p.m.

    To all of you who walked alone when you were a kid:

    Haven't traffic patterns changed for the worse since you were a kid. Even in my small town, I see TONS more traffic than even when my children were younger...not that long ago.

    The world, not just the traffic, has changed a lot, even since the 1980's and 1990's.

    I don't think this is a fair comparison.

    Also, I agree with some above posters. This mother has taken quite an extreme stance to protest against the school district...using her child as a pawn.

    My opinion only...You are welcome to yours, also.

  • Glenn L Nauvoo, IL
    Dec. 16, 2010 1:29 p.m.

    I agree with vibert -- I live in Nauvoo where the police don't have enough to do so they watch for minor parking violations to fulfill their need to make a difference. It seems like that's the case here as well. Obviously the system is failing this family, and the mother and her children are doing their due diligence. Why is everyone else failing?

  • Rufio Saratoga, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 1:26 p.m.

    Have to ask - why is a five year old going to school when the mother has this much going on - does she have the option to teach her child things at home this year and have him start next year with his sibling to walk both ways with him?

  • yankees27 Heber, Utah
    Dec. 16, 2010 1:16 p.m.

    This mother clearly educated her child on the route and even took the extra step to dress him in high visibility clothing. Kids are amazing creatures! If you teach and train them, they will do what is taught. Too many parents are overprotective now days! Let the kid walk. If his mother is ok with it, why should any of us judge what she feels comfortable with? I'll bet all of the naysayers on here have plenty of demons in their closets, but no one is doing a story on them.

  • California Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA
    Dec. 16, 2010 1:11 p.m.

    I feel sorry for all your children in Utah.

    No independence whatsoever.

    What a NANNY STATE. Our kids walked to and from school from the time they were in kindergarden.

    Seems like California is not as bad as I thougt. No kiddy police here.

  • Soul Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 1:03 p.m.

    Honestly for me, this mother "played politic and gambled with her son's life". She is not telling the whole story. However, one thing is clear, her five year old boy's life was deliberately put at extreme risk of serious injury or death. The officer was correct in his actions, the mother should be cited for negligence.

    She chose an extremely dangerous pathway to address her frustration with the School District not providing transportation (or other school services) for her sons. What an irresponsible mother?

  • EgbertThrockmorton Layton, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 12:57 p.m.

    Having seen firsthand ACTUAL child neglect, I seriously DOUBT this situation rises to that level. I've arrested too many parents (in another state) for abuse and neglect,I've found that in Utah, the taxpayer supported Nannies, have to FIND things to cite people for, rather than do actual police work. Seems a bit of over kill, obviously, there IS more to this story than what has been reported, in fact, I'm betting there are THREE sides to what happened here. Mom's side, the officer's version (and the neighborhood gossip who was most likely the complainant), and what REALLY happened. Only in Utah.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 12:57 p.m.

    K: First off, this child lives in an area of the Salt Lake valley that has yet to get sidewalks. The orange vests are so the cars will see them. This child since he is only kindergarten he should be on a bus but the district doesn't seem to think so.

  • Brocker Sandy, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 12:44 p.m.

    Without knowing everything, I personally wouldn't let my 5 year old child walk to school but I also don't have a child with cerebral palsy, which could be a chore to load in the car twice a day, and I'm not a single mom. We tend to criticize others when we haven't walked in their shoes.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 12:41 p.m.

    It was spectacularly dumb to write the woman a ticket. What happened to the cops you could trust to help around the neighborhood? What happened to those you could depend on to be helpful? What happened to common sense? Couldn't the cop have just helped a little and let it go?

  • OKC UTE Moore, OK
    Dec. 16, 2010 12:34 p.m.

    Really? Citing the mom for this? I remember riding my bike from 100th South down 2700 west to Monte Vista when they took away our bus. And that is alot farther than this boy had to walk. Of course that was late 70s early 80s. But I think that's still a bit much.

  • Alicia Ogden, Utah
    Dec. 16, 2010 12:32 p.m.

    "Talbot has a younger child at home and an older child with cerebral palsy, and while she said she could drive Noah from school, she would rather he walk and walk safely."

    I am sorry, but 5-1/2 is too young for a child to walk a mile alone, crossing 2 main roads with no crossing guards, even wearing an orange coat.

    If the school district doesn't provide safe transportation, I'm sorry, but it's the parent's responsibility to do so. I live 3 blocks from my 6-year-old's elementary school and I don't let her walk alone, ever. A mile is completely out of the question.

    Packing a special needs child and a younger child into a car twice a day, every day, to drop off and pick up other kids to/from school is work and inconvenient, I get that, I really do, but who ever said parenting was easy or convenient?

  • Mom of 2 Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 12:29 p.m.

    I was on her side up till this point:

    "Talbot has a younger child at home and an older child with cerebral palsy, and while she said she could drive Noah from school, she would rather he walk and walk safely."

    If she can drive him, why doesn't she? Because it's not convenient to get everybody loaded up in the car? I understand giving kids their independence. I understand wanting them to get some exercise. But he's FIVE. And he has to cross some busy roads. It's not like he's just walking to the end of his own street.

  • Eskimo kisses Sandy, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 12:10 p.m.

    Re: Charles History

    I did read the article and she does have that option, "and while she said she could drive Noah from school, she would rather he walk and walk safely." She also spent 2 weeks riding her bike with him. She has options.

    I think it is a shame that the school district has taken the bus routes away, that is not acceptable. And I am the first to agree that Butters should not be in office, but votes were counted and unfortunately he is the representive. When the system fails you and your child, that is when it is solely your responsibility to care for your child.

  • Al Giles S. Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 12:11 p.m.

    To Charles History Tooele, UT
    The mother has said that while she was able to pick him up, she'd rather not. I guess you should read the article first. Yes its hard for her. Put your childs safety first and dont rely on everyone else to do it for you. Its not easy being a parent.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 12:02 p.m.

    The fear of child abduction is overblown. Less than 150 children a year in the US are abducted by strangers. Truely those abductions are horrifying, but consider there are over 40 million children in the US which makes the odds of a child being kidnapped by a stanger less than 1 in 300,000.

  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 11:53 a.m.

    And now, here is the info someone with evil intent needs to know: That there is a small child walking home alone, and at approximately what time each day.
    Even what he looks like.

    That worries me a lot.

    (Sorry if this comment already made, I haven't had a chance to read them all yet...)

  • luv2organize Gainesville, VA
    Dec. 16, 2010 11:41 a.m.

    We all could learn a little by reading "Weapons of Mass Instruction" - very relevant to this article and school/society in general.

  • Richie Saint George, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 11:39 a.m.

    Ogdenite, you didn't read the full story. She is married. It sounds like the local Police department, the School Board and the town council are very inept. The only ones that did a good job was the paper for publishing this article.

  • 24brooklyngal Brooklyn, NY
    Dec. 16, 2010 11:29 a.m.

    I grew up on the same street as the Talbots for 15 years and know both the mother and father to be strong, respectable, hard-working, thoughtful parents to six wonderful children. They love their children.

    There were bussing issues when I went to Monte Vista in the early 90s and they pulled our bus route; I walked to and from school alone some days. My mom didn't like it, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do and she took all the necessary precautions, as the Talbot parents have done. I was perfectly fine, as were all of my friends and my neighbors who also walked home alone. I live in Brooklyn, and many, many kids commute home alone on public transportation at the age of 7+.

    She should not have been ticketed! If anything, the policewoman should have started a (serious) conversation with the school about walking hazards and getting a crossing guard, once and for all. I hope it's revoked. I'm sure the policewoman terrified and confused Noah into thinking his parents did something wrong.

    This isn't about bad parenting; this is about under-funded schools.

  • Texas Transplant North Salt Lake, Utah
    Dec. 16, 2010 11:22 a.m.

    Without knowing more, it strikes me as the wrong thing to do to let a young child walk alone to or from school. If the route is sufficiently dangerous to require special clothing, etc., it is sufficiently dangerous to find a way for him to be accompanied by someone of responsible age. Whether a citation should be issued for a first "offense"--I am not sure. But, I do not disagree at all with the officer's effort to keep the child safe or with his conclusion that the mother made the wrong choice. I disagree completely with those who place the fault on the district or on the officer.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 11:13 a.m.

    re: Austin Mom | 7:52 p.m. Dec. 15, 2010 & megen | 8:23 p.m. Dec. 15, 2010

    Couldn't have put it any better myself.

  • Stenar Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 11:12 a.m.

    I always walked a mile to school starting at age 5. There was a neighbor who would offer me rides if she saw me while she was driving her kids to school, but I usually declined because I enjoyed the walk and I thought her kids were lazy for riding to school.

  • Sutton Cedar City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 11:10 a.m.

    I find the comments funny...

    If the headline would have been, "little boy kidnapped on his way to school" I'm sure the comments would be very different... all calling for the mothers head to be on a platter...

  • Walt Nicholes Orem, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 11:05 a.m.

    I am very disturbed by this behavior - both on the part of the police and on the part of the mother.

    My thinking is that we have too much of government telling parents how to raise their children. At the same time, a 5 year old should not be let alone to play outside, let alone walk a mile to school.

    I say, let the mother alone, and when her kid goes missing or gets hurt THEN charge her - and throw the book at her.

  • Charles History Tooele, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 11:02 a.m.

    Re: "Eskimo kisses" 10:40

    She does not have that option, if you don't read do not chime in.

    I do not know the right answer but our state put this mother in this situation.

    Our state, is filled with uncaring conservatives who want to pas the buck and point fingers at everyone else.

    Butters said that we should get rid of the buses because parents should be responsible for the transportation of their students. Some do not have that ability, so either pay the tax money or leave her alone and our society will pay the consequences, (child kidnapping, a dead child, or a ignorant child because they do not go to school.

    We put that mom in that situation, all of us, for electing our politicians!

    We reap our rewards.

  • Eskimo kisses Sandy, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 10:40 a.m.

    In all the preperations this mother did I wonder if she ever checked the sex offenders registry list the state provides. I quickly checked the coordinates of the school, in a 2 mile radius there are 27 registered sex offenders. The boy walks 1.5 miles home from school. Hmmm, I think I'd be driving my young child to school EVERY DAY!

  • jcmom Sandy, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 10:29 a.m.

    About 1993 when I was a school crossing guard for Sandy City police department, the city had us stop the mid-day kindergarten crossings. The reason, it is not safe for a child that young to walk to school unsupervised.


    There are other solutions for this child. Keep looking until you find a safe one.

    The fact that the mother dresses her child in neon orange shows that she knows how dangerous it is.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    Dec. 16, 2010 10:22 a.m.

    If mom is doing all she can and kid is mature, let him walk to school. The vest is a great idea.

    Cuts have to be made. The school is just like anything else.

  • SyracuseCoug Syracuse, ut
    Dec. 16, 2010 10:15 a.m.

    All it takes is one freak driving around in his van and this little boy doens't make it home. He should be walking with other kids or accompanied by an adult. Unacceptable. The kidnapping possiblility of this little boy is a real danger. It's not the 70's anymore when we could all walk home from school safely, way too many freaks and pedophiles out there these days. The child's safety is is priority number #1.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 10:14 a.m.

    If Mom were able to bike with him to show him the right path to take then she should be able to take and retrieve him daily. I would NEVER allow my child to do what he's doing...

  • RN4moms Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 10:07 a.m.

    The point here is that citations should not be issued based on parenting. You may not agree with the mother (based on a tiny bit of the story and your own personal beliefs and budget - time and money), but do you really want the police to cite you when you care for your parents differently they they would. We don't live in an ideal world and not everyone has cars or believes they should be used so much. Judgment here is out of control! I suppose one option is she could home school the child and make sure he was not put in any unsafe situation. Maybe we should all do that - require parents to keep their children safe at home, reduce tax money for schools, buses, sidewalks and police officers citing people for perceived moral violations. Oh, what a utopia (gestapo)!

    Lest I sound callous - I care. It's terrible that we have to put children at risk ever, but we have no laws requiring parents to deliver their children to school by car. Carpools are not that easy to come by considering work schedules, car problems, insurance costs, car seats/other children (space issues). Reality people!

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 10:04 a.m.

    Get a life police officer for giving out citation. Don't know what to say for this mother and for her 5 1/2 yr old boy. Keep on trying and hope something come through for better.

  • RN4moms Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:51 a.m.

    What have we come to? We pride ourselves in having walked to school when we were kids even without sidewalks, hazardous buses and cold weather. We complain that our kids are getting fat; not getting exercise. Now we have more "big brother" interfering in parents' rights to raise their children. This had better be corrected. My daughter had a similar situation with her child. They got DCFS involved and it cost her $3,000 in attorney's fees to get it removed from her "record" as a first offense.

    Get real people!!! It's not a perfect world where everyone has private taxi services to school, preschool and other activities. I'm sorry this child has to walk alone here but this mom's options are limited, like most of us. This officer is obviously on a power trip to write a ticket rather than checking the facts, details and laws.

    Get the government out of our private lives!

  • Vegas Las Vegas, NV
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:49 a.m.

    @Larry - Kidnapping!?! That's a pretty extreme thing to say (not to mention completely inaccurate).

    While I think the officer went a little too far in issuing the citation, I have to agree that letting a 5 1/2 year old walk home from school that far away, without sidewalks for more than half of the journey, and crossing busy streets is going too far. I agree with Testarossa, why doesn't the mom walk with him? Oh yeah, because she's too busy to be bothered enough to get out of the house and care for her child.

    If her child were picked up by a kidnapper instead of the cops then eveyone on here would be crying for her to be thrown in jail for life, but because the article is written pro-mother and anti-police, everyone in praising the neglectful parent and berating the police officer.

  • the_dewk Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:35 a.m.

    I for one applaud the officer's actions! Just think about it for a second- if something had happened to five year old Noah (kidnapping, hit by a car, etc), the mother would be considered by everyone to be negligent! "Lone 5 year old student kidnapped on way home from school" You would all want to know what was the deal with his mother! SO the fact the officer put on a spotlight on the situation *before* anything happened is a good thing people.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:32 a.m.

    Why would someone in their van follow a child for 30 minutes? If you're that concerned, wouldn't you contact police? Perhaps the officer stopped someone from stalking and kidnapping this kid.

    After the officer had stopped and talked to the driver of the van, and talked with the child; and let's say the officer allowed the kid to go on his way, and something happened to him. Then the mother would pursue the police agency, council, the school, etc over the incident.

  • Hap33 Lewisville, Texas
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:30 a.m.

    I feel badly for the mom's situation, but I completely agree with the cop. A 3, 4 or 5 1/2 yr. old should NOT be walking such a long distance alone. A child's safety always comes first. If anything, the mom should get some help watching her other two children at home, and make the daily trek to pick up her son. If anything happened to him, she would never get over it. While I understand her frustration with the bus system, ultimately ,the responsibility for her child lies with her. Every parent needs to be a responsible parent!

  • Sylvester Orem, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:25 a.m.

    Oh, how quick we are to judge. How nice of the police officer to curb such blatant crime and share the Christmas spirit at this time of year; with a family that already apparently has challenges -- like most of us do. Must not have been any speeders in the area -- too bad the cop didn't arrest the child as well -- perhaps the child wasn't walking in a straight line -- probably should have been cited for improper walking. Bad cop! Bad cop! What a blessing it is we don't have real crime to distract the police from such important duties. Perhaps, just maybe, a little compassion and charity toward the mother? Anyone volunteer to assist and drive the child in these challenging times? Oh, the absurdity of it all, what a radical concept -- niceness? No! Legislate what we feel should be proper behavior for everyone else -- yea, yea. Sure glad I don't have any challenges that would cause someone to judge me. Merry Christmas to all, especially our diligent police!

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:24 a.m.

    If parents are expected to drive if less than 1.5 miles than why not all parents? Because it is not about driving it's about walking. I grew up in L.A. and walked to Kindergarten at least a mile and in first grade took the city bus. Than we move to Utah and are told to join a car pool. The high school kids don't wear coats since they demand we pick them up at their own home door and drop off right at the school main door. Utah has many spoiled dependent kids and adults. A single mother of six living in wonderful South Jordan in these tough times, you are an AWESOME mom! My prayers are for you.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:21 a.m.

    Charging the mother with neglect is extreme. A good officer would have offered suggestions or been more understanding. There is usually a solution to any problem if people are willing to think outside the box. How about cutting top administrators salaries instead of bus routes.

  • Larry Willard, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:18 a.m.

    Please read before remarking, Problem is the cops are dictating to much, Picking up the boy and putting him in the car was kid-napping.
    I call the cops and they want to turn the law around at me.
    About the Courts, They are corrupt as well, Money hungry with fines.
    Those we elect into office of public trust are hateful to the citizens, Useless.

  • Testarossa Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:17 a.m.

    I'm a little surprised no one has suggested that the mother walks with him. Seems like it would be great for the whole family to have a healthy walk and some fresh air each day--and it is only a short distance.

    Unfortunately, activities that were safe for many of us growing up, like walking to and from school alone, aren't so safe these days.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:11 a.m.

    It is a sad day in the Nanny State when kids are busted for getting exercise outdoors, after being carefully taught what to do by their parent.

    This is not an ideal situation, but the mother is being responsible and a good parent with a solution that she obviously believes is age-appropriate for her child. She is the one who would be most hurt by any accident, not all the "do-gooders" who are criticizing her decisions.

    The cops should be out cracking down on speeders, reckless driving, drunk drivers, distracted drivers and car thefts to make the streets and sidewalks safe, not harassing people legally walking along the street.

    If you don't want your kid walking to school, then take care of your kid, not harass someone else for their choices.

  • FiremanUT S. Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:07 a.m.

    People have made comments here about when they were kids. You no what times have changed, there are a lot of things WE did as kids that you cant or wont let your kids do now. If you are going to have kids take responsibility for those children. Make sure your kids get to school safe. Then once there YES the school district is very responsible for maintain a safe environment for every child. Then when school is over it is up to the parent to make sure that there child/children are safe on there way home. The mother has said that while she was able to pick him up, she'd rather not. Im very grateful to the South Jordan Police Dept. and Elyse Charter they did the right thing in this case. Yes for this mother it can be difficult to get kids were they need to be. Thats part of being a parent dont put your child at risk! How would all of you that have left comments here fill if this story was about this Childs abduction or being hit by a car?

  • Charles History Tooele, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:08 a.m.

    Butters and the State Republicans are they happy?

    They say we need to cut the bus for these students?

    Conservatives - what do you say? Is this a parent right. or...

  • Poqui Murray, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:02 a.m.

    The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has a section called Back to School Safety. I quote:

    1. Teach your children to always TAKE A FRIEND with them when walking or biking, and stay with a group while standing at the bus stop. Make sure they know which bus to ride.


    3. It is not safe for young children to walk to and from school, even in a group. Parents should always provide supervision for young children to help ensure their safe arrival to and from school. If your children wait for a bus, wait with them or make arrangements for supervision at the bus stop.
    [End of quote]

    Based on these recommendations the mother is 100% wrong and the citation is correct. Hooray for the police officer who is looking after the welfare of this child.

  • John20000 Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 9:02 a.m.

    This whole story makes me sick.

    Let's start with the police officer with poor judgment. The child gets "arrested" (in his mind) and the police office fingerprints his mother as a result. Is this child growing up in Nazi Germany? Nope. South Jordan, Utah.

    Second, a ticket for a mother. Just in principle, it is wrong. No one is better equiped to manage the risks associated with raise children than their mother. If she felt it was safe, they are her kids in her town (this isn't Arizona, Oregon, or New York), for heaven's sake let her raise her kids. It is obvious there are mothers out there afraid to let them kids walk to school. That is ok. You have every right to personally assess the safety of your town and your school area and you shouldn't rely on the government to do that for you.

    Are there neglectful mothers and fathers? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, but we must all agree on what is neglectful. Neglect should not be defined by the most fearful among us nor should it be defined by those without children.

    This is getting ridiculous.

  • Did I Say That? Rawlins, WY
    Dec. 16, 2010 8:46 a.m.

    Really??? For walking home?

    You got to be freakin' kidding me.

    Why couldn't the cop have just given the lad a ride home? Why did he have to ticket the mother?

    We're getting so stupid as a society.

  • Wasatch Al West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 8:34 a.m.

    The most dangerous part of this route? It's where 25 mothers in their gigantic SUV's drop off eight neighborhood kids in front of the school. Just stay out of their way as they fight for a spot right next to the door of the school.

  • sniggy Payson, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 8:27 a.m.

    Issue a citation seems to be the answer to everything now days. This could have been handled in a differant manner. Kidnapping should be a big worry here as Arizona2 has indicated. There are a lot of creeps out there just waiting for the opportunity to strike. This lady needs counciling of some kind but not a citation.

  • Mc West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 8:26 a.m.

    The child's name and picture would not be in the paper if the mom didn't want it there. She is obviously hoping the publicity will bring attention to the problem and get the district to re-instate the hazardous busing that they have eliminated.

    My children walked a much shorter and safer distance to and from school, but I always drove them if they were later or earlier than the rest of the kids. There is safety in numbers. A child all alone is an invitation to someone who wouldn't think of kidnapping a child in the midst of others.

    If I were this parent I would be grateful to know that a police officer noticed the van following my child and checked it out. It could easily have been someone with bad intentions. I'm sure the officer gave the citation instead of a warning because this was not the first time this child was found walking alone in a hazardous area. The officer was doing her job.

    Driving kids to school is not convenient, but if the alternative is not safe, then you drive, no matter how inconvenient it is.

  • Indi135 162 S Marble Canyon Dr., UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 8:24 a.m.

    I have seen and worked with many neglectful and appathetic parents, and this woman DOES NOT fall into either category. She is proactively involved in her child's safety and is obvioulsy concerned about his situation. She is doing what she can to change his situation, but in the meantime she is legally obligated to send him to school. She has a good relationship with his teacher and would presumably know if he did not show up.

    What did it took get her children to accept looking like traffic cones while walking to school? I wonder if they get ridiculed for that. Yet she and her children continue to do a lot to be safe in a hard situation.

    I wish I knew how to support this mother. There are many risks to children in this world. This woman is probably accutely aware of them and, by her actions, worried. But she cannot and should not isolate her children from a world they must learn to live in. She is teaching them responsiblity. I applaud her efforts.

  • Jennifer Grigg Springville, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 8:12 a.m.

    The ACLU should get involved. The city should be sued for no sidewalks and the school district should be sued for no buses. The citation from the officer might come back to bite the city in the expense of a lawsuit, crosswalks, crossing guards and sidewalks. Boo South Jordan.

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 8:09 a.m.

    Actually, lets give this mother HUGE props for making her son wear a helment when he rides his bike!!!

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 8:07 a.m.

    I absolutely would not judge this mother. I had to cross 4th So. as a kindergartner (very busy street), and my mother felt safe letting me walk to and from school by myself. And I turned out okay. I was never kidnapped, or anything.

    However, I would not let my son walk to school by himself today, becuase I think the world has gotten far worse. And I wouldn't allow him to take a bus either becuase I know SEVERAL friends who's children have gotten lost en route (they never boarded, let off at the wrong stop, etc...)

    But that's just me. You have to do what's right for your family. And I think the cop giving her a ticket is going overboard. WAY overboard!!!!!

  • P.Humilis Holladay, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 8:06 a.m.

    I don't see anyone saying lets raise taxes so that we can pay for the bus routes. The people of South Jordon have fought higher taxes for the schools.
    I would not want my child to walk on 2700 west but I also know that you have to do what you have to do to get survive. The kid is going to be more prepared and responsible than most kids.
    As far as "creeps" yes there are creeps but not as many as are on newspaper chat lines, next we will have someone saying we should hit the smarts up because they didn't do enough.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 7:58 a.m.

    One time in Sunday school we had a discussion about kids being disruptive in sacrament meeting. Some of the Holier Than Thous had all sorts of suggestions and were demeaning to the parents saying that they were permissive etc. The bishop sat back and quietly listened and then finally said something.

    When the single mother is struggling to get her kids to behave and has to take one out leaving the other two he said why don't we leave our own pew if we can and help out. Why don't we do something as a congregation that is productive and positive and helpful rather than be judgmental.

    This is where the village comes in. It's not ideal that this youngster is walking home alon, that far under any conditions. The Mom doesn't need this grief either.

    So perhaps I might suggest this, which happens in our neighborhood and which I am grateful.


    Just a suggestion...

  • advocate4u South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 7:53 a.m.

    How about the obvious solution, a carpool? Certainly there is a parent in half day kindergarten willing to go a few minutes out of their way and drop him at home.

    Mom should understand the risk is not the traffic. Also, back in the day most four of five year children could navigate their way home for a mile or two. This news blitz has now put her son at risk. Hopefully this problem has been solved.

    I have no sympathy for mom. I would awaken my newborn from a nap, and take my 3 year old for a walk every day to pick up my child from kindergarten. She has a car, take care of the child, don't expect that you are entitled to my tax dollars for a bus!

  • bradleyc Layton, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 7:46 a.m.

    I would think that another good parent who has children at the school could drop by and pick thhe boy up... At least for one way of the trip. Surely there are kind hearted citizens who pass the house on the way to school. She should ask around.
    Advice 2
    Drop the orange vest and helmet! The kids will be made fun of!
    Advice 3
    Have the kids walk where the community council safe action plan states. There is safety in numbers along that path and it won't hurt kids to walk on non sidewalk areas.

  • Melanie Alpine, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 7:32 a.m.

    This is just sad. The mother is not legally neglectful. Although I wouldn't let my child walk a dangerous route, I do not think she should've been cited. I'm sorry she will now have to fight the charge.

  • Yalie Norwalk, CT
    Dec. 16, 2010 7:30 a.m.

    Perfect! It appears that a solution has been found. For a nominal fee, this busy mother can provide an eager-to-assist PD with something positive to do. I think a police car service could really work, and might even improve the public's perception of the department (not that it had much going for it to begin with). Plus, the kid gets to ride in the back of a police car-pretty much every boy's dream...until they reach 13. Everyone is a winer: the kid doesn't have to wear a goofy orange vest and helmet (poor tike--no wonder none of the other children wanted to walk with him), the mother can watch all of "Judge Judy," and the SJPD can befriend the little ones and preempt a life of crime. Hence, when government closes a bus route, it opens a car service.

    If that doesn't work, couldn't Jordan borrow one of the limos from the Canyons district? I mean, I understand proprietary clauses, but we have 5 year old freezing en route to school (in a not-so-flattering, flashy get-up). I'm sure JD would even refuel the Lincoln.

  • Sarah Nichole West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 7:18 a.m.

    So, a 5-year-old boy is walking a mile home from school every day alone with no sidewalks, crossing busy streets without a crosswalk, and has been picked up by police twice in one year. The mother has said that while she was able to pick him up, she'd rather not. And people are surprised that she was cited for neglect?

  • CP Tooele, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 6:52 a.m.

    I'm in agreement with CLW from WA. I never got a ride to or from school. My mom had to work there were no buses so if I was going to go to school I had to walk. This mother rode a bike for 2 weeks to make sure her son knew the best and safest way to get to school since the school district was dumb and took away the bus route in a hazard area. I say the neglect is with the school district not with the mother. I'm glad I don't live there. Our elementery schools here have a crossing guard at every busy intersection so kids can cross safely going to school and coming home..even for the kindergartners. Shame on the Jordan School District.

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    Dec. 16, 2010 6:14 a.m.

    I, at age 5, walked 3/4 of a mile to school every day (53 years ago). We sure have become wimps.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Dec. 16, 2010 6:05 a.m.

    I little walk might be good for the young man.
    A little walk into another occupation would be good for those that don't have anything better on their time to complain about.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 6:00 a.m.

    Getting a child in a wheelchair into a van, and another TWO children into car seats to take take the 5 year old to school will take some time, then getting the two back out after getting home will as well.

    The police were out of line on this one and should lose in court for their "opinion" that she is being neglectful. She has done all she can. The city has failed to make the route safe, the school no longer buses despite the cities failure so she has to send her kid decked out in orange walking to school instead. Seeing that both the city and the school know it is unsafe, they are being just as neglectful as any citizen would be.

  • lin Wilsonville, OR
    Dec. 16, 2010 5:53 a.m.

    Sorry, but this mother needs to step up and take responsibility for her own children!

    As a mother of five, I would never let my children walk that distance, crossing busy streets like that by themselves. Sure some days they might be fine, but the risk is too great.

    It is pain, but she is going to have to pack her other kids into the car and drive her school kids to and from....It seems that other people are more concerned for her childrens' safety than she is.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 16, 2010 5:15 a.m.

    Oh common people. You are worried because this child had his picture in the paper? Some parents watch too much TV and are way too over protective. I wouldn't let my five year old walk 2700 by himself, but photos ... really? How sad to live life so paranoid and in grain that level of fear into your kids.

    I am sure this mom is a reasonable person, and the DA is a reasonable person. I have complete faith that the right thing will be done here in the end.

  • James A West Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 16, 2010 5:12 a.m.

    There are two issues here:
    1. Should a mom allow a child of 5 to walk to or from school alone.

    In this situation and this were my 5 year old child I would not allow him to walk home from school alone. My wife or I would arange to have an adult pick him up. As a parent I would make that decision.

    2. Should laws/police officers mandate that a child of 5 can not walk to school alone.

    Absolutely not! The law (and by extension police officers) should not dictate if I can let my child walk home from school alone. This is such a slipery slope. When the law starts interfering in my family life to such an extent where does it end? What if the child is 6? What is I live accross the street? Parents have responsibility for their children. The law gets involved only in extreme cases (and I approach even that statement with trepidation).

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Dec. 16, 2010 12:53 a.m.

    Why is there a photograph of the child in the paper? Whatever happened to privacy for children involved in legal matters? The paper as much as advertised to area pedophiles "here's a child, walking to this school, every day by himself. He'll be dressed in orange. Here's his name." This poor kid has probably been endangered more by this article than by his daily routine. That said, I can't imagine letting my children walk to school by themselves at that age. I agree that there's probably more to the story, on all sides, but is it really in the best interest of the family to report it?

  • Marine Sandy, UT
    Dec. 16, 2010 12:01 a.m.

    Wow! Deseret News should be cited for giving out a photo of this kid, his full name, his age, the color coat he wears, the city he lives in and the school he attends. Now the mother will have more to worry about because of this article.

  • HavartiWhiz Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 11:59 p.m.

    Oy! Everyone's an expert on this board.

  • jcmom Sandy, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 11:49 p.m. has a video of the route the child takes to and from school. The mother has him cross busy streets to avoid walking without a sidewalk. From the video, it looks to be a dangerous enough route that a 5 year old should not be alone. I would never let my child walk alone, without a group, anywhere.

  • Arizona2 Tucson, AZ
    Dec. 15, 2010 11:40 p.m.

    I don't know who to side with here. I think there are mature 5 year olds who could manage the traffic, cold, etc. just fine. The one thing I don't think a 5 year old could handle as well as an older child would be someone trying to kidnap him--and let's face it, there are a lot of creeps out there.

  • Just my opinion Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 11:34 p.m.

    All the kids in our are walked to school every day. We lived between Highland Drive, 1300 East, 2700 South, and the Freeway (I-80). We did have a crossing guard on 1300 E and 2700 S. But the crossing guard did not stop us from crossing the street somewhere else if we wanted to as kids.

    The crossing guards are mostly to stop the bad drivers from hitting kids, not from the kids crossing the street bad.

    We did this all through K-6 grades. Some times in groups, some times by our selves if we where late. So I'm guessing I made that almost mile trip to school and home about 170 times each way each year for 7 years. So a total of 2380 times. Probably at least 10% of the time alone (5 years old to 12 years old).

    I'm glad we had to walk. I think it was the best thing for all of us. We also had the best crossing guard, Mr High. None of use will forget him.

    I wish all parents would make there kids walk to school and home.

  • Adam Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 10:09 p.m.

    If this little 5 year old boy EVER must walk by himself again, after this story has now hit the news, then SHAME on each and everyone of the parents that pick thier little loved ones up from this school at the same time.

    I'm sure there is an extra seat and a few extra minutes in the lives of a dozen or so of the parents picking up thier own children. STEP UP!

    Forget about the absent minded mother for a minute. This is ALL about the 5 year old. Stop the tough guy nonsense about everyone walking to school back in the day. It always takes a child vanishing or getting killed for people to take a step back and really analyze what could have been done better.

    I could go on for hours about the actions of the mother, but it is about the little boy. I can only hope that in South Jordan, which is factually one of the most affluent and religious cities in Utah, that SOMEONE will step up and help protect this little child a.s.a.p. Come on South Jordan show your character. This is unacceptable!

  • Brian the engineer Columbus, OH
    Dec. 15, 2010 9:57 p.m.

    I'm surprised at how many commentators have made the claim that what the mother/PD did was right/wrong, as if they are the ultimate authorities on the issue after reading a two-page article.

    I walked solo to and from kindergarten, albeit a shorter distance, and even today I don't consider it a safety neglect. My parents taught me, before I was five, how to be safe walking to and from the school.

    Certainly the mother has considered many options beyond those suggested on these threads, and I hope the best works out for all involved.

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Dec. 15, 2010 9:54 p.m.

    I don't care if he's dressed head to foot in flourescent orange. I would never allow my 5 year old to walk a mile to or from school *alone* on roads with high traffic.

    I would throw the biggest stink with the district, they'd rather bus my kid than deal anymore with me.


    Having said that, I can't believe the officer actually issued a citation.

    IS there something more to this story?

  • CLW Vancouver, WA
    Dec. 15, 2010 9:40 p.m.

    GuitarGuy - why does she need to do any of that? He is fully capable of walking and walking safely.

    The mentality of using buses or driving every child has little basis in fact. Most countries outside of the U.S. (many with far busier traffic and larger populations) provide no transportation to school and the kids walk and ride public trains or buses all by themselves every day.

    People's fears of a child walking to school are unfounded.

  • MormonDem Provo, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 9:30 p.m.

    Yep. We complain about taxes until we see what happens when they're cut. We complain about the government until we realize we'd been taking for granted simple things like having a bus for kids to ride to school in.

  • GuitarGuy Layton, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 9:15 p.m.

    Sorry, she simply hasn't done all she can. Carpool, arrange for him to walk with a group of older kids, or take the time to drive him yourself.

    That said, the bigger issue is with BUDGET CUTS for our schools! UNACCEPTABLE.

  • CLW Vancouver, WA
    Dec. 15, 2010 9:13 p.m.

    You have to be kidding right?

    My mother walked me to kindergarten one day and never walked with me to school again. And no other kids had their mommy's walking them to kindergarten either.

    The ticket was inappropriate no matter how things have changed over the years. Overprotective police and parents do society little good.

  • Older Reader Tooele, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 9:03 p.m.

    The school district has a problem with bussing. No child should have to walk a mile or more to school. That is asking for trouble.

  • Ogdenite Lincoln, NE
    Dec. 15, 2010 9:00 p.m.

    Why is she a single mother with six kids? I wish the story would have explained that a little better.

  • Rusty Nail Draper, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 8:48 p.m.

    I think there is more to this story. I'd love to hear more.

  • megen Truth or Consequences, NM
    Dec. 15, 2010 8:23 p.m.

    C'mon people! How many of us survived walking to school? Kids are getting lazy and fat because their helicopter mommies chauffer them everywhere. God forbid they should use their legs anywhere but at an organized park district program. A walk to school is not neglect. Neglect is letting them play video games all day. This mom is teaching responsibility and independence.

  • Austin Mom Austin, TX
    Dec. 15, 2010 7:52 p.m.

    So maybe what she did isn't illegal, but it goes against all common sense. Her kids is FIVE. A five year old crossing a street by himself. If I saw a five year old standing by himself at a crosswalk, I don't care what he was wearing I would start worrying.

    The police officer did the right thing bringing him home--how would that officer have felt if she had just left him, with a strange van seeming to be following him, and he had been kidnapped or killed. I don't care how much training she has giving him, he could get flustered, distracted, and killed. He is defenseless in this situation.

    Yes it would be great if the district could provide buses, yes it would be great if there were more crosswalks, but there aren't. She needs to deal with it in a responsible manner. She is a parent, she is the one responsible for his safety, not the school district or the city. Anyone with more than one child has had a time where they had to figure out how to move one without disrupting the other. Carpool for heaven sake.

  • red rocks Saint George, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 7:42 p.m.

    Times have changed.
    How many of our parents would have been cited in the past. We have become a society of trying to protect our kids from everything instead of teaching them how to make decisons and learning.

  • c00kster Provo, Utah
    Dec. 15, 2010 7:39 p.m.

    This mother seems to be very proactive and is exercising parental stewardship, albeit not in a manner that the police officer or some of the commenters her agree with. Would she have been cited had she instructed Noah to follow the route the school recommended? Bad things can happen to children regardless of how much parents try to protect them. To me the issue is whether or not she is actively parenting and it seems to me that she is. I hope she fights the citation and is able to shed light on a problem that other parents might also be facing.

  • The Rabbit (in Spanish) Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 7:20 p.m.

    "Talbot has a younger child at home and an older child with cerebral palsy, and while she said she could drive Noah from school, she would rather he walk and walk safely."

    And that is why Ms. Talbot was cited. She considers driving her son to school too much of a bother and accepts the risk of her son being kidnapped or in an accident. Bad mother! Bad mother!

  • vibert924 Murray, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 7:19 p.m.

    COME ON West Jordan PD! Surely there are better ways to occupy your time than to cite a mom of six who's OBVIOUSLY NOT a neglectful parent. Give me a break!!! I'd contribute to her legal defense fund.

  • three11stu Saratoga Springs, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 7:02 p.m.

    I don't believe that there are any laws that state how old a child has to be in order to walk to school. Some people (including law enforcement) may feel differently on a personal level, but if no law was broken, then the mother shouldn't be charged.
    It seems like this mother has educated her child, and has shown him the ways to go and how to be safe.

  • Motappin Sandy, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 6:42 p.m.

    This is a tough one, but I wouldn't let my kid that age walk the 3 blocks between our house and the school alone...let alone that far. It sounds like she's taken steps to instruct him in safety, but that's still a long way for a little kid, with lots of busy streets and strangers.

  • OJF64 Sandy, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 6:41 p.m.

    If the mother is going to be charged then the school disrtict should definatley be charged. And for the officer who issued the citiation, you've got to joking!!!

  • kiapolo Provo, MA
    Dec. 15, 2010 6:42 p.m.

    It sounds like this lady has done everything she can.

  • me2wired South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 15, 2010 6:40 p.m.

    The mom had me until I read the words "Charter wrote in her report that Noah had been stopped by another officer in March after spotting him walking alone to preschool. There are no sidewalks for about half of the boy's daily trek."

    Preschool? I'm sorry, no. A 3 & 4 year old can not manage a walk to pre-school alone. This is a continuing issue with this woman and I hope this got the message across. While I encourage children to walk to school, at that young of an age and for that long of a distance they should have a buddy. They should walk in a group. She could arrange a carpool with other kids in her son's class to relieve the burden of driving every day if that's not possible. There are options.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 15, 2010 6:38 p.m.

    Mom should fight this charge in court and if I were on the jury I'd give her a high five for being a good mother.

    In today's world children are no longer allowed to play dodge ball at school because someone might get hurt, and because you can't have winners unless there are losers.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Dec. 15, 2010 6:36 p.m.

    Sounds like there is more going on here.

    First why would an 8 year old need an orange safety vest and and any child need a helmet for walking? Why isn't the older child in a classroom? Why is the school allowing a 5 year old to walk home alone? Is it where he is walking or that he is alone? At what age can a child walk home from school by himself?

    Sounds like a battle between the district and the family.