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School walkers, Thanks to volunteers

School walkers

I would like to respond to the readers who are going back and forth about children being “escorted” to school by their parents rather than riding the bus, and particularly to the individual who accused car-rider parents of being lazy. Knox County actually has a “parent responsibility zone” affecting parents of children in grades K-5 that live within 1 mile of the school and parents of children in grades 6-12 that live within one-and-a-half miles of the school. In this zone, the parents — not Knox County — are responsible for getting their children to and from school.

My family is opening a small business in The West End Center, which is on the road leading up to the Farragut secondary schools, and my oh-so-independent 9-year-old daughter has begged me to let her walk the short distance to the store after school instead of me picking her up. There are only two streets to cross, there are sidewalks all the way from the front door of the school to the front door of our store, a distance of barely three-tenths of a mile, and I could actually see her from the store once she gets off of school property if she were to walk. After much thought, I met her after school one day and let her walk while I followed in my car — just to see if she knew where to go and how to do it. My heart swelled and my eyes filled with tears because I was so proud of her not missing a beat; she looked both ways, she stayed on the sidewalk, and she didn’t talk to anyone … just like she’d been taught!

Although I had already decided that it would be too much worry for me to let her walk by herself — yes, there are freaks and pedophiles even in Farragut — I was surprised the following day by a phone call from the assistant principal at Farragut Intermediate School. She was calling to tell me that a few parents and teachers had called her out of concern that my daughter was seen walking alone after school (obviously, they didn’t see me following). So, it does appear that “walking to and from school, uphill both ways” is, my friends, a thing of the past. But, don’t blame the parents, write your senator. I’m afraid that until this country starts locking up perverts and throwing away the keys, rites of passage such as the responsibility of walking to school will be no more.

At first I was a bit chagrined that someone would call the school instead of me over seeing my child walking, but I soon felt a tremendous level of comfort in the fact that we live in a community that doesn’t turn away but takes action when they see a child that they think might be at risk. And, even though I will continue to battle the traffic at the car-rider line, I love this town! Is it really that big of a deal to you?


Julie Mauck

Thanks to volunteers

I would like to extend a HUGE and well-deserved THANK YOU to the group of volunteers who cleaned up and bagged the abundant roadside garbage that was along the stretch of Northshore Drive between Bluegrass Road and Pellissippi Parkway.

My wife and I had commented many times that the unsightly litter was getting almost too ugly to even look at. The pick-up was conducted, I believe, around the time of spring break for the kids. We were out of town on vacation that week, but we both noticed how much better the roadside looked when we returned.

Northshore Drive is such a beautiful part of our county and I am very grateful for the time and effort that was invested to help improve a little corner of our community. I really have only one problem with the whole effort. More word should have gotten out somehow to notify others in some of the other neighborhoods to help in the clean-up. Please call me next time well in advance of the next effort and I will surely be able to round up some volunteers in our subdivision to help. Again, thanks for a job well done!

Jeff Sweeney

Lake Ridge


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