Few children walk or bicycle to school any more. Even among kids who live within a mile of school, only 31 percent get to school under their own power. Parents are too fearful; backpacks are too heavy. Kevin Drum and Russell Arben Fox talk about the change.
I started walking to school on the first day of kindergarten. Moms didn’t escort us, much less drive us. Of course, the sidewalks were filled with other baby boomer kids and the mothers were home with baby boomer babies. Nobody carried a backpack either. Textbooks — we didn’t use many — usually stayed at school. Homework was copied from the blackboard or handed out as a work sheet.