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TN Child Biking to School Alone: Child Neglect?

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on September 09, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If your child is biking to school alone, are you guilty of child neglect? Tennessee mom Teresa Tryon is facing this very accusation.

Tryon lets her 10-year-old daughter to ride her bike to school by herself.

The route her daughter takes is about a mile long, and takes about 7-9 minutes.

Last month, a police officer saw Tryon's daughter riding her bike to school. The officer says that several cars had to swerve to avoid hitting the girl, and that the girl was biking into oncoming traffic.

Officers subsequently warned Tryon that it was too dangerous for her daughter to bike to school alone, according to Fox News.

Police have also notified the District Attorney's Office. Tryon could face charges of child neglect if she continues to allow her daughter to bike to school, Fox News reports.

Is this extreme?

On one hand, the police say that a child was killed after getting struck by a car when biking on the same street a few years ago, reports Fox News.

On the other hand, Tryon's daughter's commute is relatively short. If it really only takes 7-9 minutes for her to bike to school, should the mother face child neglect charges?

Child neglect charges can be levied against parents who fail to provide adequate supervision for their children.

In Tryon's case, is letting her child bike to school failing to provide supervision for her child? Many parents let their children walk or bike to school alone.

However, a child biking to school alone could amount to child neglect in certain cases. For example, a child could be too young to safely get to school by themselves. In Teresa Tryon's case, it seems that police - and prosecutors - simply believe that the 10-year-old's biking route is simply too dangerous. 

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