Hendersonville mom upset district won't let kids walk to school - WSMV Channel 4

Hendersonville mom upset district won't let kids walk to school

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HENDERSONVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A quarter of a mile is causing a lot of headaches for one mom. She said she can't walk her kids to school, because the school now forbids it.

She says it takes longer to drive and go through the car line, than it does to just walk. But school leaders say those students can't walk, since they're not in the proper zone.

"I want my daughters to be able to walk to school. They walked last year no problem," Amy Kinney said.

Her home is just one-tenth of a mile outside the newly designated "walking zone" for Nannie Berry Elementary School in Hendersonville.

"This tenth of a mile is causing me a lot of headaches, and I didn't want it to get out of control," Kinney said.

The Sumner County School District worked with Hendersonville police to map out the walking zone based on distance, sidewalks and visibility.

The walking zone is also designed to keep traffic out of the neighborhood near the school.

"We made the decision based on where we felt students could walk safely," said Sumner County Schools spokesman Jeremy Johnson.

Only children who live inside the zone can walk either alone or with a parent. And any child outside, must take the bus or get a ride.

School officials say there was too much confusion last year when parents changed up their child's transportation method.

"That's my child, my children, and if I want them to walk that distance, that should be how they get to school, period," Kinney said.

When Kinney learned her home was on the edge of the zone, she called the school's principal to see if they would make an exception.

They would not, and neither will the district.

"There has to be a point where the walk zone ends, and if we made an exception for one, we have to for others," Johnson said.

But Kinney says she feels the school should make exceptions, especially if parents are willing to walk with their children from outside the boundary.

Right now, it takes Kinney about 20 minutes to pick up her kids, while it would only take five minutes to walk the same distance.

"I mean, even our governor has a healthy kids plan where he wants kids out walking, and my kids aren't allowed to," Kinney said.

School officials say they strongly discourage parents changing their child's specified transportation method, but if they do, they'll release the child after dismissal.

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