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How to define dangerous?

State Sen. James Clayborne wants school districts to provide transportation for students who walk to school in dangerous areas.

It’s a straightforward idea that would be far from simple to implement. The biggest challenge – other than figuring out how to pay for this – would be defining what constitutes dangerous. Parents would have to petition a school district for help, then the district and the state police would have to verify that a problem existed.

This could be an administrative nightmare. And expensive.

Imagine the liability that could ensue if the police or school board said the area wasn’t dangerous and then something happened to a child walking to school. But if a school approved the request of every parent who thinks his child is at risk while walking, schools might soon be providing transportation for everyone.

Maybe it would be simpler for Clayborne to introduce a bill mandating that dangerous areas be eliminated. Then students could walk to school without fear, and it would also help out the adults in the neighborhoods.

Not practical, you say? Maybe not, but neither is making schools jump through more unfunded transportation hoops.