Family defies no-bike policy at Maple Avenue Middle School[b] (Sept. 14, 2009)
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The first day of school, already a happy and trying event for any student, saw a little additional stress for Maple Avenue Middle School student Adam Marino.
Marino and his mother, Janette Kaddo Marino, left for school by bicycle on Wednesday morning, as they often do in good weather, despite a phone call placed to students’ homes by school officials, asking parents not to allow students to walk or ride bikes to school.
After a cold reception on Wednesday, local transportation advocates are rallying around the family, and plan to accompany the pair to school today in a bid to bolster calls for a policy change.
The Marino family had previously encountered trouble while cycling to school in May, when school officials informed them they were in violation of a school policy that forbids students from walking or riding to Maple Avenue Middle School. They rode anyway, noting that the family regularly rides for exercise and recreation.
Following the May incident, the school district charged a policy review committee to examine the rule, but the committee has not yet reached a conclusion. In the meantime, Kaddo Marino said she felt the district was stepping on her toes.
“I think it’s my parental right to transport my child to school in the way I deem is appropriate. I think the district is usurping its authority by telling me that I can’t,” she said.
One section of the school policy states: “The Board of Education forbids the riding of bicycles by students to and from Maple Avenue Middle School.” Another section also prohibits riding to elementary schools.