NYTimes: Why Can’t She Walk to School? :
Certain realities also shape these procedures, such as the schedules of working parents, unsafe neighborhoods and school transportation cuts.
But when these constraints are mixed with anxiety over transferring children from the private world of family to the public world of school, the new normal can look increasingly baroque. Now, in some suburbs, parents and children sit in their cars at the end of driveways, waiting for the bus. Some school buses now have been fitted with surveillance cameras, watching for beatings and bullying.
Children are driven to schools two blocks away. At some schools, parents drive up with their children’s names displayed on their dashboards, a school official radios to the building, and each child is escorted out.
When to detach the parental leash? The trip to and from school has become emblematic of the conflict parents feel between teaching children autonomy and keeping them safe. In parenting blogs and books, the school-bus stop itself is shorthand for the turmoil of contemporary parents over when to relinquish control.