Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How young is too young to ride on BART alone?

I saw a young boy today, no older than 8 perhaps, riding BART alone today. He was already on the train by the time I got on in Orinda, and by the time I got off at Civic Center, he was just getting ready to pack up and leave. He caught a lot of attention not just because of his age, but he was playing a portable video game of some type the entire time with volume blasting! He did not have a headset but then again, he is so young and riding alone, would his parents actually teach him to use a headset in public out of politeness? Probably not.

The entire ride we all could here..."beep beep", "bang bang", "boom", and all sorts of electronic sounds and tunes as he's intensely playing his shooting game on the portable screen.

I have a nephew who is 8, and this little boy is smaller than him! To me, I just think it's so dangerous for such a young kid to be riding on BART alone! Where are his parents?

Isn't there a rule on BART against this?


SongMonk said...

Have you read this article? It got a lot of news coverage at the time including the full range of effusive praise to calls of criminal charges.

The rudeness of the video game is a separate issue. :-)

bartmusings said...

Thanks for sharing this songmonk, ver interesting take. I guess that is one perspective. I personally think there are other ways to build confidence and independence than letting your child navigate through public transport on his/her own. He or she may be smart enough to do that, but physically, can he/she out wrestle an attacker? A child molester? I don't think I personally can take such a risk.

Interested to hear other people's opinions here??

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that American parents have become conditioned to be afraid of things that almost never happen.

The biggest molestation danger to your kids is a member of the family or a close family friend/trusted authority figure.

You want to make sure your kids are safe? Drill into their heads the idea that you must, must, MUST look carefully before crossing a street, and never, ever swim alone.

dndgirl said...

My daughter was a latch-key kid just about at the end of that practice in our neighborhood and she turned out to be very independent. She always walked home with other kids and I always had a neighbor she could call or go to.

I'm sure the boy on the train was okay by himself. BART commuters tend to look out for children and if he felt threatened I am absolutely sure someone would jump to his defense. However, I think that someone, probably a woman, should have gently told him to turn down the volume on his videogame or to get headphones for "next time."

bartmusings said...

Yeah, my husband and I are probably a bit protective. We are expecting a child soon but the way we are with our little dog (a pug), we are pretty protective. I want to strike the right balance as a parent, but I think it's easier said than done...I need to learn to let go a bit.

Anonymous said...

Bartmusings, you're so right. This childs parents obviously don't love him enough to have his au per accompany him on his way to wherever he was going.

What is the world coming to?

Anonymous said...

Well, all it takes is a call to the TO buy a "worried" or concerned patron and I am sure we could get to the bottom of why a supposed 8 year old is riding the train alone.

Not every child is lucky to hacve a mother or father who can take them to and from wherever they need to go. Thus you must rely on public transportation.

As for the video game, no worse than some of you people who continue to talk excessively loud or listen to your music on your phone or whatever else you do...

Leave the kid alone and let him/her ride the damn train...