Fifth-grader Aiden Coldsmith has memorized the streets around his family’s Waverly home. He knows every mud puddle, the homes of dogs both friendly and fierce, a park where a group of middle school girls hang out. The 11-year-old walks alone the few blocks to an art program or hardware store with “really good candy.”
A few miles away in Fells Point, Kameron and Eddie Gordon keep their eight children close to home. Even the oldest, a 14-year-old high school freshman, is not allowed to walk outside alone.
And in East Baltimore, Angela Brown’s three sons — ages 13, 11 and 8 — walk the four blocks alone to catch a public bus to school.
“If I had my way, I would always take my sons to school, but I can’t,” said Brown, 33, who works long hours as a nursing tech.
A case involving a 10-year-old boy and his 6-year-old sister in Montgomery County has sparked a debate about the age at which children should be allowed to walk and play without parental supervision.