Published September 07, 2011
Police in Tennessee are in a heated dispute with a mother for allowing her 10-year-old daughter to ride her bike to school alone, arguing that the one-mile route is dangerous and the child's safety is at stake.
The Elizabethton Police Department told Teresa Tryon that her young daughter is not allowed to ride her bike unsupervised to and from Harold McCormick Elementary School because the roads have too much traffic.
"We're just looking out for the safety of the child," Elizabethton Police Chief Matt Bailey told FoxNews.com. "It’s a busy surface street. It’s not a highway by definition, but it's a very busy road."
Bailey said an officer last month observed cars swerving around the child to avoid hitting her. He said the officer also saw the girl "going into oncoming traffic." Police then confronted Tryon and told her that it was unsafe for the girl to ride her bike.
Tryon, who describes her daughter as an "avid bicyclist," claims the girl isn't violating a city ordinance and that she has every right to ride her bike to school, TriCities.com reports.
"How does the officer know my daughter better than I do?" she reportedly told the station.
Bailey told FoxNews.com that police have notified the District Attorney's Office and that Tryon could potentially face child neglect charges if the situation continued. He noted that a child was struck and killed while riding a bike on the same street several years ago, prompting police to take extra safety precautions.
But Tryon is reportedly standing firm in her decision to allow the girl to ride.
"Going to the DA, that's a little extreme for a 10-year-old riding a mile," she told the station. "She's not breaking any laws. This is a judgment -- even according to the incident report. The officer wrote, it is a judgment."
Tryon could not be reached for comment when contacted Wednesday by FoxNews.com.