A Canadian father is taking a legal challenge after child safety officials told him his four children aged seven to 11, were too young to take a public bus to school without an adult.


Adrian Crook said he spent “countless months” teaching his four of his five children how to take the bus by themselves.  


His youngest child, who is five, does not take the bus.


Adrian, who writes a parenting blog called Five Kids, One Condo explained: “I aim to raise capable, independent humans who prioritise sustainability and safety above the perceived convenience of cars”.


Before he allowed the children to take the bus by themselves, he got in touch with the regional transport operator Translink to ask what the minimum age for a child to travel alone was.


They told him there was no minimum age set.



However, the Ministry of Children and Family Development said it is illegal for children under ten to be unsupervised on the bus.


The single dad said he travelled the 45-minute journey from outside the family’s home to school with his children for months until they memorised the route and all the stops.


Reflecting on the experience, Adrian said: "Nobody's so much as shed a tear, let alone been hurt in the entire two-year learning experience”.


However, someone made an anonymous complaint to child safety officials in the district of British Columbia where Adrian lives and an investigation was launched.


Adrian and his children were all interviewed as part of the process.



“I cooperated in a cordial and swift manner, knowing that there was nothing to hide",  Adrian revealed.


“Because, of course, there was no hiding how well the kids had adapted to bus life.


Adrian had to sign a “Safety Plan” saying he wouldn’t allow the children to travel alone during the course of the investigation and went back to accompanying them on the bus.


“The Ministry called me into their office where I met with my caseworker and her supervisor.


“It started off in a favourable way, with the supervisor insisting that I’d gone 'above and beyond' what any parent should have to do to train their kids to be responsible and conscious transit riders”, he wrote.


“They said they understood that this was not a case of me being negligent.



“Ultimately, however, the Ministry had checked with their lawyers 'across the country' and the Attorney General and determined that children under ten years old could not be unsupervised in or outside the home, for any amount of time.


“That included even trips across the street to our corner store, a route I can survey in its entirety from my living room window.


“Furthermore, the Ministry advised that until my oldest was 12 (next summer), he could not be deemed responsible for the other children”.


Adrian believes this decision limits his children’s freedom and has decided to take legal action against it.


What do you think mums? How young is too young?