Since our girls have been in their current school they have had the same wonderful crossing guard. We walked out of our way to go to see her every morning and afternoon. Recently she took a full-time job. The girls decided if Miss Sue wasn't going to be their crossing guard, they wanted to change their route to one which was a bit shorter.
During this conversation the brunette twin announced that she thought they should start walking to and from school all by themselves. I said, "It doesn't matter what you want to do. Holly expects to walk to and from school with you. Even if you're ready to walk by yourselves, she will need a walk. Why would I walk her away from the school?"
The blond twin bought it right away. She hugged Holly and said something like, "Of course we will walk with you. We won't leave you alone."
The brunette twin didn't buy into it. She started negotiating a time next year that the girls would be able to walk to and from school by themselves. She announced that in fifth grade they would start walking by themselves. I countered that it would have to wait until sixth grade when they took the bus to middle school. She wasn't happy about my decision.
I'm sure it's not the last time we'll discuss this topic. My neighbors tell me that their kids were walking to and from school in fifth grade. This might be the neighborhood norm, but I have a 70lb black and white secret weapon at my disposal and I'm not afraid to use her.