School Committeewoman Carolyn Mark was happy to see children riding their bikes to school on the first day of school.
"As a member of the Health and Wellness Subcommittee, I thought it was wonderful how many kids were biking to school. I think that's fantastic," she said after Tuesday night's School Committee meeting. But, she continued, "I was horrified at how few of them were actually wearing helmets."
Mark was talking about children at Cole Middle School, where her own daughter is a student. She said she thought, of the students she saw, only 2 out of 10 were wearing helmets.
"Actually, I looked it up. If you are 15 or younger, you are required by state law to wear a helmet," she said. Parents are required to make sure their age 15 or younger child is wearing a helmet, she said.
When it was suggested that some kids might not ride their bike if they were forced to wear a helmet, Mark said, "I would rather them not ride the bike if they can't ride them safely."
Supt. Victor Mercurio said he would notify parents of the law and talk to the police about better enforcement.
Mark said she saw about 10 students riding to school on the first day of school – "which I thought was fabulous. I'd love to see more of that. But, I just couldn't imagine letting my kid out the door without a helmet."