DD who is 13 currently goes a fair distance to get to school. This is because she goes to an all girls state school (the only one in Glasgow) and this involves getting the subway there and back. She has coped quite OK and has good independence as a result. I was slightly miffed the other day to be told I shouldn't be letting kids that age travel alone (though she is usually with other girls in her class most of the way) as things could happen ie they could get lost, someone could abuse/kidnap them, etc. etc. One even considered this school for their DD but wasn't happy with her travelling herself after experiencing unpleasant behaviour from strangers. So who is being unreasonable? Me or those giving this 'advice'.
It is perfectly normal (and usual)for secondary school children to travel to school on their own, on public transport. The only difference for your daughter is that she travels a bit further than is average for children in Glasgow. Your friends sound neurotic to me.
YANBU - why would she get lost? She's 13, she can read signs and ask directions if there's a problem. And why would she be abused or kidnapped? She is in a public place, and not at any specific risk. I'm sure you've told her by now not to accept lifts or offers to "come see the puppies"
Many parents are paranoid, and their children don't get any practice at developing their independence, so they are at more risk than someone like your daughter who is getting practice at going places on her own.
From her age I went to school alone, and got buses into town alone, I don't see that the subway is risky, during the daytime when there are plenty of other people about to notice anything untoward.
My DCS started going by train to school 7 miles away in yr7 DD is now 13 and DS 15. On my train to work in the morning there are 100s of school children going to various secondary schools (i think I have counted 5 different uniforms) some of them from london all the way to bishops stortford and have changed trains to get on to that line.
my DS age 10 (only just) will be travelling alone to school on london underground from September. I am naturally worried and anxious, but am aware that it is the norm at his school and independence is a very important part of growing up. We will be practising the journey over the summer and i will be very firmly closing my ears to any comments like the ones said to you. Go with your instincts.
YANBU. My DD will be 11 in a few weeks and has been travelling to school on her own since last September. We live in inner city London so her journey is not a gentle stroll down a leafy lane. Although I still anxiously wait for her text to tell me she's arrived every morning I felt that she needed to build up her street safety awareness and this is a good way for her to have a bit of independence.