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School Threatens to Punish Parents for Walking Their Kids Home

The Short of It

A Magnolia, Texas school policy makes it a punishable offense for parents to walk their kids home from school.

The Lowdown

At Bear Branch Elementary, parents will no longer be allowed to pick their children up at the end of day on foot. Principal Holly Ray is insisting parents wait in a very long car line to retrieve their kids if they don't want them to go home on the bus. In fact, parents are not even permitted to go inside the building during pickup.

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Ray says this pickup procedure is for the 639 students' safety; she says when parents walk into the institution, they "are hindering the staff's ability to be accountable for all students' safety." Still, parents are furious, alleging the principal has gone too far by threatening to arrest those who break the rules.

One mom, Wendy Jarman, who pulled her child out of Bear Branch because of this policy, said about the "rule-breakers" that, "They have been cited. They have been threatened; if they step one foot on school property, they will be arrested and charged with who knows what."

According to the Daily Mail, Jarman is not the only parent who has decided to remove her child from the school over this policy.

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At least one parent, Frank Young, has been served with a trespassing warning. And students can also be punished with in-school suspension for their parents' "trespassing."

Young had this to say about the infuriating rule: "Mrs. Ray's policy is implying that a parent doesn't have the ability or capability to decide what is safest for her children and that the school district does."

Frustrated parents tried creating a petition to end the puzzling pickup policy, but it was ignored.

The Upshot

Pickup at my daughter's elementary school is a zoo as well, so I fully relate to these parents' frustration. Where we live, parents have to park quite far from the building, which is a challenge when the weather is bad and if you have younger children. Plus, the parking lot is way too small and seeks to accommodate cars and buses, as kids stream out the door to go home.

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Of course, after hearing about the plight of the Texas parents, I feel thankful I'm permitted to pick my own child up at the day's end. I'd still like to see a safer pickup procedure put in place at our school, but I agree with those who say Principal Ray's policy takes things a step past prudent to preposterous.

How would you feel if your child attended a school with a similar policy?

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