Bear Branch Elementary School in Magnolia, Texas started a new pick-up policy this school year: parents are not allowed to pick up their kids and walk them home- they have to either make their kids ride the bus (even if they live in the neighborhood) or pick them up in a car. Violations of the policy mean a trespassing citation or truancy classes for the parents. And parents are hopping mad to the point that children are being pulled out of the school and some of the teachers have quit.
The edict was set by Mrs Holly Ray, Bear Branch Principal, back in September.
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Bear Branch Elementary School Principal Holly Ray changed the afterschool pickup policy this year. In September, Houston’s KPRC 2 News (NBC) reported the new rule prohibited parents from walking to the Magnolia Independent School District campus to retrieve their own children. Parents cannot drive to the school, park their cars at the school, or go inside to get their children early. Their options are to send their children home by school bus or drive to the school and wait for their children in a very long pickup car line assembling for the 3:25 p.m. dismissal. A lot of parents are unhappy about the change. However, a school district spokesperson told KPRC 2 that the intent of the policy was to ensure the safety of the 639 students enrolled.
Does this make children more safe?
Local Fox News reported that parents were removing their children from the school, and some teachers and staff were also leaving. The school district says they totally support the principal, and her idea is a “safe dismissal process.”
Threatening parents with arrest or giving them a citation is an extreme overreach by the school district. Many of these students live near the school, and their parents have been walking them to and from the school for years.
So under this policy the children have to stand there – for who knows how long- and wait for someone to pick them up in a car or ride on the bus. For some of them, they could have been home before the parents arrive in a car.
“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. I disagree…The most toxic thing we can do for our kids is not fight for truth and justice.” Frank Young, parent who received a warning to Fox News
If you are a parent, you need to decide whether these kinds of school actions are good or heavy-handed. We think heavy-handed. What do you think?Here are a couple of Facebook reactions to the story:
…The parents of that school should grow some balls and storm the place on foot one day. I would be in JAIL right now, if your kid goes there you have a right to be there.. What are they hiding???
…I’d be god damned if someone told me I couldn’t walk my child to school and make sure that s/he got there safely and came home safely.
You can’t arrest everyone, not enough room in those cells for everyone.
I think all the parents that possibly can should walk their child to school as many days as it takes just to get the point across how ridiculous this is, and let the school and others know their rights as parents won’t be trumped by an overbearing government.