Dad on Foot Arrested for Refusing to Wait in Line of Cars to Get Kids

Readers — This is a strange and upsetting video about a dad in Tennessee who walked to the local school to pick up his kids — 8 and 14 — and was told he had to wait in the line of cars (or at least, wait as LONG as the parents in cars) to get them. As he was on foot, this made no sense, a point he argued with the police officer at the school who, as you’ll see, then put the dad in handcuffs and drove him off in the police car.

As bizarre as this incident is, to me it highlights two things:

1 – The fact that car pick-up is, at least in some places, becoming so normal, that any OTHER method picking up the kids seems dangerous or at least bizarre. It is absolutely outside the social norms.

2 – When we have a police presence in the schools, the ordinary sturm und drang of the day escalates into arrests.

Here is the video and here’s the site that has the whole story.

I hope the arrest is dropped and I hope the school reviews its pick-up procedures, as well as how it treats parents and kids who feel that once the school day is over, neither the school nor the police get to dictate how they go about their lives, if they’re not hurting anyone. – L

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113 Responses to Dad on Foot Arrested for Refusing to Wait in Line of Cars to Get Kids

  1. Rebecca November 20, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    I keep expecting the Monty Python crew to pop out and say “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition”. This is just pure farce. Unreal.

  2. Rebecca November 20, 2013 at 8:13 am #

    I also feel like I might be the only person in the world who doesn’t understand the need for a huge pick up line. When I was a kid there were a few students who were going to school out of district and they had to be driven around — understandable. Why can’t these kids take the bus? Do their parents not have anything better to do? While I love my children more than words can say, I know that I sure do have better ways to spend my time than sitting in a car line.

  3. Paul November 20, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    Believe it or not, I was on the Canadian news show The National with my kids (and Lenore) for letting my kids walk to school alone. Apparently walking to school is “alternative” and news worthy.

    The issue here is similar to what happens near my kids school (I’ve talked to people from the school in question online). People living in the area of the school were fed up with parents disregarding traffic laws, parking in personal driveways and in no parking zones, waiting to pick up their kids after school. The city’s response was to only allow kids to be picked up by car if the cars got in line.

    The parent’s could sign a waiver to let their kids walk alone, but could not walk and pick up their kids themselves, because the school is assuming that any parent who is walking merely parked illegally somewhere to avert the long line, and hadn’t walked all the way from home.

    Rather than the police bothering the parent at the school, they should be out patrolling the area for illegally parked cars.

  4. susan2 November 20, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    Oh my, that’s what they call “disorderly conduct” in Cumberland County, TN?

    Having School Resource Officers doesn’t have to lead to this sort of drama. We love the SROs in our schools, and they often PREVENT drama from happening. Proper training and picking the right candidates for this delicate job is what is needed.

  5. Jeanette November 20, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    Thank you, Rebecca! What happened to riding the bus? I say this every time I read one of these outraged pick-up line stories. RIDE THE BUS!! Who is the fool here? BOTH the school AND the parents. So you walk to school with your kid, why not empower them & offer them some autonomy by allowing them to make it to the door alone? Isn’t that what we’re talking about here, free range?

  6. Paul November 20, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    Not defending the school’s action at all, but not every school has busses. My kids’ school doesn’t, as everyone lives close enough that they SHOULD be walking, but only 8% do, according to our latest statistics.

  7. Ruthanne November 20, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    The father was absolutely right! Schools often make rules that do not make any reasonable sense and are arbitrary for “school safety”. That cop was on a power trip, the arrest should be thrown out along with that outrageous rule that walkers have to wait for the gas wasting carpool line to be finished.

    My kids were at a charter school in Matthews, NC (Socrates Academy) that had a similar idiotic policy. They wouldn’t allow kids to be picked up by a parent outside of the carpool line unless they lived within one mile of the school. So, I was forced to wait in one carpool line for 45 minutes to an hour and then go through a second carpool line 130 feet over to pick up my middle schooler. (They also changed the policy and would not let younger siblings be picked up with middle school siblings, because that would be oh so DANGEROUS!!!). I couldn’t trust such mellow minds to be responsible for my children’s education, so my kids now go to local public schools which are better rated anyways.

    This poor family has nowhere else to go as it is the local public school that is so unreasonable.

  8. QuicoT November 20, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    When I see stories like these, I really can’t help but feel that Lenore should take this site in a more activist direction.

    Just imagine if at the end of a story like this, you added a paragraph headline:

    TAKE ACTION

    and suggested 2 or 3 quick, concrete things readers could do about this:
    -Write to the local schoolboard -emailaddresshere- to let them know what you think about this policy
    -Write to the local newspaper -emailaddresshere- to demand common sense pick-up rules
    -Contact the local cops -emailaddresshere- to remind them we still have a constitution.

    —-

    I just feel SO POWERLESS reading this craziness, knowing hundreds of others understand it for the craziness it is, and being able to do nothing beyond vent in comments.

  9. Nicole November 20, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    My first thought was how completely UNsafe they are being (probably somehow in the name of safety) by expecting a pedestrian to stand IN the car line. But my second was that the poor dad is probably picking them up in the first place because the school won’t release the 8-year-old TO the 14-year-old to begin with. Ugggh!

  10. Andy November 20, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    What was he arrested for? Is it legal for cops to arrest someone in a situation like this? I through they have to have a reason for arrest.

    Because it seems to me that even if they wanted him to wait anyway, they could simply ignore him. That arrests seems to me is nothing but demonstration of power.

  11. susan2 November 20, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    Thanks, Paul for the information about why some schools have this rule. Still an incredibly stupid rule, but seeing the way parents block crosswalks and driveway and double park around our school (urban school, so no room for a pick up line), I can understand the reasoning behind it a little more due to your explanation.

  12. Emily November 20, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    What about people who don’t own cars?

  13. Paul November 20, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    That’s my situation Emily. We take public transit everywhere, and I don’t own a car. The school assumes that the parent walking in has illegally parked his car somewhere, which is why they won’t release his kids to him. Major flaw in the system.

  14. Becki November 20, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    Crazy! I live in the Northwest Chicago suburbs and our elementary encourages us to walk to school. They worked out a deal with the church across the street to use their large parking lot, so drivers are not allowed to enter the school parking lot, but across the street, and the kids walk over with a crossing guard.

  15. TRS November 20, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    What is the whole story here. My guess is the dad is not following the proper school procedure to pick his kid up. Did he walk from home? My guess he did not. He probably parked somewhere where he is not allowed and felt he was too special and entitled to wait like all the other parents. We have a ton of entitled parents that park in non parking zones and run across the bus lines to get their kids.

  16. Paul November 20, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    TRS, how can you prove that the parent parked illegally somewhere? The reasoning for the system is to prevent people from illegally parking cars near the school, so why not get the police out of the school and patrol the area for illegally parked cars?

  17. TRS November 20, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    My daughters in Middle School can not walk to school because it is 6 miles away. My elementary school child can not walk because there is one way in and out of our neighborhood that feeds onto a 6 lane road with a ton of traffic.

    I take my child to school because we live less than a mile and the bus ride is over 1/2 hour because we are the first stop. She does take it home everyday unless she has something going on after school. Parents will often take their kids to school or pick them up because of the ridiculously long bus routes and either want to give their child more sleep or time for homework.

  18. TRS November 20, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    The school knew the man’s address they probably had a good idea that he parked somewhere where he was not supposed to. I am just sick of these entitled parents.

  19. Paul November 20, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    “A good idea” shouldn’t be good enough to get someone arrested. You need proof.

  20. BL November 20, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    I’d seriously look into whether you can get a lawyer to charge school officials with kidnapping if they don’t turn your own kid over to you, when and where you bloody well say so.

  21. Mary November 20, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    Outrageous! Are the children detained and not allowed to leave the school grounds w/out a parent “picking them up”? In the future I would instruct the children (one of whom is 14!!!!!!!) to meet me around the corner from the school.
    I walked to and from school alone from kindergarten on. Only in middle school did I ride the bus because the school was rather far from my house.
    When my now-1 yr old enters school I will be walking to drop her off (I will let her walk herself – if the school system allows me to! Not as early as kindergarten, not sure at what age) but if the school tries to make me wait in a line of cars I might just get arrested too.

  22. BL November 20, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    @Andy
    “I through they have to have a reason for arrest.”

    They have immunity. They can do whatever they please.

  23. TRS November 20, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    They probably saw where the man’s car was. I am sure since he was too lazy to wait in the carpool line he was too lazy to park far from the school.

  24. Linda Wightman November 20, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    There is no defense for the school’s actions, but I will make one small voice in support of those who don’t take school buses. Our kids did, all the time until high school, but it was often not a happy experience, from excessively loud music (played by the bus driver!) to bullying from other kids. And I’ve heard the situation has gotten worse, more out of control. I’ll admit I was happy that the high school let their older students drive to school, and that our kids grew up in a time when their friends weren’t restricted from driving non-family members. Yes, best to fix the bus situation, but in the meantime, sometimes you just do what you can.

  25. Sherri November 20, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    This is ridiculous. But why wouldn’t he sign the form to let the kids walk by themselves? That would have solved the problem. The school was giving the option of allowing the kids to be free range but the dad refused that option.

  26. Mel November 20, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    How ridiculous. Very grateful for my school district. The surrounding neighborhood (residential) is packed with parked cars of those waiting for kids to walk out- it is your option to walk in and socialize on the playground while waiting for school to let out, or wait for your child to walk to you. There is a pick up line at the front and back of the school if you choose to use it. . It is stress inducing, and causes everyone in it to drive like a rude lunatic.

  27. Coccinelle November 20, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    That’s pretty awful but I think the biggest problem is that an 8 year old can’t go home with his 14 year old sibling. What kind of idiocy is that? Where I live, 14 year olds can drive scooters! o.O

  28.  Lise November 20, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Paul’s comment makes the school’s policy make tiny bit of sense–if they were having a problem with parents parking illegally, etc. then I can understand them wanting to do something about that, but telling a parent who arrives at the school on foot that he can’t pick up his kids is so not the way to go about it.

  29. Ruthanne November 20, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    TRS- The appropriate response for being parked illegally is not arrest, it is a ticket. Chances are he parked a ways away from school in a legitimate, legal parking spot. That does NOT make him entitled. I am sick of people who disrespect parents.

  30. Pete November 20, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    Everyone’s saying the arrest should be dropped. I agree.

    What they miss is that the officer should be fired, and prosecuted under Federal title 18 section 242 – for depriving an innocent civilian of his civil rights under color of law. This man had committed no offense, and the only thing disorderly that occurred that day was done by the man wearing a badge.

    I guarantee you if you ask officers who patrol outside of schools – this method of disagreement, civil, polite, reasonable, is how they WISH the public would handle manners- both with the police and with each other. In fact, we used to just call it “acting like adults” or “talking it out”.

    The principal and superintendent should be called in on this as well – is this the type of role model that the school wishes to present to their students?

  31. Neda November 20, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    This is probably the unpopular opinion here, but the dad was being a jerk. Do I think it was disorderly conduct, no. However, there are safety concerns. While my children were in elementary school 2 children were hit while walking. One with minor injuries, the other not so lucky. There were also incidents in middle school. The middle school car rider line was RIDICULOUS! 2 lanes of a bunch of impatient, entitled parents thinking the have a right to cut in line, go around cars trying to load up their own kids, making a third line where school officials & teachers walk to get to their own cars. We had a great principal who did monitor the car line & would chew you a new ass if you didn’t follow the rules, but there will always be rude people who think they are above them. It is normal procedure here (Tampa FL) for the students’ dismissal to be staggered; bus riders first, then walkers, then car riders. I didn’t read every comment, but it seems people think he was required to wait in the car line or something, sucking on gas fumes til his kid came out. This is not the case. The SRO simply said walkers are released after bus riders. Dad can’t wait 5 minutes? THIS is the bigger problem in my opinion. Entitlement. What was so important this parent couldn’t wait 5 minutes? What makes him so special that he doesn’t have to follow the rules? Again, I don’t think his conduct warranted arrest, however, if you have a real problem with a school procedure there are proper avenues to take. Being a jerk in the main office at pick up time probably won’t get the end result you’re looking for. You aren’t the only parent trying to pick up your kid.

  32. Ruthanne November 20, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Neda – Once the father picks up his children, he is responsible for their safety. If you watched the video, it was way past a five minute wait and he was asking to get his children within a 15 minute wait.

  33. Ruthanne November 20, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    Sherri- I believe on the video it says one of his kids has special needs which may have influenced his decision to not sign the paper for the kids to walk themselves.

  34. Paul November 20, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    Entitlement? Schools can’t keep kids from their parents, regardless of any stupid rules. When I show up, give me my kids. Period. End of story.

    If you want to stop traffic problems, patrol traffic and give tickets.

  35. Eileen November 20, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    Well, I don’t like either of these gentleman. But it’s obvious that the conversation began well before the video began. So we’re missing part of what (may have) gotten the sheriff so worked up.

    It would be nice to know if the Dad walked from home to the school or where he parked. Despite my kids HS stressing over and over to NOT drop/pick up kids outside of the carpool lanes, people do it ALL the time. They DO create an issue with safety (at least in our school setting).

    I would guess this Dad parked far enough away and in a legal place since he knew what he was walking into. His comments indicate that he dislikes the “new carpool” policy so I imagine that was what this was all about.

    I’m guessing that they hold walkers up to make sure the school’s carpool traffic and buses have cleared out. Makes sense.

    It would be nice to know why the school didn’t just intercom the classrooms and ask the kids to come up to the office (like they would for kids that “check out” early). But again, we didn’t hear the beginning of the confrontation.

  36. Violet November 20, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    TRS made up a reason for the school and concluded from his own made up story that the parents are entitled. Paul’s explanation makes sense though.

  37. Paul November 20, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    A parent can’t walk with his kids until the cars leave? I’ve walked my kids to school for seven years, and figured out each and every day how to avoid cars. I should be the judge of the safety and welfare of my kids once I arrive, not the school.

  38. Orange Roughy November 20, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    why is there even a sheriff at school? crazy

  39. Emily November 20, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    Sherri–He did sign the form to allow his kids to walk to and from school alone, but by that time, things had escalated with the police officer, they were both angry, and one thing led to another. I watched it in the video, and I thought it was crazy too. When I was in school, walking was perfectly normal, and most kids walked without an adult starting in grade three or four or so, at the latest.

  40. Donna November 20, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    This is definitely a scenario that has been way skewed by twisting the facts. It appears from the article that the school day WASN’T OVER when he tried to collect his children. THAT was why he was told to wait. Not because he was walking. He was being told to wait until the school day was actually over. So he was being an ass and acting like a child.

    My child’s school day is 7:35 – 2:35. It likewise prohibits the early release of children, whether via car, foot or horse-drawn carriage, during 2:00 – 2:35 (although it will release them in the case of an emergency). The reason behind it is EXACTLY what this man was trying to do – too many parents trying to avoid waiting in a pick-up line by picking up their kids before school is out for the day making the end of the day a real pain in the ass for the school. I’ve always thought it a perfectly reasonable rule and not particularly onerous.

    Sometimes I think the people here are as much Snowflakes as they ridicule the helicopter parents for being. You send your kids to a large institution and then expect it to cater to your every whim and need. Yes, there are going to be times that sending your child to school is inconvenient, like when you end up at school 10 minutes before the end of the day and have to wait until school actually ends before getting your children. The horrors!!! If you can’t handle a slight inconvenience, homeschool your kids.

    As for why my child doesn’t take the bus, because the bus is less convenient for me. Enough said. You can’t insist that parental convenience is a good reason to leave kids in the car while you run in to pay for gas but object to parents choosing the most convenient way for them to pick up their kids because you don’t like it. You are then no better than the busy-bodies who call the police on kids left in cars for 5 minutes.

  41. Ruthanne November 20, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    Paul, it’s AMAZING you and your children have made it through alive while walking with cars around! I can’t get over the special skills you have to have come through thus far unscathed! 😉

  42. TM November 20, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    @ TRS

    The proper procedure to pick children up from school should be:

    1) Walk into school
    2) Walk out with your children.

    No one, least of all a bunch of school administrators, barring a court order to the contrary has any right whatsoever to prevent a parent from taking possession of their own children. If parents are parking illegally, then as others have said, start patrolling the neighborhood and ticketing / towing illegally parked cars. Surely that’s a better and more efficient use of officer time than arguing with parents and arresting them.

  43. Paul November 20, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Thanks Ruthanne;

    Luckily we live far enough away from downtown Toronto that the mayor won’t run us over during one of his drunken stupors.

  44. Donna November 20, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Okay scratch that. Now that I watched the video, it does appear that it was after 2:35 when he was there since kids are being released in the back. The article made it sound like he was being told that he was being told to wait until 2:35.

  45. Steve S November 20, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    Regardless of whether he went into this to provoke some kind of confrontation or how he acted, I have a hard time with how the police and the school acted. I understand that many communities have to develop ways to deal with all the traffic associated with people picking up their kids. It really doesn’t make much sense to make this guy wait if he wasn’t in a car.

    This deputy also didn’t handle the situation very well. I don’t know anything about Tennessee law, but the parents seemed remarkably calm and composed. Unfortunately, in most states, the laws give police a great deal power in dealing with people that are non-compliant. Unless there is some other video that shows something else, I would expect that there not be any charges.

  46. Eileen November 20, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    I imagine he was remarkably calm because he knew he was on a video that he planned to share.

    I’ve googled the issue and it appears the issue is the new car pool policy. If the RO and the Dad (and apparently others) were annoyed with it, then it seems like there would be easier ways to provide that feedback.

    The office/sheriff *appear* to have handled this poorly, but I’m not convinced the father did either. He was trying to “prove a point” during an already chaotic (by his own admission) part of the school day. Making other people’s jobs harder isn’t the only way to express a viewpoint and effect change.

  47. Ruthanne November 20, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    Donna- do you stand by your comment that people here are as special snowflakes as helicoptor parents? A little harsh, don’t you think? I don’t see why parents should have to pollute the environment and spend a weeks worth of gas just to pick up their children after school for nebulous “safety” reasons and I see no reason why parents who park away from school to get around having to sit in an obnoxious carpool line should be disrespected. A nice 5 minute walk from the car to school and back is good for health, both mental and physical. I completely understand schools in general not letting well children out during classes because it disrupts learning and it is practically impossible to get out of a school parking lot once carpoolers have lined up so it makes sense to put an early dismissal time limit.

  48. lollipoplover November 20, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    Why didn’t he just sign the form to let the kids walk in the first place and just meet the kids to walk together outside the school?

    Busing, walking, and biking students to school is common sense to avoid nightmarish car lines like the one in this video. Our school dismissal is bikers and walkers first (to get them out of traffic around the school), then buses, lastly parent pick-up (they make you park your car and sign your kid out).

    When you create Drive-Thru’s at schools and treat kids like happy meals that needed to be driven door to door and a walking father as a criminal, you’ve lost serious touch with reality. How do you wait in that line?! Why not just send a form in as walkers and avoid the school completely? I still don’t understand why he had to walk with his kids (though it’s nice to spend time together) and they couldn’t walk alone.

  49. Ruthanne November 20, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Eileen- So you take issue that he was not polite enough or that you haven’t seen what else he tried before this? When it happened at my children’s school, I contacted administration, the board, wrote letter, started a petition well before I went to the office to collect my children after having parked legally on the street avoiding the hour long carpool(yes, the school was THAT inept that the carpool line was an hour long with no buses because it was a charter school) ..but like you everyone thought I was just behaving badly and should suck it up like everyone else. This father was calm, the officer arrested him while he was calm! If he was disorderly or even more impolite according to your sensitive sensibilities before, I am sure cop would not have hesitated to arrest him earlier.

  50. CrazyCatLady November 20, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    Our local school has kids as crossing guards. Walkers get to go as soon as they want. The crossing guards (5th graders) get them across the street to the residential neighborhood. Buses go when they have their kids – but – if there is a pedestrian waiting at the crosswalk, the 5th grader WILL stop the buses. Finally, the parents in cars get their kids. I have noticed that the line doesn’t seem as long as in the past.

    As for a bus ride of a 1/2 hour….boo hoo! I rode the bus for over an hour when I was a kid and got all my homework done on the bus. I would NEVER wait for 25 minutes or more in line just to save my kid a total of 30 minutes. Besides, if I am late in the morning, my kid gets a tardy. If the bus is late, my kid gets a pass. I liked the time to sit and look out the window for a while before I had to socialize.

  51. Dave November 20, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    This is why I don’t live in TN. How do idiots like this become police officers and we give him a gun. This is just to crazy. One question, why is he the only one confronting this system? When parents act like sheep they get led to do irrational things. The sheriffs rant about the rules is supposed to stop rational thought. Rules can be changed. This reflects badly on the whole community.

  52. Eileen November 20, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    Ruthanne, I have no idea what he’s done prior to this but neither do you. When the video starts, it’s OBVIOUS they’d already gotten to a point where they were at odds. We don’t know if that was 2 minutes or 10. We don’t know what had been said. Those are facts.

    If the sheriff (as it says in the article and others) agrees the current arrangement is poor and unsafe, the parents have a pretty good start on getting some changes made.

    It’s possible, that other parents helped to CREATE the new plan by trying to circumvent the carpool line to begin with. I almost hit a car when departing our school’s parking lot after dropping my son off. A parent had opted not to turn into the parking lot/carpool lane and slammed on the breaks on the street so Jr could jump out. Since this is a NO PARKING zone, I made a right turn out of the school and found myself RIGHT behind the car. Fortunately I didn’t hit them.

    Do I think the Sheriff’s behavior is absurd. Yes. Do I think a parent making a stink in the reception area while boasting he didn’t mind going to jail since he’d been there before might be absurd too? Yes.

  53. Emily November 20, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    Donna–I see your point, but what about kids who have an appointment or something right after school, that starts at say, three o’clock, and picking them up a few minutes early in order to bypass the car pick-up line is the only way their parents/adults can get them there on time? Back in the olden days, when I was in the public school system (1989-2003; and the extra year is because I did OAC), that wouldn’t have been a problem. Parents and guardians were allowed to pick up their kids from school whenever it was convenient, and as I said before, walking unescorted from grade three or four up was considered perfectly normal, for non-bus students. I guess what I’m trying to say is, back then, a father picking up his kids a few minutes early, on foot, wouldn’t have made the news; it would have been just part of life.

  54. Donna November 20, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Ruthanne – As I said, if this man was picking his children up AFTER 2:35 (I’m still unclear on that), then the school was definitely in the wrong. Either way, the cop was being a typical over-empowered jerk.

    But, yes, I do think some of the people here act like Snowflakes and have for a very long time. This may not be a specific example (if the guy was indeed at school after 2:35) but the thought frequently crosses my mind when reading comments on this site. Not usually Lenore’s posts but the comments to them, especially in the school arena.

  55. Coasterfreak November 20, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    TRS – believe me, I totally side with you on the entitlement thing. I see it all the time, everywhere I go, and it infuriates me to the core. I’m a really laid back “live and let live” kind of guy, but the fact that people feel so entitled to everything these days is one of the very few things that sets me off.

    That said, if the guy wants to park somewhere he’s not supposed to and then walk up to the school to get his kids, that’s his problem, not the school’s. And it’s not the SRO’s problem, either. If illegal parking is that rampant around the school, there should be officers patrolling the area handing out tickets to illegally parked cars, not SRO’s arresting parents who walk up to the school to get their kids.

  56. Rebecca November 20, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    Linda Wightman – I rode the bus for 12 years of school and I can assure you that back in the Olden Days of the 1990s, the music was loud, there were fights, I was bullied incessantly (nerdy, poor girl in the middle of an affluent area) and that all sorts of shenanigans happened that would be leading the OMG!!!11!!1! THiNk oF THE CHILDRENNN!!!111 newscasts today.

    I may be wrong but I truly feel like the problem is that EVERYTHING is a disaster these days. Kids don’t have the backbone to stand up to or just plain ignore asinine bullies and adults worry about lawsuits rather than exercising common sense. That is why we are here (here as at this crazy place in society as well as here as on this particular webpage)

    Paul – when I was a kid, the only children who were eligible for riding the bus within 1 mile of the school were those with physical or mental disabilities that would preclude them from safely arriving at school or those that had to cross a major highway. And most of them even went with the pack from their neighborhood and walked. PS – good luck with Mayor (former mayor?) Ford. Crazy stuff.

  57. Maggie November 20, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    I’m continually astonished by stories like this. They want the father to go “stand in line”, between cars, on the edge of the highway?

    Now that would be crazy.

  58. Fink-Nottle November 20, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    I don’t understand why there is a sliding dismissal. When I was in school (the 80s), the bell rang and all the kids left. So now someone is holding them back and releasing them one by one or in small groups depending on if you get picked up, take the bus, or walk? That seems insane. But if they are going to do it this way, why would you make the walkers WAIT for the people in cars??? Wouldn’t walkers be the quickest to leave? I dread when my now 2 year-old goes to school.

  59. Eileen November 20, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    @Coasterfreak , I think the issue with people that circumvent the carpool process, is that if more and more people do it, it becomes “an issue”. I think this is also where people bring the snowflake issue into play. ‘I don’t have the time or desire to wait in that long line, so I’m going to park down the street’. If everyone starts parking ‘down the street’ then you’ve got an issue.

    Perhaps it’s because I’ve got educators in my family, but I am sympathetic to schools who serve SO many masters. Every parent has an idea of the “right way” to handle something. Obviously you can’t have a custom experience for every child in a school or classroom. I’m sure the schools make mistakes – clearly they do.

    But, JUST last week saw a parent confront a principal who was standing in front of the student section of the school athletic event. The game had been stopped earlier by an official because of a slur directed at a player. So the principal stood on the track in front so that he would be able to monitor the students’ behavior. A parent concluded that this was stifling the kids from cheering for the team and walked up and asked him to move. So, yeah, cheering for her snowflake should trump a principal doing his job (so the coach and referees didn’t have to).

    Again the video is absurd, but for 2 people who agree on the flawed carpool system, it doesn’t seem like you should have to get to this point to begin with….unless that’s what the Dad intended to do from the beginning.

  60. anonymous this time November 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    I’m so with Dad on this one. Writing letters and making phone calls about policies you disagree with doesn’t always work as efficiently as “acting as if” (à la Rosa Parks on the bus)… just carrying on as if the policy is not in place, and as long as no one’s safety or freedom is negatively affected, it’s a great way to point out how the rule is, in fact, not meeting the needs of the people being governed.

    Just yesterday I took my kid to an appointment that started at 2:30, so I came and got her at 2:15 (I actually called ahead to the office before I came to the school to ask if they would “summon” my kid from the classroom with her things and meet me in the office!). It was just fine. If I were not permitted to do that, you can bet I would raise some flags, and perhaps a little holy hell. I applaud this Dad’s restraint, honestly.

    That deputy came straight from Central Casting. But good on him if he’s admitting the policy is flawed and needs amendments.

  61. Warren November 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    @TRS
    Half an hour? OMG the horror!!!!!!!!!!!!

  62. Ruthanne November 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    Eileen-

    If more people circumvent the ridiculous carpool policy because they want to get their children faster and park down the street creating traffic, that will naturally defeat the purpose and cause the circumventing parent to rethink their afterschool parking plan, right and they would probably spread out a bit to another street or find that the carpool itself is faster. The parents will naturally choose another way because they are looking to avoid traffic, even if they have to use their special snowflake legs. Why is it the administrators’ business what parents do outside of their carpool line if they are not breaking the law. Let parents use their brains and figure out their own schedules off campus. Let off campus police give out tickets if called for. I too come from a family of educators, but none of them are as close minded as the administration in question and none would let a situation escalate to an arrest for a calm, but rightfully seething father.

  63. Jenna K. November 20, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    The whole pick-up from school thing drives me absolutely crazy. I understand if you live a mile or more and your child is only five, you wouldn’t want them walking alone. But if they had a group of kids, including kids as old as 11 or 12 walking, why couldn’t you let them walk? Especially if there are sidewalks and crossing guards the whole way?

    We live one mile away from our school and I am the only parent in our neighborhood whose kids walk to and from school. Sure, they have to leave at 7:45 to get there by 8:25 (with a little time to spare), but it’s worth it to me to give them that responsibility. We have crossing guards at both major intersections and sidewalks. I mentioned to another parent that my kids walk and she was shocked. She was even more shocked when I told her that they would be walking even through the winter. Heaven forbid they have to put on heavy coats, gloves, hats and possibly boots and walk when it’s cold! Child abuse!

    No, but seriously, it irks me when I do have to pick them up (once a week because my daughter’s dance class starts too soon after school for them to walk home and her to get there on time), it’s utter madness at the school with all the picking up parents. The thing is, my neighborhood is the only neighborhood so far from the school. The rest of the school population live within a half mile or even closer to the school, some live less than a block, but parents still pick up those kids. It’s madness!

    I remember when I was a kid, only a few kids were picked up, and it was usually because they had to get to after-school classes or go to daycare after school. The rest of us walked. I even walked the three blocks ALONE when I was in first grade because my older brothers would ditch me. Somehow, everyone in my school who did this managed to survive.

    I know I’m writing a novel, but I have told my kids how lucky they are that I give them so much freedom and responsibility. Even my 5-year-old knows how to get to school and back, and she knows her way around town pretty well too with all the bike riding and walking she and her older brothers do.

  64. Eileen November 20, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    @Ruthanne , the person who made the decision to put him in handcuffs was NOT an educator. He was School Resource Officer.

    Sure, they could just let parents figure out their own school pickup process. They could let the people in the surrounding neighborhoods/businesses complain to the school or police about what happens at school drop off/pickup. I’m sure that will end up with the school/police devising….a POLICY for carpool. Back where you started.

    I’ve had 2 kids graduate from public schools. Most often they took the bus (or drove themselves), but we’ve had periods of time we use the carpool. But during those years, there have been a few attempts for schools to ‘manage’ the carpool or try new processes. They didn’t do it out of the blue just for the helluva it. They were trying to address issues/concerns. They communicate to parents and parents are asked to show patience as they work thru the kinks.

    At my kids HS, there are TONS of cars (as one would imagine) with parents and teen drivers. One “policy” is that drivers “take turns” as the turn into the school parking lots. Otherwise, the drivers having to turn LEFT into the school would NEVER be able to turn. People follow the policy because it makes SENSE for the school community. People also are asked to only depart the school parking lot by making a right hand turn. It’s also not a law, but people follow the policy.

    I guess perhaps I just have more patience than some. And I also realize I don’t have the whole story (as usual).

  65. Warren November 20, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Donna, the story nor the video confirm when he was picking them up. The story only states the rules for times.

  66. Warren November 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    No offense to the anti snowfakers, but as a parent, I don’t care if I show up on foot, land in a helicopter, parachute in or beam in from the USS Enterprise with Capt. Kirk. If a parent shows up to pick up their kid, the school damn well gets the kid for them. No ifs, ands or buts. School policy does not trump parental custody or the law.

    The absurd thing here beside the arrest is the insane carpool idea, in the first place. How about the rule be made that no student is to be dropped off or picked up by vehicle, other than a school bus. You don’t take the bus, walk your little butt to school.

  67. Warren November 20, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    @Donna,
    My apologies, when scrolling I didn’t see your retraction on the time issue.

    Could the dad not have called in the State Police, seeing as how he was being threatened by a local Sheriff?

  68. BL November 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    I’m wondering if newly-built schools (or rather the areas just outside the school buildings) are designed to handle this sort of traffic, if it’s now “normal”.

  69. Stacie November 20, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    That is ridiculous. Parents should be allowed to take custody of their children after school hours, and get them home in any safe manner that they see fit.

  70. Andy November 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    @Donna As far as I know, dad from video never commented on this site. So, him being there before 2:35, ofter 2:35 or right in the middle of math class have nothing to do with people on this site.

    Second, school policies and laws are not god given commandments. People in position of power are not gods deputies on earth. They are fallible and open to criticism. Dismissing anyone who dares to oppose rule or someone in power as “special snowflake” or being condescending toward him is not a constructive way to treat disagreements about them.

    Abuse of power is way more dangerous than any amount of bad parking or random taking of kids from school. Even if all dads in that school would be argumentative and took the kids from school too soon, abuse of power by authority is still way more dangerous than all of them combined.

    Third, it might be more constructive to read articles and whole posts before being condescending or rude to people.

  71. Donna November 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    “Could the dad not have called in the State Police, seeing as how he was being threatened by a local Sheriff?”

    No. State police don’t have authority over local police. And the cop was not doing anything illegal. Cops are allowed to threaten to arrest you as long as it isn’t extortion. They can’t say “I’ll arrest you if you don’t have sex with me,” but they can say “I think you’re being disorderly and I’m going to arrest you for disorderly conduct if you don’t shut up” which is all this cop did. Whether it was really disorderly conduct or not is going to be up to the DA and jury.

  72. Dave Bauer November 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    Again, folks are commenting on half the story without all the facts and a profound misunderstanding of a school’s responsibility. We don’t know the full scope of the interaction of the police officer and the parent, or even if the parent is legally allowed to pick up those children at school due to custody issues.

    Hey, I agree, walking is the best way to get to/from school, and the line of cars is obviously not a good way to deal with dismissing children!

    Schools are responsible, not for the safety of just your child, but hundreds of children. They need to make sure they know where they are, who they are going home with, etc, every single day. This is a confusing and difficult job, so they have procedures that make this manageable at a large scale.

    One school I worked with has around 100 changes a day of children going on a different bus, or leaving early, getting picked up instead of riding the bus or riding the bus instead of getting picked up.

    Lenore, I hope instead of just posting fantastic but poorly researched links you’ll post more thoughtful content.

  73. Donna November 20, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    Andy – I never said that people who oppose rules are special snowflakes. I’m all for opposing rules while acting like the adults that we are supposed to be. It would be even better if people would do it in actual constructive, mature ways and not just annoying people who had no part in setting the policies to start with. That was sadly lacking in this example but I wasn’t talking about the father in the video at all.

    I do see as much of a sense of entitlement from people who post here as I do in helicopter parents, just different entitlements. It has made me have a pretty negative view of this blog of late. Not Lenore’s posts but the comments that frequently follow. And it is particularly prevalent in the realm of anything involving school. Sorry if you think that that belief is insulting to you.

  74. LegalMist November 20, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    This is absolutely insane. There is no reason on God’s green earth – none! – that the kids should not have been allowed to go home with their father. So those who are saying “we don’t have the whole story” are just wrong. They are his kids. (No one was disputing that or asking for identification that wasn’t being provided. There was no indication that he did not have parental rights.) School is out. Send them home with him!

    This is the kind of bureaucratic crap that makes all of our lives unnecessarily stressful and drives some to declare that public education is an abomination that should be abolished.

    And police officers in schools often cause more problems than they solve, this being a prime example. Ugh.

  75. Eileen November 20, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    This video is linked from the youtube page of the one posted. It’s from a previous day. It doesn’t improve the behavior/attitude of the SRO, but it does show that the parent parked in the lot and walked to get the kids, which is what apparently ticked them off.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv_bFu0spGo

    It also appears that he spoke to another school official who asked him to get in the line (with his car). So there was a back story about the conflict and it appears he walked to school the next time to test their policy — but only because he hates the new carpool line issue and test the school’s reach.

    I can’t say that the school looks good and I don’t understand why a principal/administrator doesn’t step in to discuss the policy. The SRO is enforcing it, but I presume he doesn’t out rank the Principal.

  76. mmmwright November 20, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    Oh, I think the guy got arrested for Disrect of Cop. He knew the law and the cop didn’t. That’s grounds for arrest, isn’t it?

  77. Joquena November 20, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    I walk my 2 daughters to and from school every day. I can’t imagine driving when you live in walking distance the car pickup line is horrible. Fortunately we’ve never had any problems with our school and the administration and the officer on duty have always been respectful. It seems like these 2 men had a previous history!

  78. Donna November 20, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Eileen –

    This seems like a very juvenile way to object to a policy you don’t like. All the conflict seems to be between the SRO and the man. THE SRO CAN’T CHANGE THE POLICY!! Even if he wants to. Even if he thinks it is dumb. Even if he thinks that it is the worst policy ever made in the history of school policy, he can’t change it. Getting into a argument with him is pointless and just makes his life more difficult and eventually angers him enough to arrest you apparently. Likewise, any secretary or low level administrator, who are the only people that I ever see when I go pick up my kid.

    I don’t know why the principal wasn’t called out to deal with this. Ours would have come out in a second. Since both videos start mid-argument, maybe s/he DID address the guy’s complaints but that didn’t serve his point so wasn’t posted. But whether even the school principal can change the policy depends on how it came to be. His/her own idea? Sure. A District-wide policy? No. A school board policy? No.

    I’m not going to say that everyone should blindly enforce stupid rules (so no need to go down the Nazi road) but I’m not going to lose my job just so that this guy doesn’t have to sit in a pick-up line. There are things worth me putting my family’s livelihood at risk, but this is not one of them. I’d be telling him “come in, calmly talk to me and we will try to find a way to address your issues but until then, get in line, dude.”

  79. lollipoplover November 20, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    “Schools are responsible, not for the safety of just your child, but hundreds of children. They need to make sure they know where they are, who they are going home with, etc, every single day. This is a confusing and difficult job, so they have procedures that make this manageable at a large scale.”

    It’s really not that hard. The rules and regulations make it no safer for kids, just more aggravating for the adults who are responsible for them. You make it sound like Grand Central Station-it’s a school. And parents shouldn’t be treated like they’re at the DMV.

  80. Steve S November 20, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    I am not completely unsympathetic to schools that have to deal with the chaos of the end of the day, but most places seem to be able to do it reasonably well. My daughter’s school has a pick up lane that actually moves pretty fast. I have never waited more than 15 minutes there and it usually faster. If you don’t want to use that lane, you can park in the lot and walk in and get you kid or they can walk out to you. On the few occasions that I have had to pick her up when school was in session, I just went into the office and they called her down.

    I have to agree with Warren and several others that have pointed out that parents should be able to pick up their kids when they need to pick up their kids.

  81. Eileen November 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    @Donna – right. It seems like the Dad is trying to accuse the school of holding his kids hostage and invoking legal rights when it’s really his objection to the carpool management.

    It’s possible that he’s been parking/picking up his kids in this manner all along and he’s just annoyed that his workaround is no longer available.

    Yes, it’s completely absurd that there is no (apparent) way for a walking parent to retrieve their kids from the school without waiting until a certain time on the clock. I can’t be convinced (yet anyway) that this is the way to do it.

    If the Dad would sign the paperwork to allow his 8 & 14 year old to leave school on foot, then he (as someone suggested) could meet them down the sidewalk and continue home. He refused to sign it because he didn’t want them to be able to leave school alone. From a Free Range standpoint, it seems like he’d be able to convey to his kids when they should and should not leave school on foot. But his end game isn’t really that – it’s changing the whole carpool line management back to the old system.

    When my kids were 6 and 9, I worked and had a sitter meet them at home 3 days a week. Other days they went to the after school program. I clipped little tags to their backpacks so they had a reminder of where to go (but or afterschool program). I would imagine Dad could figure out a way to let them know how to leave school at 8 and 14. But that’s not his issue, it’s the dislike of the carpool rules.

  82. Eileen November 20, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    Ugh, clarifying my own post. I’m “not convinced” that his (the Dad) confrontation with the SRO is the way to go about this. I’m completely convinced that the SRO is engaging this man for too long and in an unproductive manner. He should radio the Principal and hand the Dad off.

  83. Lin November 20, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    We don’t have anything as crazy as pick up lines here in Australia fortunately! I have called the police to do something about the incredibly selfish, lazy parents who park their cars on the median strip and block the view of the school crossing. I wouldn’t have minded one bit if they had frog marched them off to the paddy wagon!

    I park at the local stores just across from the school and meet my 8yo there after school. If she’s there before I arrive, I’ll find her sitting in a tree!

    Only the 5yos need to be picked up at their class.

  84. Warren November 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    LOL! Cop was lucky. Some Dad’s I know, including myself would have said,
    “You are not going to release my kids to me, then fine. I will go get them myself.”
    Don’t give a crap if it is school only or district wide, their policy isn’t worth the paper it is written on. It is not law, and it does not supercede parental authority. And there is no way in you know what I am going sit in a mile long line to collect my kids. School doesn’t like it, they have two choices…..fix the problem, or suck it up.

    I pity the deputy if he tried to stop me.

  85. Amanda Matthews November 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    It has nothing to do with laziness of thinking you are special – the whole idea of the car line is ridiculous! People line up in their cars 30 minutes before school lets out. Once school lets out, they have to inch up until it’s their turn to get their child, which I’m told can take up to another 45 minutes.

    So in the warm months you have to keep the car on for the air conditioning (I saw some people sitting in car lines in 98 degree heat this year), in the cold months you have to keep it on for the heat. Either way you have to keep your car on to inch up once school lets out.

    It’s a ridiculous waste of gas and time all in the name of “safety” while not making anything more safe. It is, in fact making things more dangerous by increasing pollution and having a long line of cars that wraps around the block full of people not paying much attention and/or having their hands occupied (several people have told me they do things like knit or read while in the line).

    I don’t know how any family with two working parents manages it.

    @Donna even if the father was trying to avoid the car line, his reason for attempting to pick up HIS OWN CHILDREN is irrelevant. The school should never prevent a parent from getting their child (of course barring a custody order, restraining order etc. saying a certain parent can not do so). It doesn’t matter if it is 10 minutes before release, 1 hour before release, if they Dad does it every day – it should NEVER be an issue for a parent to pick up their child. And it shouldn’t be considered a “special snowflake” that has the privilege of picking up their own child!

  86. Eileen November 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    @Lin, the situation you describe (people parking haphazardly) is likely what preceded the recent change in the carpool management. The Resource Officer says something about blocking lanes in the other video I linked. I’m guessing they had parents complaining about the rule benders that were blocking the way and creating children walking amongst the scads of cars.

    Which is why the schools can’t win (particularly if they don’t deal with it better than this scenario), for every parents that’s going to create confrontation when their work around is no longer available, you’ve got another parent that’s wondering why the school isn’t doing something to prevent the parents from gaming the carpool system. Face it, no one’s time is more valuable than anyone else’s. it’s got to be one incredibly frustrating thing for the schools to have to manage.

  87. Eileen November 20, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    For those inclined, there’s a Go Fund Me website set up by the Dad (linked from the Youtube video). His goal is $10,000.

    http://www.gofundme.com/5dqy5o

    Would it cost that much to resolve his legal matter? I really have no idea.

  88. Amanda Matthews November 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Simple solution for managing the car lines: do away with them!

    How many of us managed to get through school without such a thing existing?

    Kids can just actually be released at dismissal time and then walk to the appropriate place.

    Parents that need to drive their children can park in the parking lot. Those kids can walk to their parents’ car. Then the parents can leave, WATCHING OUT for other children as they do so.

    Children that live close enough to walk home can walk home. If there is a bus, kids that ride the bus can walk to the bus.

    This is how things are handled at every school I have ever seen without a car line.

    If the kids don’t know how to do these things – what the hell is the school doing if not teaching them, long before 8/14, how to walk out of the school building without someone holding their hand?

    It ISN’T the school’s job to hold kids’ hands until they can hand them back to their parents. It certainly isn’t the school’s job to do this for teenagers.

  89. Eileen November 20, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    And lastly, here’s a link to a NY Daily News article on this issue:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/dad-arrested-pick-kids-school-article-1.1523389

    Some excerpts:
    “The controversy stems over a change in the procedure last week. Before, parents could park in the lot and come into the school to pick up the children, Howe said. But now the parents must wait in their vehicles and line up on the side of a local highway — which Howe said stretches a mile and is a safety concern.

    [snip]

    The district is working out the problems with the new policy and said many parents are in favor of it, Andrews said. The change came from a suggestion by the school’s Parent teacher Organization, he said.

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/dad-arrested-pick-kids-school-article-1.1523389#ixzz2lDu0A5vW

  90. Eileen November 20, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    @Amanda, I don’t know what it’s like in your area, but there is NO WAY that all the cars that come to pick up kids would fit in the parking lots of the schools my kids attended. Every school had temporary classroom buildings to fit the students. Elementary School and Middle School, there is enough parking for buses and staff, not for every parent that wants to pick up their kid. High School has parking for Students and even that is limited and assigned via lottery.

  91. Amanda Matthews November 20, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    @Eileen well then maybe some of those people that WANT to pick up their kid, but don’t HAVE to would need to reevaluate what they want to do.

    Or maybe they park at an appropriate place (i.e. park legally) a few blocks away, and the kid walks to the car. Or they can even meet the kid outside of the school and walk with them to the car.

    Car lines are a recent thing; those schools functioned before the car lines existed, I’m assuming.

    I know overcrowded schools existed before car lines.

    Side note: if there is not enough parking for pickup, what happens during school functions where the families come (plays, graduations etc.)? I would assume there are many more people wanting to park during those, than want to pick up their children daily?

  92. Eileen November 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    @Amanda, I agree that schools didn’t used to have this issue, which is what makes it so difficult to manage now that a LOT of parents drop off/pick up — the parking is not suitable because when the schools were built most students rode the buses.

    Two of the schools my kids attended are as old as me, and they are the ones that have the most difficulty dealing with the influx of carpoolers. The newer school they attended has a very long carpool drive that snakes around the back of the school and I presume that was designed on purpose.

    As far as evening events, they don’t typically draw the entire school populations/staff/parents and the bus lots are available to park in.

  93. Emily November 20, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Amanda Matthews–Schools usually find some work-around for special events, that wouldn’t be feasible on a day-to-day basis. For example, at the elementary school I attended from grades K-3, we’d have overflow parking in the soccer field for things like school plays, and parent-teacher night. At the school I went to from grades 5-8, the overflow parking lot was the church parking lot across the street (with their permission, of course–we also used their back lawn for outdoor games, because the schoolyard was all pavement), and in high school, people would park in the arena parking lot next door, once the school parking lot itself was full. Obviously, none of these options would have worked on a daily basis–parking on the soccer field regularly would turn it into a mud pit, and block people from actually USING said soccer field, parking in the church parking lot regularly would make it inaccessible to people using the church, in the event that their events might coincide with our after-school pick-up times (for example, I know there were after-school Kumon classes held there for a period of time), and as for the arena, well, they were fine with serving as special-event parking, and even daily parking for the few students who had cars, BUT the student parking was suspended in the event of arena events during the week (rare), and the arena management wouldn’t have taken kindly to the high school taking advantage of their good nature, to the point of monopolizing their parking lot to the point that they couldn’t use it at all. So, in a nutshell, it’s entirely possible to have adequate parking for special events, but still not have enough parking for the entire parent population of the school to drop off and pick up their kids every day.

  94. Amanda Matthews November 20, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    Well, parking (legally) up to a couple of blocks away would work in all those situations, and eliminate the need to park 30 minutes ahead of time, and inch up to the door.

    It might even be a better alternative for events. I know it’s what we do in my neighborhood when attendance is greater than parking space.

    I understand why this is a problem, but these car lines are NOT the solution.

  95. ~~Silk November 20, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    One detail that gets missed in all the stories about this incident (it is mentioned very briefly in one of the videos) is that the father did not walk from home to the school. He drove to the school, bypassed all the other parents in cars in line, and parked in the school parking lot, and then walked up to the door. So when the deputy tells him to get in line and wait his turn, he’s not expected to stand in the line. He’s being told to go back to his car and do it “right”.

    The argument boils down to his having jumped the line, and can you imagine what would happen if other parents thought they could do that. too? The man is on the verge of precipitating a riot.

    (…a riot that probably should happen.)

  96. Nicole November 20, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    There are two churches with large, empty parking lots right by our neighborhood school- so parents often park there and walk to avoid the pick up line. The school HATES this. They want parents using the pick up line. I don’t get it- if all of those parents used the pick up line the pick up line would go out of the parking lot.

    I just have the 7.5 year old walk the 4 blocks home… which is controversial, but, whatever.

  97. Kimberly Herbert November 20, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    It sounds like the deputy is the person who engaged in disorderly conduct. I’m curious about what happened before and how the Dad was acting before they started videoing.
    We had parents that listed that their kids were “pick ups” and would start hollering at their kids to not listen to that F****** teacher and get their a** over this F****** minute while the parent was on the other side of the 1/2 circle drive. This meant the kids had to cross between cars.

    Those parents were told that
    1. They could not speak to students or teachers in that language.
    2. That their children were walkers and would be dismissed as walkers and that if they wished to walk with their child they could meet them at the proper walker’s gate. (We have 2 walker’s gate one for kids going East side of the school, one for the west side of school.)

    3. That an officer would be on campus to deal with they if they continued to misbehave.

    I would also like to know the reasoning for the new pick up procedure that is causing the back up. Is it temporary because conditions the school can not control? A few years ago we had to have cops on campus because of a new pick up procedure. People were irate and threatened to run over staff that was directing traffic. We also had neighbors screaming bloody murder about the back up and traffic.

    Well – we weren’t the ones that dug up the blasted street to lay new water and sewer pipes. The departments worked around the school as much as they could and completed as much of it as they could during the summer months. (Believe me I wasn’t happy with the work around – it damaged my car.) But now the neighborhood has modern water and sewer pipes – and wait for it SIDEWALKS. Everyday when I leave work I see kids walking and on bikes around the neighborhood something that I didn’t see before. We also have more walkers in general – so less pick ups but the majority of our kids are bus riders because they have to cross roads that are 4 lane and/or have speeds above 45 mph or they live more than a mile from school.

  98. Ben November 21, 2013 at 5:14 am #

    Call me crazy, but doesn’t holding back kids only cause more traffic disruption? You want everyone to leave as quickly as possible. Just open the doors when school is out.

  99. Nursey November 21, 2013 at 5:21 am #

    Why the heck would dad need to pick up an EIGHT and FOURTEEN year old? Surely they would be capable of walking home!

  100. BL November 21, 2013 at 5:36 am #

    @Ben
    “You want everyone to leave as quickly as possible.”

    Schools and police want to control everyone as much as possible, as long as possible.

  101. Linda Wightman November 21, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    Rebecca — I’m not surprised the bus situation was bad in the 90’s — I was talking about the 80’s! In my own experience, I have to go back to the 60’s to find a time when buses didn’t play inescapable music at loud volume, and when bus drivers could stop the buses and eject students whose behavior was objectionable — not that I ever saw that option taken; mostly behavior was fine because misbehavior lost you your bus privileges, and that meant parents would take care of the discipline!

    Another defense of drivers: I know people who could have sent their children on the bus but chose to drive because the bus route made the 15-minute drive into an hour-long commute. Each way.

    The city of Basel, Switzerland has the best public transit system I have ever seen, having concluded back in the 1970’s that if you want people to take the bus rather than drive you need to make the experience safe, pleasant, and convenient. If you build it right, they will come. No parent wants to sit in a school pick-up line!

  102. Eileen November 21, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    @Kimberly, the Daily News article says it was a suggestion/concern from the PTO. We can’t know the exact reason unless they would speak to it, but a good guess is that some parents (and perhaps school personnel) were concerned about kids at school release. In the video taken outside, both the SRO and the Dad seem to gesture toward the parking lot, and it appears on the other side of the carpool lane/main drive. One could guess that kids were stepping thru the carpool line to cross over to wherever the parent had parked.

    It probably depends on how each school is set up as to how risky doing that is.

    I think the Dad has a minor point in regard to having the carpool line queue up along the main road, especially if it’s a busy/fast road. However, I’m not convinced this isn’t all about what was easiest for him. Both systems probably have risks, and that’s for the school/traffic enforcement to figure out I suppose.

  103. pentamom November 21, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    “Well, parking (legally) up to a couple of blocks away would work in all those situations, and eliminate the need to park 30 minutes ahead of time, and inch up to the door.”

    That would work beautifully, except very few people do that. No one wants their snowflake to have to walk a couple of blocks — they all pull up right around the school, park illegally, double park, block the street, force the kids to play Frogger to get past the cars, whether they walk or are trying to get to a car, etc.

    I’m not advocating pick-up lines — I wish people WOULD do what you’ve described. But around here, we don’t have pick-up lines, and that’s exactly what happens. There’s a reason pick-up lines were created, even if they’re a bad solution.

  104. Warren November 21, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    I cannot believe the number of sheep in here, that are okay with a school saying, “No we will not release your kid/s to you.”

    It is not a sense of entitlement, or being a snowflake. It is not allowing a school to dictate to you.

    Again I would have confirmed their refusal to release my kid/s, and then gone to get them myself. No yelling, no arguement, just go get them. Mind you should that Deputy try to stop me, he better have more than just threats to do so.

  105. Andy November 21, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    It is slightly offtopic, but why do so many people feel that much resentment and hostility towards other peoples kids? Every time there is a discussion about kids/parents/school/etc, half of discuters (I guess mostly american but may not be the case) feels the need to call kids they know nothing about “special snowflakes”.

    Every time some kid or parent dares to have an opinion, the kid/parent is “entitled”. The word “entitled” seems to loose any meaning and became just an arbitrary insult thrown away at anybody young in almost any situation.

    It seems like people always assumes the worst when it comes to kids and parents. It is only rarely that I see someone giving them benefit of doubt.

    I do not see that much hostility in real life. Is to online/offline difference or cultural one?

  106. pentamom November 21, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    “Snowflake” refers to the idea that parents have that their own kid is uniquely special and perhaps fragile. It’s not a reflection on the kid, but on the parent’s attitude. I only use that language when it is apparent that the parent is taking that attitude, by acting as though their child is entitled to some special privilege, or is unable to endure the minimal “hardships” of life that kids can normally deal with. Others may use it differently.

    As I used it above, I was using it in the sense that my poor baby can’t walk a block to my car so I have to pull up illegally in front of the school, creating a hazard for the kids crossing the street, interfering with school and non-school traffic, and just generally acting as though my kid’s need to get to my car after traversing the minimum possible distance transcends all the needs of all the other people in the area at the time. People do that, so I note it. I don’t assume that all people, or all people of a certain type, do it.

  107. Andy November 21, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    @Donna Being annoying and not being constructive are not good enough reasons to arrest somebody. Maybe I’m silly, but I do consider arrests as something serious that you do only if someone is threat. You do not do it because he is argumentative, annoying or immature.

    Slight nitpick: nazis were not engaged in perfect enforcement of well defined rules. Their use of power was largely arbitrary and rules were used as excuses to lock down those they wanted to lock down. Rules that existed were often designed to be difficult to follow.

    And yes, any slight show of not being completely submissive would be blown out of proportion and would end up badly.

  108. Shawn November 21, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    I completely agree Paul. It’s the classic case of “holier than thou” attitudes of people of authority. And really “…it doesn’t say WHEN they can give them to you.”?! The fact that there is a state law that indicates the school has to give the children to the parents within a reasonable period of time (15 min), shows the totalitarian mentality of authorities. If I choose to pull my kid from school at a specific time (prior to end of school), I WILL pick him and take him home. No one is going to tell me how to raise and care for MY child.

    I’ve voiced out about litigious people, and how I think they are self-serving. But in this case, based on the report and the video, even I would sue the school and the sheriff’s dept. Just to prove a point, and make sure there are changes to stupid policies like this. And to make sure Aytes never patrols again. He’s a disgrace to the badge and his dept. No common sense whatsoever. Just pushing his weight around cuz he’s a “cop”.

    The safer society tries to make our children, the more dangerous it becomes for them. That’s what keeps coming up. I feel children today, are worse off than they were 20+ years ago. It’s apparent.

  109. Shawn November 21, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    On the flip side of this story. No one is really to blame but the parents themselves. For the soul reason that they have complied and allowed this type of mentality to fester and spread. Now they are paying for their own fearful thinking, that they allowed others (authorities) to drill into them. That’s what happens when communities stop using common sense, and just comply with everything government, schools, law enforcement, etc.. tells them to. Speak up people. Stop the ignorance before it gets worse and worse for you. I seriously doubt the school can handle 200 angry parents speaking up. Just imagine the school completely empty. lol “Safer” is not smarter.

  110. Papilio November 21, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    I begin to understand why…:
    “In 2009, 40% of trips in the United States were shorter than 2 miles, yet 87% of these trips are by car. 27% of trips were shorter than 1 mile. Even then, Americans use their cars for 62% of these trips.” http://www.ecf.com/news/is-the-us-a-cycling-nation-us-states-and-cities-under-the-microscope/#sthash.5JQzHZUF.dpuf

    Clearly the alternative options (walking, cycling, busing, skating for my part) should be made more attractive. What Linda says about the bus in Basel (‘you need to make the experience safe, pleasant, and convenient. If you build it right, they will come’) is also true if you want people to walk or cycle.

    And you certainly should want that. Anyone seen this?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24998497

  111. Toby November 21, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    Really? Over picking up his OWN kids on foot? How retarded do you have to be to see that police and “institutions” are getting too big for their own good?

  112. JP November 23, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    Ah well, some of us have to pay for Auto Heaven one way or another, um? (pedestrian hell?)
    I get a nasty little tickle feeling that this mess fits in nicely with McDrive-in inertia.
    We don’t seem to build things anymore that merge with ordinary human functionality, it seems.
    Why do we keep “processing” kids like cheese? Silly rules for sad attempts to solve bad choices. Apparently someone knows what they’re doing, but the logic escapes me.

  113. Casey November 27, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    Are you flipping kidding me!? I grew up and still live in southwestern Ohio, and I didn’t even get into a bus until high school. I walked to elementary & middle school every year. Heck, I even walked home from high school in the afternoon when the weather was nice. It was about 2 miles, IIRC.