Mummy Buzz


School Bans Parents From Walking Kids Home From School

Principal Cites Concerns over Practice

Parents Banned from Walking Kids Home |

At a time when most of us are trying to ditch the car culture and encourage our kids to get active, a Texas school has threatened parents who walk their kids home from school.

Because Bear Branch Elementary School is located on a busy stretch of highway, Principal Holly Ray has taken a hard stance about pick-up protocol to ensure the safe dismissal of students. Instead of walking to school or parking to collect their kids, parents are now forced to wait in a pick-up line for up to an hour or to send their kids home by bus.

"It's a ridiculous situation for everyone," said parent Jackie McConnell. "I got here shortly after 2 p.m."

The principal has invoked the help of local police, threatening to arrest those who fail to abide by the new policy. Apparently some parents have already been cited for setting foot on school property.

Parents are so up in arms at the new rule, some have pulled their kids from the school and enrolled them elsewhere. Others are happy to defer to the principal's judgement and wait - and wait and wait - if it means keeping their children safe.

Much like the UK principal who banned parents from wearing PJs to drop off, this story raises interesting questions over boundaries - and how much authority a principal has over the actions of parents. 

In cases where pick-up arrangements endanger students, I can see a principal and local traffic enforcement getting involved to come to an agreeable solution. Successful "kiss and ride" programs are set up for this very reason. 

Yet to tell parents they cannot walk to collect their own children (even when they live nearby) not only undermines parents' ability to use common sense, it can only exacerbate traffic issues in already congested areas.

While a principal has the ultimate say about what happens on school grounds, when the final bell goes that responsibility must be turned over to parents - whether they are wearing pyjamas or a three-piece suit. 

 RELATED: Why Free Range Kids Make for Safer Teenagers