Walking kids home from school is a daily activity for many parents, but one Texas school has banned the act and is now threatening criminal charges.
At Bear Branch Elementary in Magnolia, Texas, the principal has decided that no matter how close the student lives to the school, the student must either take the bus, or the parent must wait in an hour-long car pickup line. Try to walk your student off the campus and you could face criminal charges.
Many parents are fed up and passed around a petition while some have pulled their children from the school.
The principal Holly Ray says it’s safer.
Wendy Jarman pulled her children out of the school Monday and placed them in private school. She lives in the neighborhood behind the school. Her kids were walkers, and she escorted them, but they can’t do that anymore.
Ray won’t allow it. Ray has gotten Montgomery County Constables to be her enforcers.
“This has happened to many parents,” Jarman says. “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.”
Frank Young has one of those warnings. He also lives close to the school and he also pulled his children out of it. Young says no effort to negotiate a better policy or even hundreds of signatures on a petition got the district to change the policy or bully tactics.
“Mrs. Ray’s policy is implying that a parent doesn’t have the ability or capabiity to decide what is safest for her children and that the school district does,” Young says. “I disagree.”
“People start lining up here about 2:30 p.m. for a 3:25 p.m. dismissal,” one dad, Jeff Wendinger, told KPRC 2 News.
The school is on a busy, five-lane highway and the school has decided parents are not capable of handling the situation safely and must abide by these rules.
Not all parents are angry over the policy. “I’ll sit here the 45 minutes or an hour so that I know my daughter is safe,” mom Doreen Thurkettle told Channel 2 Houston. “It really doesn’t bother me.”
Some parents won’t tolerate it and are pulling their children out of the school and some teachers and staff are leaving the school too.