At my daughters’ elementary school, there was a fight between parents – a physical one – over school parking lot issues.
I live in a nice neighborhood in a nice subdivision on the outskirts of a nice city. My girls go to a nice school in a nice school district. The administration is good and has tried many different things to streamline the drop-off/pick-up problems.
The thing is, none of those things are the problem. The school, the students, the city – none of it matters. It’s the parents. People like me! We think our time is so much more valuable than everyone else’s. We park in the wrong spot, then get indignant when called on it. We cut other people off in the car line simply because their child wanted one more kiss before going into the building. We park in the red zone, thinking that we are running in for “just a second” and it won’t matter, because we don’t have to follow the rules.
So what’s the solution? Bussing? Ha! The area has exploded so much that the majority of children AREN’T bussed, because you have to live at least two miles away from the school to qualify for bus transportation. Build more schools? The district builds FIVE a year to try to keep up with the 3,000 additional students each year. There are currently SEVENTY elementary schools in our district.
We are not alone. I was researching this issue to see how other schools have fixed their similar problems. Over and over I read “committed to addressing this issue,” “doing everything we can,” “accident waiting to happen.” The only solution that has shown promise is the Safe Routes to School program. Right now, there are three elementary schools in the district using this program.
Maybe it’s time that the rest of us start looking at this program, getting involved in planning and funding and talking with our administration about implementation.