Abby Schachter on School Nannies and the Death of Common Sense


Jim Howe getting arrested

It sounds like the opening line of a joke, "A father walked up to his kid's school and gets arrested…" but watch the video of Jim Howe trying to pick up his kids from South Cumberland Elementary School in Cumberland County, Tennessee, and you'll sooner cry than laugh. That's because Howe's alleged crime was walking into the school building and asking to take his children now that classes were over. Howe was supposed to wait, you see. All walking parents are supposed to cool their heels until a long line of drivers have picked up their kids, and only then retrieve their own children. That's because school authorities are convinced that making parents drive up to school for pick-up is somehow safer than allowing choice in the matter. Alas, writes Abby Schachter, lack of basic judgment isn't confined to Tennessee education officials—it's become common throughout schools and elsewhere, in the rigid, senseless treatment of families and children.