The principal of an elementary school in Magnolia, Texas, has forbidden parents from picking up their kids to walk them home. No matter how close the children live to the school, they are required to take the bus or be picked up by car, Fox 26 in Houston is reporting.
If not, the local authorities are ready to enforce the rule with arrests for trespassing.
The ostensible reason for this step at Bear Branch Elementary is "safety," but parents interviewed by local reporters think it's really about the principal exerting ironclad control over the pick-up procedures. A video of the line of cars at pick-up time looked like a funeral cortege, solemnly inching forward.
Parents are so fed up, a few are yanking their kids out of the school:
"She's threatening to arrest people," says Wendy Jarman about principal, Holly Ray.
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 capability to decide what is safest for her children and that the school district does," Young says. "I disagree."
He thinks parents have the right to decide what their kids do outside of school? What a nut. The district backs the principal.
Meantime, you may recall that the number of children walking to school has sunk to a national low of about 13 percent, according to Safe Routes to Schools.