Readers – If anyone ever asks you, “What’s so WRONG about protecting our children?” and you agree that kids should be safe (who doesn’t?), but you’re searching for an example of how the hysteria has gotten out of hand: Here you go. See below. Suffice to say a grammar school in the Fort Myers area of Florida is now INDIVIDUALLY ESCORTING EACH CHILD OUT OF THE SCHOOL as his/ her parents creep to the head of the car line.
The parents must show a large I.D. and the child is then RADIOED FOR. Every time I picture this, I hear helicopters thwomping and bombs exploding and see the kids hunched and running, like they’re fleeing the fall of Saigon:
Principal Donnie Hopper hopes long car lines will move quickly and student wait times will soon be under 30 minutes at the Cape Coral school as staff, parents and students get used to the changes, designed to provide a safer environment. Many schools around the district are following suit.
The old plan allowed parents to follow along in the car line or park and walk up to the school. In the car line, parents must show a large ID tag with their child’s name on it. A staff member radios the student to the front of the school to meet the parent.
“The only thing that’s changed is that parents can’t walk up to the school to pick up their kids at dismissal,” Hopper said, noting he successfully carried out the same plan at two former schools.
As many as 70 parents used the walk-up method at Gulf last year. “And they weren’t being checked for ID at all,” Hopper said.
Parents must now use the car line, or walkers can wait for their child to be escorted to the front gate by a staff member. Regular bus pickup also is an option.
Got that? Parents are being actively encouraged to use the car line. And yet, one of the reasons the school implemented this new policy is because it didn’t want kids hit by cars. Guess the administrators never realized that 50% of the children hit by cars near a school are hit by cars picking up OTHER children from school.
Beyond the fear of cars, of course, is that ever-present fear of abduction:
“I’ll sacrifice an hour of my time to ensure safety for my daughter,” [a mom named] Connar said, noting the wait is only 10 to 15 minutes longer than last year. “There’s just too many people that, unfortunately, you can’t trust anymore.”
Here’s someone I don’t trust: That school principal, sacrificing at least half a hour of her students’ time to waiting for a personal escort off the grounds. Time that HER generation got to go home, eat a snack and run around, unimprisoned.
I also wonder what parent wouldn’t opt for the school bus option, if they could.
The article doesn’t even mention whether kids can simply walk home on their own two feet in the Florida sunshine, laughing with friends along the way. Somehow I think I know the answer. And remember: “Many schools around the district are following suit.” — Lenore