Texas School Bans Parents From Walking Kids Home; Principal Threatens Arrest For Violators Of Dismissal Policy

By Rachel Cruise, Parent Herald April 08, 07:45 am

A Texas school's dismissal policy, which bans parents from walking their kids home from school, is causing an outrage. The principal of the Bear Branch Elementary School in Magnolia is threatening that moms and dads will be arrested if they don't comply.

The elementary school has advised parents that they should either let the students take the bus, or wait in their car on the assigned pickup line. If they walk their child in the campus grounds, authorities could arrest them for trespassing and the parents could be filed with criminal charges, Fox 26 reports.

Parents Rally Against Dismissal Policy

Some parents have moved their children in other schools as a result of the changes and insist that the principal, Holly Ray, is in the wrong. "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," a dad, Frank Young, said. Their house is near the school, but he has transferred his children when the dismissal rule was adopted as it was an inconvenience.

Other parents argue that the ban is "ridiculous" as the pickup line fills up with cars during dismissal, per KPRC 2 News. Since the elementary school schedules dismissal times separately for all its 639 students, the waiting time at the pickup line takes hours.

The school sits by a five-lane highway traffic, which is why separate dismissal times are in place to ease crowding during that time. However, the parents say that's not what's happening. Some parents arrive as early as 2 p.m. to wait even as the first dismissal begins at 2:30 p.m.

On the other hand, bus rides have several stops, so it takes a longer time for the kids to arrive home. Hence, the other parents prefer walking their kids from school.

Texas School Responds On Arrest Threats

In response to the issue, which has elicited media interest because of the arrest threats, Magnolia Independent School District defended the school's policy in a letter addressed to parents Wednesday. It cited that there have been no arrests made and violators were only sent letters to remind them of the dismissal process. The school also said that the process has been working since fall's school opening. It reiterated that those who prefer to walk home will be dismissed last, which is at 3:50 p.m. or when the car pickup line has cleared.

What's your say on this policy? Do you side with the parents or the school?

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