Parents in Houston, Texas are in an uproar over a new policy that prohibits them from picking up their children. Those who disregard the policy are told they will be subjected to trespassing charges or truancy classes.
Bear Branch Elementary School Principal Holly Ray changed the afterschool pickup policy this year. In September, Houston’s KPRC 2 News (NBC) reported the new rule prohibited parents from walking to the Magnolia Independent School District campus to retrieve their own children. Parents cannot drive to the school, park their cars at the school, or go inside to get their children early. Their options are to send their children home by school bus or drive to the school and wait for their children in a very long pickup car line assembling for the 3:25 p.m. dismissal. A lot of parents are unhappy about the change. However, a school district spokesperson told KPRC 2 that the intent of the policy was to ensure the safety of the 639 students enrolled.
All these months later, parents remain in a uproar over the policy, especially those who live in the neighborhood and/or are close enough to walk to school. Parents like Wendy Jarman, who lives behind Bear Branch, expressed such frustration with the situation that she pulled her children out of the elementary school and placed them in private school. She spoke to Houston’s Fox 26 about the policy, saying about Ray: “She’s threatening to arrest people.”