Thursday, January 26, 2012

Etiquette in the school pick up/drop off line

Before we even turn into the school driveway, I tell my kids to get jackets and backpacks on and have any lunches, snacks, extra things that they are carrying in hand.  We drive a mini-van so loading and un-loading usually goes rather quickly.  Occasionally someone will drop something, or forget something or stop to ask a question, but most of the time things go off without a hitch.  I try to be prepared for a quick and easy drop off.  I don't have to punch a time clock, so I don't necessarily have to be in a hurry to get in and get out, but I am considerate of the fact that most parents do.  It's those hand full of people in society that think it's okay to inconvenience the rest of the world that drive me insane!!  I know it's not only something we experience at the school pick up and drop off line, but right now I want to give a few pointers for those of you who may not realize that you are a big inconvenience, or for those of you who have small children and may not be dropping them off yet.  BOOKMARK THIS PAGE, PLEASE!!!!

School Loading and Unloading Etiquette 101:

1.  When you need to go inside to talk to a teacher, pay lunch bill, or otherwise take care of business inside the building, use a parking space.  That is what they are designed for...TO PARK!!  PLEASE, for the sake of courtesy to others, and COMMON SENSE do not use the loading and unloading zone to do this.  There have been mornings when I get stuck behind a car because they have parked to go inside right in the middle of the curb where you drop off students.  I can't back up because there are other cars behind me.  Basically you leave us no choice but to sit and wait on you (holding up traffic!!!!) until you come out or we can otherwise put our back up lights on and slowly back up praying to God that we don't bump into anyone else coming into the line that doesn't realize that you are being a HUGE inconsideration to everyone else who is trying to do things the proper way!!!!

2.  Use the time you are driving to school to have conversation with your children.  Let's not play twenty questions while they stand at the curb with the car door open.  C'mon!!  Get out of the way for the love of Christ...or you could park and finish your conversation and then walk them over to the building!

3.  Pull ALL THE WAY up so that as many people behind you (here we go with being considerate again!) can pull into the driveway as possible.  Some people will stop in the middle of the curb leaving room for only one or two cars to unload behind them.  This is very annoying and a big time waster.  It's too dangerous for cars to pull around you to the curb! 

4.  I realize that some parents may see folks they know while waiting in the school parking lot.  That's great.  Why don't you guys meet for coffee and play catch up.  Let's not do it in the driveway, K?!

5.  In the afternoons things are hectic.  It's a traffic nightmare at the school my children attend.  We are all trying to get out of there as quickly as possible.  Be sure to let your kids know that after school is not social hour.  We can meet up with friends after school at the park for social time.  They need to get to their car as quickly as possible so the line can start moving. 

6.  If you park in a parking spot and walk across to get your child, pay attention to the flow of traffic when taking your sweet, slow time to walk back across.  If you're stopping the flow of traffic, you're grid locking the entire system!!  I actually changed drop off locations for my kids because this became a MAJOR problem at our school.  Many parents don't wait in the line of traffic, they just park and go across to get their kids.  That's a fine solution until you have 30 parents and students stopping the flow of traffic in turn grid locking the entire system! 

7.  This one should be a no brainer, but I see it ALL OF THE TIME, put the cell phone DOWN while you are in the school zone.  It's very dangerous to be trying to talk or text while there are children loading/unloading in the school zone.  Make the call after the drop off.  

I realize that many of these problems could be solved with someone who can help traffic.  I am not sure why our school doesn't have this option, but we never have and I am assuming we never will.  There are usually two duty teachers on each driveway and they have their hands full just keeping up with the students.  There is not time for them to baby sit the parents who have no consideration for what is going on around them.  Traffic is a nightmare at either drive way and I get a headache just thinking about it.  Maybe if you're reading this you can stop and think about ways in which you can help flow traffic just a bit easier. 

I am going to put away my little soap box for today.  If you shook your head yes the entire time you read this post, why don't you share it on your FB page or pin it on Pintrest (you can use that little button right under the post).  Spread the word...stop the insanity at the school pick up/drop off line!  ;) 

Now, in saying this please don't think I am one of those parents who get in a fit or rage when someone stops traffic!  I do get angry sometimes when I feel like people are being inconsiderate of others.  I want to get out and tell them such, but instead I just blog about it.  :D 

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7 comments, add yours here:

Sara C. said...

Can I don't have to walk around and open the door for your children, unless it is actually broken. And then taking the time to have a conversation with your child.

Love this list! I think it should be handed out at the start of every school year!

Crazy Working Mom said...

Sara, I knew there were some things that I was leaving out!! Ohhh, that is one of the major ones! Might have to amend it and add. LOL

If you're having to get out and open a door...then you don't need to get in the line, you need to park and go get 'em!!!

Kelly said...

Actually it is now against the law in our state to b talking on the phone in a schoolmzone, although it isn't enforced. I have politely told parents of this law as they come through the line.

Anna Hagen said...

This is actually one of the first things I ever blogged about - though I wasn't quite as organized about it as you. I was just venting!

Sad to see that it isn't just my kids' school and that things haven't changed. Thankfully, my kids could ride their bikes to school when the weather was nice, and the bike path and walkway for the kids to get from the bike rack to the school doors did not cross with the cars dropping students off. There were several times I dropped my kids off at the entrance to the bike path, which was a block over from the school driveway, just to avoid the headaches of the drop-off zone!

When picking up after school, I just didn't leave home until after school was out and most parents would have already come and gone. My kids just knew they would be among the last to be picked up. There just was no rush, so why irritate myself?

I wasn't the only one frustrated by the whole thing. There was at least one 'road rage' incident that I know of - that involved the police! And then there was the time the lady in front of me backed up and hit me... Well, anyway, I do not miss those days, and I don't have very high hopes that things will change. People are just too wrapped up in themselves and their own little lives to really care how their actions affect the people around them.

And what are they really teaching their children?

MOODY MOM said...


ro said...

Just found your blog. It's just great. This car line story is spot on. I've been wanting to write something about the car line for years.

Erin said...

Found your post on Pinterest and am linking it to a post on my blog. I hope that's ok?

I loved your rules. Everyone with school-aged children should read your post!

Erin Brady