• Helping Kids Rise

Elementary School Bans Parents From Walking Children to School

Do you walk your child to school? Does your child ride the bus? Maybe your child is dropped off and picked up in the carpool line each day? However you choose to get your child to school, it's just that. Your choice. An elementary school in Texas has decided that parents can no longer make that decision.

According to Fox 26 - Pick your child up from school and you could be charged with trespassing. That's the threat against parents at Bear Branch Elementary School in Magnolia ISD. This is the school's tactic to keep parents who live close to the school from walking on school grounds. Parents are speaking up and standing up against the policy. Some parents have even withdrawn their children from the school.

I was faced with a similar situation when my daughter was in 3rd grade. My family had just made our 4th military move to a new state, city, and base. My husband was in town just long enough to get us settled before he deployed to a temporary duty assignment (TDY).

It was just me and the kids in our new home preparing for a new school year in a new town, where we knew no one. We'd done it before, so we pulled up our bootstraps and made it happen as many military families do.

The first day of school went well. I walked my 3rd grader to her new school and down the hall into her new class. She was nervous, but I reminded her of how strong she was and how good she was at making new friends. When i picked her up at the end of the day, she was all smiles and full of stories about new friends. Days 2 and 3 came and went with little to no issues. Things seemed to be rolling along as expected.

But then came day FOUR.

Being a new parent to the school, I was not a bit prepared for what would greet me when I got to the front door of the school. The principal stood there as a barrier preventing parents from entering the school.

When I asked what was going on, she said told me the school policy was to only allow parents to walk students to class for 3 days at the beginning of the school year.

The principal informed me that on day FOUR, parents were to "cut the umbilical cord" and let their children walk to class alone. She reassured me that my sweet girl would be just fine because there was staff in the hallways guiding lost children to their classes.

In my head: Wait, WHAT??

My daughter was watching, so I kept calm and used a soft, polite voice, despite wanting to snatch that lady's wig off. I explained that we were new in town, dad had deployed, and that my daughter may need a little while longer to adjust to the new school routine. Reasonable and calm. I was proud of me.

The principal's response was not one I liked nor accepted: "If I do it for you, I have to do it for everyone else." Frankly, I didn't care what anyone else was doing, wanting, or asking for. All I knew was that MY daughter needed my support and that this lady didn't know my name, my daughter's name, or what my family's needs were.

But I knew what my family's needs were and I wasn't going to let her dictate to me what was best for my child. It took a bit of prodding, but eventually the principal realized I was not letting it go. Either I was walking my child to class or she was going back home with me. I can't respect a school that doesn't value a mother's opinions of what works best for their child.

Finally she gave me a pass that allowed me to walk my daughter to class for as long as my daughter and I needed, which wasn't long at all. After about 2 weeks, my daughter was skipping off down the hallway with the new friends she had made, just as I knew she would. All she needed was time. Time that the principal had to be convinced that she needed.

I'm always open to hearing other people's opinions on a myriad of subjects, but in the end ... and especially when it comes to my kids, I make the decision that I feel would best benefit my children.

I am my children's first and strongest advocate and that's not a job I take lightly.


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