I have decided to establish what will likely be a completely inconsistent series, WTF Wednesdays. Today’s question: why must all kids be driven to school and picked up every day?
I live next to a junior high school. In one of the richest counties in the country, last time I checked. Lord knows we pay plenty of taxes. So there should be money available for, oh, I don’t know, things like school buses and wide, safe paved sidewalks. And yet…
There is a full on traffic jam in my neighborhood every morning that school is in session. I mean there are times I cannot get out of my own driveway. The buses are bad enough, but WTF with all the parents driving their kids to school? And picking them up? Getting out of our neighborhood to the main road, a total of about 6 blocks, can take up to 15 minutes. If there’s rain or snow or any complication whatsoever, it’s longer. And there’s not just a short peak time window either. The rush-to-school-rush lasts 30 minutes or more. So WTF time does school actually start? I suspect those in the early rush are poor harangued parents who need to get to work so drop their kid off early.
The ones who are late come driving through like a bat out of hell. I mean, these people have kids of their own, you’d think they would know not to race through a neighborhood. But I have new intel from my friend who is a teacher in this county…apparently, if a child is late for middle school the parent must park, bring the kid into school and sign them in, so they don’t have an unexcused tardy or some such crap. Can’t send the kid in with a note or whatever. So naturally the ones who couldn’t find their briefcase in the morning and then waited in line at Starbucks too long are now zooming down my street at 40mph. The good news is they didn’t sacrifice the ventihalfcafdoublelattenofoam, they simply sped up a little. We have a drive through Starbucks up the street, so believe me, the parents have stopped for their $5 coffee on the way to school.
The buses are a nightmare all day, coming and going, not really sure why or where. And it’s not just our school. Out in my travels I see cars lined up for blocks and blocks everywhere there is a school, public or private. Afternoon is of course the reverse, only cars are a bit more spread out and don’t cause a jam. It seems to me that a lot more kids walk home from school than walk to school. Maybe because their parents are at work in the afternoon and the little petunias have to wend their own way home.
So I ask again, WTF? What happened to piling kids on a bus on top of one another? What happened to kids actually walking to school (gasp!)?
But then again, be careful what you wish for; maybe strolling kids aren’t the best thing either. Recently my neighbor caught some kids stealing my mail. And a few months ago someone stole a package that had been delivered to our porch. The best part of this is that the package contained…two sets of sheets. Yes, linens. Bet that was disappointing. Dan found the box, which had been pried open and then abandoned in the woods, and recovered the sheets. We’ve lived here 19 years and this is the first time we’ve ever had problems, so I suspect there are a couple of problem children who just entered junior high.
When I am home in the afternoon, I watch the little darlings walking home, past my house. Some put trash in my mailbox, candy wrappers and such, a minor infraction. But let one of these brats try anything major again. Let them!
And this is how I realize I could easily become the mean, scary crazy lady of the neighborhood.
That house that everyone would run past. The myths of children who were gobbled up by wolves just past the gate. That might be my house soon. OK technically I don’t have a gate, and we have foxes not wolves, but let’s not lose sight of the bigger mission here.
In conclusion, WTF do I want? I realize I am annoyed with buses, and with cars, and with the kids who walk past my house. The only solution is for all kids to walk to school, but take the long way around, or at least walk on the other side of the street, and not near my house. That’s what works for me. So, yeah, that.