Monday, October 29, 2007

Non-flexible rules

Ordinarily, The Husband puts the kids on the bus in the mornings because I leave for work before he does. This morning, however, he had to leave extra early so I waited with them for the bus. The bus normally picks them up before 7:10 but by 7:20, it still hadn't shown. I knew I could not wait much longer so I drove the kids to school. There was very little traffic and I pulled up in front of the building to drop the kids. They ran down the sidewalk to the front door but it was locked. Apparently, we were 4 minutes early. So...I waited. I wasn't going to leave them outside unattended.

About 3 minutes passed and a woman knocked on my window. She works in the front office and informed me I could not park in front of the school. I told her I was just waiting for the kids to get into the school and I'd leave as soon as the door opened. She again told me I could not park in front of the school. I told the woman I was already pissed and I was not leaving until the kids were in the building. She informed me the doors would be opened at 7:30 and the kids could go in then. It was 7:29. I said "Fine - let the kids in and I'll move." She told me I could not park there because the buses need to go there. I looked around in a very animated manner so she would as well and informed her that there were, in fact, no buses in the vicinity...and that I would move if a bus were to arrive. Again, the woman told me I had to park elsewhere and that I was free to walk my children to the door. I remained in my vehicle and told her once more that I would go nowhere until the kids were INSIDE the school. She walked off. By now, there were quite a few children waiting to go into the building. The woman let herself in and locked the door behind her. WTF?! A few minutes later, the other woman opened the doors and let the children into the school.

Now - I have no problem with rules. Rules are good; they help maintain order. Generally speaking, I am a follower of rules. HOWEVER, I do have a problem with stupid rules that are otherwise inflexible. Who was I hurting by waiting? There were no buses dropping off. There were, however, other parents driving by and dropping their children. This other woman is a mom as well. She should understand a mother's reluctance to leave her young children unattended...especially in an area where, not long ago, a young girl who was left alone was brutally murdered. Schools are not safe havens...we all know that. Predators case schools - we know that too. When I was younger, I used to walk to school - along a busy road. Everyone in 3rd - 6th grade walked to school every day. There is no way I'd allow my kids to walk to school now.

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