Do You Know If You’re Endangering Everyone’s Children?
I’m going to get up on my soapbox for a minute. With so many child abductions we as a whole need to consider what we can to the prevent it. Sometimes we are part of the problem and don’t even realize it. At my children’s elementary school (like many across the nation) there was a variety of pick-up options:
- Bike Riders
- Bus Riders/Daycare Van Riders
- Car Riders
- Commons Area Pick Up
We were option 5. I parked my car and waited inside the school (in the “commons” area) for my two youngest. We lived too far for options 1 & 2, we were too close for option 3 (I wouldn’t put my children on a bus anyway) and my daughter did not do well waiting in the car loop. So, option 5 works for us.
Some parents chose to create an option 6 and quite frankly it scared the hell out of me. They had their children leave the school as “walkers”, then on one road or another; around the school, they approached in their car, retrieved their child from the sidewalk and went on their merry way. No big deal?
In the beginning, I stopped often, halting children from getting into cars and asking if that was their parent. (I got a lot of dirty looks and started to feel like a psycho child stalker myself.)
Then I began to back off, but I would scrawl down license plates numbers. After a while, I simply made a quick mental note of the make, model, and colors. You know, just in case.
I barely notice them.
Let me lay out the terrifying scenario that often plays through my head (Just call me Paranoid Patty):
A friendly looking gentleman pulls over and…(insert any tactic here: candy, lost puppy, friend of family) Little Jane hops in. They take off.
A mother’s worst nightmare has just begun and no one will notice. Because we’ve been desensitized. Kids are swooped off the side of the road so often we no longer notice. Even the vigilant, like myself.
Is the car loop often a crazy chaotic mess? Yes. Are car loop parents sometimes rude and inconsiderate? Yes. Does the car loop eat an extra 10-20 minutes out of your day? Yes. Is it worth the life of a child? Absolutely.
I beg you if you are one of those parents, to reconsider. Go through the car loop or park and walk inside to get your child. . Help ensure the safety of your child and all the other children walking home.
Until next time, scribe happy and stay sassy,
- Protect Latchkey Kids by Planning for Safety (eon.businesswire.com)
- CAA School Safety Patrollers teach parents a lesson (newswire.ca)
- Keeping Children Safe (brighthub.com)