A North Carolina father’s etiquette guide for parents, detailing how to properly drop off and pick up their children at school, has gone viral.
David Danielewicz posted the rant on Facebook on the first day of school after experiencing a traffic jam in the school drop-off line.
He took his frustrations out on in the post, admonishing parents to properly prepare their children before reaching the line, as opposed to being in the line and taking up space.
“I’m only going to say this once. If you have to bathe or dress your kid, comb their hair, scramble them an egg and write them a send-off letter before they can exit the car – YOU DO NOT BELONG IN THE SCHOOL DROP OFF LINE,” he wrote.
“Only people who raised their kids to jump out of the car with backpacks loaded like they are storming the beaches of Normandy while the car is at a slow roll are allowed in the drop off line. I will be giving stink eye warnings today but tomorrow I’m issuing citations.”
— NBC Charlotte (@wcnc) September 5, 2018
Thousands of people shared, liked, and/or commented on the post.
Addressing Real Issues
Danielewicz told KARE that he was making a joke but that he was addressing real issues he’s observed.
“I’ve seen people combing their kids’ hair, letting them finish their cereal, truly amazing,” he said.
Another parent, Ulunda Baker, told the broadcaster that she laughed at the post but shares frustration over the issue.
“I think the struggle is the waiting,” she said. “It just takes so long,” she added, noting that it typically takes about an hour to pick up her two boys from Union Academy Charter School.
Advice From Experts
Congestion during school drop-off and pick-up times is found across the United States, leading many to study the issue and issue advice.
Fred Tepfer, a project planning manager at the University of Oregon, said in a meta-analysis of the school transportation dilemma that schools wanting to address the issue can gather hard facts by having volunteers count vehicles and record behavior. Recording entire pick-up or drop-off times can be useful, and parents and teachers can be interviewed on their suggestions.
“Most schools that are working on this problem use their site council or a special committee composed of teachers, administrators, parents, and technical advisors (architects, engineers, transportation officials). Parent groups are often consulting, and many schools have public forums devoted to this topic. For parents, this issue is often their number one concern related to the education of their children,” Tepfer said.
Some of the concepts Tepfer recommends include separate car loading areas from bus and parking areas, working with local transportation planners to arrange public transit to relieve congestion, having active staffing in the drop-off areas, and strict rule enforcement.