Do you have kids? Do you have a job that you have to commute to? More importantly, do you have to drop your kids off at school every morning? I’m sure plenty of you are raising your hands right now. We all have busy schedules, and many of you face a daily race against time to get your kids to school, and to pick them up at the end of the day; and sometimes you’re either late or early. But how would you feel if a school threatened to take your kids away for being late?
That’s what parents in Salem, Oregon are dealing with after the Swegle Elementary School told them that “Children must be picked up on time. If they are not picked up on time, we will call DHS [Department of Human Services] and you will then have to pick them up at court the next day,” and added that “Please do not drop your children off before [7:40 am]. There will not be any supervision. If children are dropped before 7:40 the staff will call the authorities.”
So there’s no supervision, but someone will be there to call the cops. How sick is that? I know where I live the entire city turns into a giant traffic jam before school starts. I guess if you want to beat the traffic and get your kid to school early, you’re shit out of luck, and so is your kid. Check out what the horrified parents of these students had to say about this situation:
On Thursday, Chelsea Eichenauer, whose 5-year-old son Mason will attend Swegle Elementary in the fall, posted the letter, dated June 24, on her Facebook page. She included the note: “Anyone else think this is crazy?! Way too extreme!”
“My heart kind of skipped a beat a little bit, it’s pretty scary,” Eichenauer told KOIN News. “It would traumatize my little boy to death if he couldn’t come home one night.”
Eichenauer didn’t respond to Yahoo Parenting’s request for comment.
In response to Eichenauer’s Facebook post, fellow parents expressed concern. “If they would put your child through that scary of a situation (‘Oops, your bad mom is 3 minutes late. I’m taking you to the CRC center and you have to stay overnight with people you don’t know, kids you don’t know, and you can’t see your family until the morning’) think of what unimaginable things they could/would be doing to your child,” wrote one parent.
Of course, now the principal of the school is backtracking on the policy, and I suspect, pretending that he had no idea about it. He sent a phone message to parents which said:
“The school office staff sent the letter out without review and approval from the principal. The letter contained information on a variety of topics for next school year. It also included a statement about calling DHS if the parents were late picking the kids up. This was not the right message,” Remy said. “It should have said that parents should call the school if they will be late picking up their kids. If a parent calls and says they have car trouble or something, there is no problem. The school staff will supervise their child until someone picks them up. The scenario of calling DHS would only come into play in extreme cases, when the parents are not in contact with the school and the child has nowhere to go when the school staff need to go home to their own families in the evening.”
You might notice that he makes no mention of what happens if parents drop their kids off a little early. Isn’t that equally insane and worth reconsidering? Oh well, I guess they’ll still “call the authorities” if parents show up 7:39.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.