Saturday, August 29, 2009

Florida Mom Picks Up Daughter on Horse, Principal Overreacts

In order to point out the stupidity of a Jacksonville school's student pickup policy, a Florida mom tried something new: she picked up her 8-year-old daughter from school on horseback.

But the principal refused to let the daughter leave on horseback, and instead sent the little girl home in a police squad car.

Deidre, who owns several horses and whose 3-year-old and 8-year-old children are competitive rodeo riders, said she wasn't about to sit in line for 1 - 2.5 hours while students were retrieved and escorted — one at a time — by a staff member.

According to a story on the WJXT News4Jacksonville website, Deidre (no last name given) and other parents are upset about a new parking policy at the Crystal Springs Elementary School. Parents are told to line up their cars, and sit and wait, while the children are retrieved by the staff, one frigging child at a time.

I'd be upset too. Back when I was a kid, we precious snowflakes were allowed to walk home or ride our bikes. Now, there are schools here in Fishers and Noblesville , Indiana that the kids are not allowed to walk or ride their bikes, period. Instead, they have to ride a bus or be picked up.

And we wonder why so many kids are overweight.

So Deidre thought she would try picking up her daughter on a horse, working out that it was somehow less expensive. But when she showed up, she was asked to leave by police.

"Our first priority is the safety of our children, and during our arrival/dismissal, their safety is first and foremost a priority on campus," Principal Jaime Johnson told WJXT.

Johnson told WJXT said Dedere's horse posed a safety issue. Of course she would. She's probably the same person who thought it was safe for parents to wait for 60 - 150 minutes while students are escorted one at a time to their waiting parents.

Oh, and then she said that because of all the construction around the school, she also thought it wouldn't be safe for the little girl to ride the horse home.

So instead, a police office drove the little girl home, and waited alone until her mother arrived.

Brilliant. So, not allowing a competitive junior rodeo rider to go on a horse is not safe, but leaving an 8-year-old at home alone is?

So which is it? Horse isn't safe on school grounds, horse will stupidly wander through construction sights and not around them? Or was it that Principal Johnson hated to be made to look like, well, a horse's ass in front of the other parents?

It sounds to me like this ain't over yet, and someone's going to end up stepping in something bigger than horse poo.

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  1. my wife and i were saying the same thing last year...we walked our 2nd grader to Brooks School Elementary every day that the weather allowed...we were met with some resistance from school officials, like the fact that we were leaving the sidewalk to cross in front of the buses...well, the school district decided not to put a sidewalk on the north side of the school, which isn't really my problem...its a shame that they want to perpetuate our youth obesity problem and further congest our overcrowded roads

  2. One excellent response to today's excessive concern about children's safety is by Lenore Skenazy, who drew national attention for letting her 9-year-old ride the NYC subway alone.

  3. heh... I worked for this principal a couple years ago when she was in Tampa. Knowing her, I'm not shocked that this happened.... at all. Look up "". That was her debacle from last year, and part of the reason why she isn't principal in this district anymore.


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