Well-Meaning Parents Go Too Far


Remember the good old days when children entered their schools without the involvement of dozens of official and ad hoc committee meetings, police cars ominously lurking, mass emailings to the entire student body’s parents, traffic cones, instruction sheets, concrete barriers, and email flame wars?  Me too.  That long ago time has come to be nostalgically thought of by me as, “last week.”

My daughter’s school, which is an excellent one by the way, has just implemented a new system for parents who drive their children to school in the morning.  The new system is called “kiss and drop” and involves a single lane of cars crawling through one of the school parking lots between pylons.  At the appropriate spot, you are supposed to plant one on your progeny, eject them from the vehicle, and get the hell out of there before any of the other parents behind you go nuts.

This replaces the old system of “no system.”  The problem with that state of affairs was that there were certain circumstances where a child might have to walk in front of a car.  Now God forbid that any child should ever be hurt in any situation, but for cryin’ out loud, it’s not like they’re crossing the highway – it’s a PARKING LOT!  FILLED WITH PARENTS!  AND TEACHERS!  THE TWO TYPES OF PEOPLE MOST INTERESTED IN CHILD WELFARE!  It was probably the safest environment my daughter was in all day.

It’s another case (like this one) of exacting a burden from a large group of people in the attempt to prevent some highly unlikely bad thing from happening.  An injured child is absolutely an awful thing, but a .000001% chance of that happening is not much of a cost to society.  Inconveniencing hundreds of people every day IS a real cost that adds up pretty quickly.