Back to School Rant

This post is all about common courtesy and the people who need to learn some.

It’s back to school in my neighborhood. That means there is a lot of extra traffic six times per school day. Pedestrians, cyclists, personal vehicles and buses all heading to a single destination with most dispersing in all directions after reaching it. There are rules and guidance from the schools to make things orderly, but you need more than 15% of the population following it. So, here’s a bitchy list of reminders for parents, caregivers, people who live in the community, etc. You’ll know which ones apply to you by how pissed off you get reading them. 😛

1. You are not special! Neither is your kid. Be grateful, not an asshole.
I’m sorry, you and your kid are normal. Your brains and limbs work properly, your child does not need an IEP or 504, you have access to a vehicle that you can use to drive your child to school. That’s pretty fucking normal. So follow the rules, be courteous, and wait your turn just like all the other normies. You probably wouldn’t last a day in the life of one of those parents who gets “special treatment” just because her/his child has a condition that necessitates it.

2. Follow the Routes. Treat Pick-Up and Drop-Off like a Drive-Thru, not a Drive-By.
Do you know why the schools bother mapping out those drop-off and pick-up routes? It’s because of people like you who go all Mad Max, stopping traffic, double parking, dropping their kids off wherever the fuck they feel like it. You don’t want to wait in line for 2 minutes? Really? Is that a pathological condition? Is there a pill for it? You have job to get to? Well, jobs may be scarce in this economy, but I’m pretty sure you’re not the only working parent in the world. Follow the route, get in line, wait your turn, and teach your child how grown-ups are supposed to behave. You wouldn’t be making illegal U-turns and nearly running kids down grabbing your morning coffee from McDonald’s or Starbucks, would you? If you would, stop driving right this moment. You are a menace.

3. Yield to Buses
They’re huge, they’re unwieldy, and they are filled with dozens of future yous. Cut the driver some slack and let the bus through. The three seconds of courtesy won’t cause you any harm and might even earn you some much needed karma points. Especially if you are a shining example of points 1 and/or 2.

4. Watch out for Kids
This should be a no-brainer, but there are kids on foot, bicycles, skateboards, etc and some of them are not paying as much attention as they should be. They’re kids; they do that. Be mindful, be alert and be aware. Since everyone is now being courteous, yielding to buses, and following the lines, the kids will be easier to see.

5. Use your Parking Areas
If you choose to live near a school, choose to park like a decent person. Street parking during high-traffic times when you have parking on your property is just rude. Put your car in the driveway or lot so the buses and, now well-behaved, parents can get through. Just because it’s unlikely to be your car that gets hit when the bus swerves to avoid it, doesn’t mean that nobody gets hurt. Just put your car where it belongs for twenty minutes. Help keep the street clear.

6. Keep your Sidewalks Clear!
There is nothing more gut-wrenching than watching kids walk through slippery streets in the winter because homeowners and renters cannot be bothered to shovel and salt their sidewalks. Get it done, people! After you’ve done yours, do your lazy neighbor’s, too. Burn the extra 40 calories, earn some karma points, and keep those kids safe.

Be kind, be courteous, be thoughtful, be responsible. Be an example of how people should conduct themselves. It’s honestly not that hard.

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