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Bear Branch Elementary School's New Policy for Kid Pickup Causes Furor

Image: Bear Branch Elementary School's New Policy for Kid Pickup Causes Furor
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By    |   Friday, 08 Apr 2016 11:51 AM

Bear Branch Elementary School's new policy barring parents from approaching the school while picking up their children sparked a local outcry, prompting the Texas school district to clarify the rule.

KRIV-TV reported Tuesday that some parents of children attending the elementary school in Magnolia, Texas, north of Houston, complained that the new policy threatened them with trespassing charges if they tried to walk on school grounds to get their child.

"Bear Branch is losing students over this pick up policy, that's been in place since the beginning of this school year," KRIV-TV wrote. "The principal has decided that no matter how close the student lives to the school, the student must either take the bus, or the parent must wait in a long car pickup line. Try to walk your student off the campus and you could face criminal charges."

Wendy Jarman told the television station that Bear Branch principal Holly Ray has threatened to arrest parents.

"This has happened to many parents," Jarman said. "They have been cited. They have been threatened, if they step one foot on school property, they will be arrested and charged with who knows what."

Magnolia Independent School District superintendent Todd Stephens refuted the claim in a letter to Bear Branch parents on Wednesday, saying that children who walk home from school are released after the buses and car lines are gone to ensure safety.

Stephens wrote that "law enforcement became involved last fall as a result of one parent disrupting the school day, verbally harassing and physically threatening a staff member in front of students and other staff. Magnolia ISD does not tolerate this type of unruly behavior creating an environment of fear for our staff and threatening safety of our students."

The superintendent admitted in the letter that "a couple of parents" received letters from the local constable to remind them of dismissal procedures and that "their actions" violated the release policy. The letter did not address Jarman's concerns about parents walking on school property to a meet their children for dismissal.

"It's a ridiculous situation for everyone," Jackie McConnell, another parent, told KPRC-TV.

Another parent, Jeff Wendinger, told KPRC-TV that many driving parents have to arrive at 2:30 p.m. for a 3:25 p.m. dismissal.

Numerous people on social media sided with the parents in the conflict.







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Bear Branch Elementary School's new policy barring parents from approaching the school while picking up their children sparked a local outcry, prompting the Texas school district to clarify the rule.
bear branch elementary, school, new policy
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2016-51-08
Friday, 08 Apr 2016 11:51 AM
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