I only have a four year old, so I wasn’t clued into this phenomenon. When I was a kid* you got on the bus, rode to school, and reversed the process at the end of the day. If for some reason a parent was dropping you off or picking you up, they would park & come get you, or pull up to the curb and let you get in.
Today my neighbor told me how it works in our county. Evidently, scads of parents with too much time on their hands and/or overprotection complexes “would never let Johnny ride the bus!” Therefore, there is an entity known as “the carpool lane,” though it doesn’t seem to involve much ridesharing, just each parent picking up their own kid. There are so many parents doing this that one either has to arrive a half hour before the last bell and wait, or be at the end of a half-hour-plus line of cars.
OK, so this is a weird thing to me, who always rode the bus to and fro, and who as an adult does not have an extra hour a day, extra money in the gas budget, nor the inclination to perpetuate global warming by idling outside the school building day in and day out. But (except for that global warming thing), I figure crazy people can do it if they want to.
However, I’m told that should my child need a ride to or from school on occasion, I will not be **allowed **to park my car, drop or retrieve said child, and be on my way. Allegedly this is because “we don’t want the kids walking across the carpool lane.” If this involved a kindergartner making their lonesome way across the lane, I could see the logic. But apparently even a full-grown adult escort cannot shield the little ones from the SUVs of Death waiting to plow them over. Plus, to my eyes, this is the school requiring a carpool lane in order to prevent children from having to cross the carpool lane! What?! Wouldn’t it make more sense to actually ask the parents to park and come in, thus doing away with the Carpool Lane of Doom in the first place?
Don’t get me started on a school telling me what I can and can’t do with my own kid, after school hours are over. I picture a future involving the sentence, “Yeah, I parked and walked to the school - whatcha gonna do about it?”
Is this a widespread phenomenon? If so, why do so many people bother with daily chauffeur duty, and why do they put up with the waiting? Or are there solid reasons for all or parts of this that I haven’t heard yet? I’m mystified.
*And you kids get off my lawn!