A Jacksonville, Florida mom on a budget wasn't prepared to shell out extra bucks for fuel when her daughter's elementary school implemented a new policy for picking up children. The new rule, put in place due to a busy construction project taking place in front of the school, requires that a school staff person must accompany each student to his or her parents' waiting automobile. The result? A long line of cars, sitting and idling for up to two and a half hours.
Deidre Exum says she doesn't have the money in her tight budget for the extra fuel cost. She does, however, have feed for her horses already built in to her budget. Her solution? Ride her horse to the school, leading her daughter's horse. She thought she'd pick up her daughter, and they'd ride home together.
Not so fast, Horse Mama!
The school's principal insists that having large animals, including horses, on school grounds is a safety risk for the children. She reported the horse-ridin' rebel mama to the cops, who picked up her daughter and drove her child home. To wait. Alone. Until her mom could get there.
Well, obviously, the principal had the child's safety in mind when she had the cops drop an eight year-old girl off at home alone, right?
Does anyone else have a problem with this?
In a video, viewable here, the principal is stating emphatically that they (the school) just can't have a child riding a horse in a busy intersection. Ummm - excuse me? I believe the school's responsibility for the child's way home should end when the parent picks up the child (barring, of course, obvious dangers, like an intoxicated parent attempting to pick up a child up in a vehicle - in that case, by all means, intervene).
Does the school get to have my child taken home by the police if I arrive on a motorcycle, with a helmet for my child, if the principal thinks a motorcycle is too dangerous? What if I show up and hand my kid a pair of inline skates and proceed to cross a "busy intersection" with him? What if I tell him to hop on a unicycle? Is it any of the school's business how I get my kid home?
Also, I think it's pretty brilliant of Deidre to choose such an environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Everyone knows we need to drive less or use less polluting modes of transportation. "Cash for Clunkers" ring a bell with anyone?
You can read an editorial on the story here.
What do you think? Did the school overstep its bounds? Is this mom being persecuted for trying to save a few bucks?
Photo credit: sunsentinel.com