An Open Apology To All School Drop-Off Line Traffic Directors

Dear School Staff Who Directs Traffic in the Drop-Off/Pick-Up Lines,

My oldest child is in high school which means that I have had a few years experience dealing with the drop-off/pick-up lines at various schools.  For most of these years, I have looked upon your waving arms and pointing fingers with disdain.  I don't think dropping kids off or picking kids up is rocket science.  I've often thought that your sheer existence was an insult to our collective intelligence as parents.

I stand corrected. You are necessary.

**For those of you readers who might not be familiar with these traffic directors, let me give you a quick overview.  There are usually two school staff members strategically placed around the drop-off/pick-up lines who's sole job is to ensure that parents are following directions.  They will tell you to "pull all the way up," or they will simply wave you on and kindly motion you stop so your children can safely enter/exit the car.  Cars are expected to pull bumper-to-bumper to allow for maximum efficiency.  And there you have it...the school drop zone in a nutshell.**

 I'm not going to lie.  There have been times that I was rude to you.

Like the time I was "in the loading zone" and my child walked over to get in the car at which point the car in front of me took off leaving a one-car gap in the line.  (Oh the travesty!!)  Kelsey was reaching out to touch the door handle when you said, "No!  Pull up!"   I looked at you like you had three heads and spoke Chinese.  She was already there...she was in the process of getting in the car.  It's not my fault the car in front of me broke the rules and pulled off before the car in front of it was done.  As I was processing the ridiculousness of your request, the car two spots in front of me also pulled off, now leaving a two-car gap.  Kelsey didn't know what to do.  You were yelling at me to pull up; she was afraid to get in the car.

I remember telling you that I was the mom and she was my kid which meant that I was in charge.  I remember telling you that she had already walked over to my car and I wasn't going to make her walk anymore simply to satisfy your crazy need to boss me around.

I remember telling Kelsey to get in the gosh-darn car.

I remember not saying gosh-darn.

I remember you walking over to my open window to admonish a child.

It's all a blur now but I'm pretty sure I let you walk up to my window while Kelsey was getting in the car.  Just as soon as you started talking, I remember zooming off..leaving you standing there in your newly formed three-car gap with your mouth hanging open.

(And I won't even mention the time Kelsey had a broken leg and was walking on crutches and you made her walk from one end of the line all the way down to the other end.  Yes, that really happened.)

I'm not saying you were right in that instance but recent events in the high school drop-off line have opened my eyes as to why you were so emphatic that we keep the line moving.

Kelsey's high school doesn't have traffic directors.  I guess school administrators think after dropping kids off for eight years, we should know how to do it.  Also, over half of the students drive themselves to school which significantly decreases the number of cars going through the line.

Let me tell you, there are parents out there that are clueless of School Line Etiquette.  I would love to send them back to your drop-off line for training.  Were they living under a rock during the elementary and middle school years?  Did they just wake up with high schoolers?  Have they never dropped off kids before?

You might think I am joking.  This is a serious problem at Kelsey's high school.

Some parents refuse to pull bumper-to-bumper.  Some kids take eleventeen years to get their book bags, lunch boxes, gym bags, tennis rackets, trombones, science projects, etc., out of the car.

Look, I get it.  Teenagers are a different breed.  They live in their own world and move at a snail's pace.  That's why it is the PARENT'S JOB to tell them to get their butts in gear and get out of the car.

This is actually a selfie from this morning.

Oh Dear Traffic Directors, what I wouldn't give to have you show up at the high school one morning to snap these parents in shape.  I took you for granted all those years.

The school line is an actual living, breathing creature made up of mini-van moms, car-poolers, older siblings dropping off younger siblings, etc.  And just like all living, breathing creatures, it requires attention and guidance.

The high school drop off line NEEDS you to help it along.

In hindsight, I realize that this duty was collateral and probably a huge pain in your rear.  Maybe you were the gym teacher or the school resource officer; maybe you were the art teacher or the principal.  At any rate, I'm sure that when you chose education as your profession, you didn't expect to be "educating the parents" on their driving skills.  

I'm sorry for all the times I thought you were useless.  I'm sorry for cursing the very air you were breathing. 

Thank you for diligently pushing us along as we dropped-off and picked-up our kids.  Thank you for standing in the rain, in the cold, in the snow.  Thank you for dealing with parents (like me) who refused to follow your direction.

Thank you.  Just Thank you.


  1. Gosh Darn it............that was funny

    1. Thank you! Come with me one morning to take Kelsey to school and we can revel in the hilarity of other drivers. Or we could just sit at the traffic circle....OR ANY OTHER ROAD IN THIS COUNTY...and get the same laugh.

  2. I followed your link from the Parents for Moore. I enjoyed your post on the BOE situation so much that I kept reading and laughed out loud at this post. I am a former middle school teacher and have been the car line Nazi. Ahhh, good times. Not really. Keep writing and I'll check back in form more laughs.