Several parents, teachers and staff are leaving a Texas school due to a new policy that most find to be unreasonable.
At Bear Branch Elementary School in Magnolia, Texas, the dismissal policy bans parents from being able to walk to the school to pick up their children. School Principal Holly Ray has even threatened to arrest parents who choose to walk on school grounds, according to KRIV.
"Mrs. Ray's policy is implying that a parent doesn't have the ability or capability to decide what is safest for her children and that the school district does," said Frank Young, who received a citation. "I disagree."
"This has happened to many parents," said Wendy Jarman, whose children attend a private school since she removed them from Bear Branch on April 4. "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."
Parents must either send their children home on a school bus or wait in the long car pickup line, according to KPRC.
"It used to be much easier," said Donna Bayer. "I could walk up and get her and put her in the car. I didn't have to get in this line."
"People start lining up here about 2:30 pm for a 3:25 pm dismissal," said parent Jeff Wendinger.
"It's a ridiculous situation for everyone," stated Jackie McConnell. "I got here shortly after 2 p.m."
A representative for the Magnolia Independent School District said this procedure ensure the safety of the students. More than 630 students attend Bear Branch Elementary School, which is on a five-lane highway.
Although many parents do not agree with the policy, others do not mind the lengthy process.
"I'll sit here the 45 minutes or an hour so that I know my daughter is safe," Doreen Thurkettle told KPRC. "It really doesn't bother me."
Community efforts to negotiate a more efficient policy with school administrators have largely been ignored.
"This is my seventh year here and we've never had an issue with it, ever," said Lea Drake. "Now, it's just taking a long time and it's very inconvenient to the parents."
Parents said the principal’s tactics go beyond the dismissal policy, which has made some teachers and staff members leave the school.
"The most toxic thing we can do for our kids is not fight for truth and justice," Young said.