School gate parking wars! The battles continue – do we actually enjoy it?
Guest poster Ben T writes: we love our kids, so we…behave at our worst, and endanger them where they congregate every day – often spoiling rare time together. And no-one seems capable of calling out what’s behind it all.
More reporting this week about the chronic issue for urban schools: parents driving and parking badly to drop off and pick up their kids. Stuff’s article here features Auckland schools but has “yes, us too” from several others around the country.
The only answer, it’s implied, is for people to dob in bad parking and driving to the Police who are the only people who can do anything. Stuff’s shorter focus article on the Auckland situation does that here, and earlier coverage is the same: ticketing is the only implied solution – council and police vs parents and caregivers.
Only one person in the whole of this week’s article mentioned any other dimensions of this issue. Stuff reporters Megan Gattey and Imogen Neale quoted Bronwyn Hyder of Papakura. Hyder, “who has a disability, often picked up her grandson from school. She asked, if she can park and walk [a short way], why can’t everyone else?”
But no-one mentions kids taking the bus or getting to school under their own steam. Even just being dropped a bit further away rather than at the school gate – walking, scooting, biking (on the footpath) the last few minutes to get there. When our kids so badly need incidental exercise, why is it we won’t at least drop them a block away from school? Or get them to the bus?
There are lots of reasons why contemporary (middle-class) parenting involves driving kids around a lot, but many of them are still in our control.
You’d be forgiven for thinking some part of us enjoys the “circle of hell” that is school gate dropoff; that we don’t mind angst and stress dominating our last few minutes together in the mornings.
What do you think?
Image credit: familiesonline.co.uk