Tantrums and Turf Wars: The School Car Line Is Chaos

Scott Calvert:

The bumper-to-bumper jockeying at school drop-off and pickup is lurching past annoyance en route to true-crime drama.

“DO NOT cut the line. DO NOT drive on the gravel path near the water tower,” Principal Michael Girouard told Red Oak Middle School parents in Battleboro, N.C., in a scolding missive. “If you find yourself running late, get up earlier.”

Jordyn Hon of Plant City, Fla., fed up with people driving through neighbors’ yards to jump the line before and after school, posted a map on
with hand-drawn arrows showing the proper protocol at Springhead Elementary School.

“There’s two different blocks you can take to simply act like a decent human being,” Hon wrote. Her post drew a stream of huzzahs, including one woman’s observation that “there isn’t a worse car line than Springhead and that’s a hill I’ll die on.”

Parents have long dreaded the nerve-fraying navigation required for car caravans ferrying students to and fro. It seems to be getting worse. New federal data show a rising share of students who ride in cars to school. It isn’t clear whether the growth comes from bus-driver shortages, more work-from-home parents or other reasons.