One would think that if anyone has a right to pick a child up from school, it’s a parent, correct?
But that’s not the case at a Texas school known as Bear Branch Elementary. As a local news station reports, “Pick your child up from school and you could be charged with trespassing.” The news report goes on to say:
“The principal has decided that no matter how close the student lives to the school, the student must either take the bus, or the parent must wait in a long car pickup line. Try to walk your student off the campus and you could face criminal charges.
‘She's threatening to arrest people,’ says Wendy Jarman about principal, Holly Ray.
Jarman pulled her children out of the school Monday and placed them in private school. She lives in the neighborhood behind the school. Her kids were walkers, and she escorted them, but they can't do that anymore.
Ray won't allow it. Ray has gotten Montgomery County Constables to be her enforcers.
‘This has happened to many parents,’ Jarman says. ‘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.’"
In the words of one parent, “‘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.’”
Oddly enough, that statement seems to be the partial fruition of another statement made in 1923 by Princeton professor, J. Gresham Machen. Machen wrote:
“A public school system, if it means the providing of free education for those who desire it, is a noteworthy and beneficent achievement of modern times; but when once it becomes monopolistic it is the most perfect instrument of tyranny which has yet been devised. Freedom of thought in the middle ages was combated by the Inquisition, but the modern method is far more effective. Place the lives of children in their formative years, despite the convictions of their parents, under the intimate control of experts appointed by the state, force them then to attend schools where the higher aspirations of humanity are crushed out, and where the mind is filled with the materialism of the day, and it is difficult to see how even the remnants of liberty can subsist.”
Is there some truth to Machen’s words? Do we need to recognize that parents are far better protectors, trainers, and educators than the education system has led us to believe, and in so doing, give them back the authority they have lost?
Annie Holmquist is editor of Intellectual Takeout, an online magazine and sister publication of Chronicles.