Tennessee school safety officer arrests parent for calmly objecting to pick-up policy


Tennessee still has schools?


Eventually communities will realize that police are too expensive and replace them with something less stupid.


As a native Tennessean I’d like to thank the officer for giving me yet another reason to have to say, “We’re not all like that” when I tell people where I’m from.
Edit: Sounds like the school principal is a real piece of work as well.


“Disorderly Conduct” is a fancy lawyer word for ‘uppity’, right?


I know it can be a pain, but I would very much like to see followup to this and similar stories. Too often, they are merely “outrage of the moment” and we forget about them a day later.


People keep talking about “running government like a business,” but then they tolerate police who are enormous liabilities. If that town was my business you better bet I would train the hell out of those cops!


Power tripping fool with a badge


It’s a terrible thing, but there are children in this state who, shockingly, are still receiving a quality education. Their combined knowledge and critical thinking skills pose a serious threat to such state leaders as state representative Richard Floyd or even the noble state senator Stacey Campfield.

Fortunately people like this brave police officer are stepping up to make sure no one questions authority.


Maybe it’s the hour and me not getting enough sleep last night, but I’m not following what the argument is actually about. What is the issue? The parent comes to school to pick up his kids, he walks away with them. What’s the problem? He has to sign a form to allow his kids to walk? What is going on?


So, the problem is that he was not in a car, picking up his kids from school? Did I misunderstand the disagreement? He seems to have signed the “allow to walk” form, so I’m not sure what’s going on (other than the cop is being a dick about whatever it is.)


I think it’s some kind of crazy-weird thing about staging the release of kids – cars, then buses, then kids walking on their own – as a risk-management thing. Without knowing what the layout of the school and its surrounding areas are, it’s hard to say whether this is called for, but it would be pretty extraordinary if the situation was so terrible that kids leaving the school on the sidewalk were at risk from cars or buses in the road.

I think these parents decided that they didn’t want to spend over an hour in a traffic jam (which they described as a danger; again, hard to say whether an hour-long tailback is a danger or just a titanic pain in the ass) so they walked in to get their kids.

They’re arguing that the “walking kids leave last” policy is about kids walking without parental supervision, and asking that their kids be handed over to them immediately, rather than waiting for all the cars and buses to clear out. Officer Powertrip is insisting that there is no category for “kids with parents” and that any kid on foot leaves the school only after it is clear of vehicular traffic.

That’s what all the business of citing state law about turning kids over to parents in a timely fashion is about.


It seems that this is all about this parent wanting to make an exception to the new, poorly functioning pick up policy.

Like so many bureaucrats and authoritarians, the safety officer and vice-principal rather stick with poorly functioning rules because “that’s how things are” rather than having to spend a few seconds thinking for themselves.


Wouldn’t any free society simply let students come and go on their own terms? I can only see this being a problem with very young children (preschool, maybe kindergarten), but by grade school, they should be capable of using crosswalks and sidewalks safely.


So what is the pick-up policy? Cars come up like it’s a fastfood drive-thru and the kids go to the car?

“The school wanted us to sign a form to allow our kids to walk unsupervised…” So, if he had signed that form, could his kids walk out of the school to him? “We elected to walk and pick them up on this day rather than be in the mass confusion.” So, they aren’t signing the form?

It’s unclear exactly what the policy decision is, exactly how he’s conflicting with the policy.

(The arrest is a completely different matter. It looks like he wasn’t even given a warning as to how to avoid arrest.)

I can’t do that, buddy, its more than my job’s worth!

I think it may be.

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Yeah, really, I remember leaving elementary school (not THAT long ago either, 15 years) without any kind of supervision. The bell rang, we left. End of story.

Has the nanny state gotten this bad in the last decade?


The phrase “nanny state” completely misses the reason why this happens. If the school over-supervises the kids, there are no lawsuits. If they under-supervise, then when the Bad Thing happens it’s the School’s Fault. There’s no nanny involved - it’s lawyerly CYA run amok.


Yes, it is that bad. In the last 40 years, the fraction of children walking or biking to school fell from 89% to 35% (in 2009; it’s lower now). I walked alone to school from 3rd grade up and that was only 30 years ago.

In Zurich where I lived briefly the children are practically required to walk alone from kindergarten up. Nobody drives their kids to school and nearly nobody walks with them. They also walk home for lunch and back (this is some kind of local ritual designed to prevent women from having jobs.) The modern American model of driving your kids to school is dangerous, expensive, and produces lousy humans.


Is it the nanny state? or is it school officials reacting to helicopter parents and the threat that any bad thing leads to a lawsuit?

I’m sure they would all be scandalized by my walking home from school unsupervised, at 10 or 11, then babysitting my younger siblings for several hours. I wasn’t just unsupervised, I was the supervision. Of course, this was 30 years ago.

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