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Parents Late for School Pick Up Pay a Fee

walking-to-schoolSchools are starting to look more like Blockbuster these days – they’re instituting late fees.

Only where a late drop-off is a problem at the video store, a late pick-up is raising the rates for parents at their local elementary schools.

I’d never heard of this until I saw a story on the Portland, Ore. ABC station about a public elementary school charging 50 cents a minute for every minute a staff member has to sit with a child because the parents didn’t show. The Woodmere Elementary School is giving parents a ten-minute grace period first.

A few colleagues here at Strollerderby were already familiar with this at private elementary and nursery schools – where fees are closer to $1 per minute, payable directly to the staffer on the premises who has been stuck sitting with the child.

Makes sense to me – especially after watch my daughter’s nursery school teacher settle in for the long haul more times than I can count because one child was still there as we were leaving (and her mother was a stay-at-home mom with no younger kids at home – no big excuses there). It’s common courtesy to pick your child up on time, a nod to the fact that teachers have lives too (and often their own kids to pick up from school or daycare). It also doesn’t hurt in parent-child relations. A parent who is always late leaves a child feeling like she just doesn’t matter much.

But parents told ABC it was too harsh – especially in light of the fees to outfit your kid with school supplies and more, and, of course, the economy. I’m willing to grant a grace period for any parent, or a one-time “uh oh, couldn’t get out of the office meeting” forgiveness.

Do you think a fee is too much?

Image: Pink Sherbet via Flickr

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