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LETTER: Ticketing parents at school pick-up is predatory (and we can do better)

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Dear Editor:

Twice a day the streets around nearly every school in our city fill up with parents, grandparents and caretakers looking after our young ones.

Anyone with children knows that balancing work and school pick-up at 3 p.m. is never easy, but what has made it exceptionally challenging at my children’s school (P.E. McGibbon) is the presence of By-Law officers.

At first I thought they were just trying to help the flow of traffic, but to my dismay, I watched them ticket multiple parked cars.

While I know that this is not a new occurrence, I am fed up.

Ticketing parents at pick-up is not only predatory, it’s just bad culture. No school needs By-Law officers in vested, all black stalking around their grounds at the busiest time of day.

When I spoke with a teacher from our school, they replied that the school did not ask for the help of By-Law and they found their presence “unhelpful.”

“Many parents think that they are the police and they feel nervous,” they added.

Not only is their presence unhelpful, but the burden of a monetary fine to many households is absolutely crushing. 

Is this the best we can do? Do we want a city that randomly tickets parents simply trying to pick up their kids? I implore you Councilors and Mayor Bradley – to make better use of By-Law staff and “call off the dogs” from our school grounds.

Let’s let our school leadership look after these logistics.

I won’t try to speak for school staff, but I can speak in solidarity with parents that these exploits are totally unhelpful.

Josh Walters

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