Parents Who Park Illegally At Their Kids’ Schools Need To Get Over Themselves And Be Considerate

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Mom at school drop offSchool pick up and drop off is a nightmare for most parents for many different reasons. For some, it’s the waiting. For others, it’s trying not to run over the swarming children. And for others, it’s finding a parking spot. Finding parking near your kid’s school can be a pain, but that doesn’t mean you get to park illegally. Come on. Don’t be a schmuck.

A lot of schools are in the middle of residential neighborhoods and don’t have parking spots available for parents. That means a lot of parents are trying to find street parking all at the same time. But that doesn’t mean you can park your car in that open spot, which just happens to be open because it is someone’s driveway. I know you’re only going to be a minute, and I know they weren’t leaving the house anyway, but that’s not okay. You aren’t doing the wrong thing only if it causes someone else inconvenience, you’re doing the wrong thing because it’s more convenient for you. Not cool.

Some schools don’t make it easy for parents to do the right thing, however. Parents of some students at the British School in Chicago are losing their shit because of what they are calling, “predatory towing.” Last week more than 15 cars were towed from a lot that is supposed to be reserved for customers of the stores nearby. The school has warned parents for months not to park in that lot and has arranged for a 20-minute grace period of free parking in a nearby garage, but parents say that’s not enough time. For the past week, tow truck drivers from Rendered Services (a company with a D rating from the Better Business Bureau) have been waiting “in the shadows” and towing cars the minute they see parents leave their cars in the lot and take their children into nearby Lincoln Park School.

Both the school and the businesses deny arranging for the towing, which means that Rendered Services is probably out there grabbing cars to make money. And that is messed up. However, if you park illegally and you get towed, you don’t get to complain. No, wait — you do get to complain because I would be annoyed on a level not yet known to man, but I would be annoyed at myself, not the tow truck company.

I’m sure we all have stories about parking disasters we have seen when taking our kids to school. When I see cars blocking driveways, hanging halfway out into an intersection, blocking access to an alley, or parked in front of a bus stop, it certainly makes me understand why some people might desire vigilante justice. Because like it or not, what you are saying when you do that is that your needs are paramount at that moment. You’re saying that rather than go a block or two away and inconveniencing yourself to find a legal spot, you’re going to go ahead and possibly inconvenience someone else.

Let’s not forget that our kids are watching us. If we bend the rules to suit our needs, then why shouldn’t they?

(Photo: Ersler Dmitry / Shutterstock)