Friday, June 24, 2011

School's Out for Summer!

I made it. I dropped my daughter off for her last day of school, and then fought my way through the insane morning traffic, against all odds, like I’ve done every day since September, until I arrived safely in my very own driveway. Making it home every school day is always such a welcomed relief, as school zones in Los Angeles are the most dangerous places to be in in the mornings. It’s such perverse irony - children on their way to school in the mornings endangered by the very people who are supposed to care the most about them. I drop my daughter off at the safest time of all – before the gates open. I’m one of the first parents to arrive and I’m one of the first to get the hell out of there, just before the daily insanity starts: Moms who are late, talking on their cell phones, cutting people off, making three point turns in the middle of the busy street, letting their kids out on the opposite side of the street and then waving them into traffic (ignoring all posted signs that say don’t do that), dads who text while driving with people everywhere, cars speeding through stop signs, inconsiderate jerks parking their cars right in front of neighbors’ driveways, blocking them in. The list goes on and on. It’s the same story at every school.

School zones, which should be trusted safe zones, are dangerous in the mornings, because of parents. They’re more dangerous than the last call bar flies who hit the freeways after closing time at 2 a.m. because there are so many of them.

A reasonable person could deduce that anyone caught in the act would be ashamed of themselves, but quite the contrary. This is Los Angeles, where people look out for Number One, and all bad behavior can be rationalized or blamed on someone else. It’s nuts. Bad parents are rarely ever confronted. If they’re so willing to blatantly break the law and put lives in danger (including their own children), what do you think they’d do or say to anyone who actually calls them out? I’ve seen that happen and it never ends well for the confronter. I remember watching the evening news a few years ago where a local news crew parked themselves outside of an elementary school in an affluent neighborhood (I mention this only because the elite are so big on appearances) and filmed parents breaking one law after another. When confronted, on camera, many of these parents got so defensive they threatened the reporters and camera operators! One of them was still in her pajamas!

The other irony in all of this is that you rarely ever see any cops in these danger zones. It’s a well known fact that school zones are extremely dangerous. So where are the cops? Are they making drug busts and chasing gang members at 8 a.m.? With the city in such dire financial straits, I don’t get why the cops aren’t planted at every school site, writing tickets left and right, bringing in lots of money for the city first thing in the morning while keeping our school zones safe. Seems like a no brainer to me, but then again, this is Los Angeles.