An Open Letter: A Drop Off Disaster


NOTE: This is a message intended for parents, specifically, parents who drive their students to school. Please forward this message and list of guidelines to your parents so that they can understand how to drop off their children without interfering with the drop offs of other parents.

Dear Parents:

I understand that raising a child is difficult and time-consuming work, particularly if that child is a Westwood student. In addition to simply having to drop off and possibly pick up the child at the beginning and end of each school day, one must take his or her child to all their extracurricular activities, whether for Journalism, Debate, or one of the many sports or clubs. Even when these extracurricular activities do not usually require one to go to a different place, they require students to be picked up at a different (usually later) time than normal, which can potentially mess up one’s schedule. An already long list of potential issues that’s only exacerbated when one has to juggle this with a job or chores at home. In the face of such issues, it can be tempting to try to shave off a few seconds by dropping off students before you reach the actual drop off area – on the road before school, before one reaches the actual school building itself.

However, please bear in mind that you are not the only one who has a busy schedule and a lot to do. When you stop your car on the road to drop off your child, you also force the cars behind you to stop as well, slowing down everyone else’s day in order to speed up your own day by a few seconds at best. Many of the students and parents are capable of displaying patience even in the face of such selfishness, but don’t think that justifies the act. Even something as simple as a slight delay in one’s routine can color a student’s mood for the rest of the day, simply because one person thought they were more important than the others. While it seems this problem might be remedied by simply having everyone stop their cars on the road to have the students exit, this presents another issue: safety.

The roads that come to and from Westwood are not one-way roads. In addition to the lane coming to the left of the school’s parking lot inlet, there is also a lane that comes to the right of the school’s parking lot inlet. Both of these lanes are frequently used, and not always by parents dropping off their children – there are several office buildings and homes nearby, after all. This means that when one drops off their child in the middle of the road, their child will have to watch for oncoming cars, which could delay their journey to school, to say nothing of the danger. Having multiple cars at once stop only increases the danger due to the increased numbers of students present. In addition, the act of suddenly stopping in the middle of the road is rather unexpected, and has the potential to cause a car accident or even an incident of road rage as a person finally reaches the limit of their patience.

However, describing these issues is not enough to cease them. After all, raising a child is time-consuming work, and coming up with one’s own ideas on how to properly perform drop-off procedures only takes more of one’s available time. As such, I’ve decided to make a short list of guidelines for you to follow when dropping off your children at school.

  • Slow down as you approach the school. You’ll likely have to do this anyway as there are many other parents who are dropping off their children at the same time.
  • Wait until you’re at the sidewalk of the school building itself before dropping off your child. This helps prevent accidents and delays.
  • Remember to push down on the pedals softly rather than stomping on them as you start or stop your vehicle. Sudden acceleration and braking like can easily lead to accidents.
  • Always keep an eye out for other cars. Humans do not have a full 360-degree vision, and they’re not capable of fully concentrating on a task all of the time.
  • Remember, the gas pedal is on the left, the brake pedal is on the right. I’ve noticed that some of you have had problems with this in the past.

Just try your hardest to keep these tips in mind and the drop-off process will be much easier for all involved.