Here we are, the second week of the school year. Only nine more months before summer vacation. I live within a block of an elementary school. Each morning, five days a week, dozens of parents drive into my neighborhood, park their cars on the swales in front of our houses and walk their children to the school’s door.
Parents are to be commended for assuring that their children travel safely to and from school. Here are some etiquette guidelines that I ask them to observe:
• Park only on the swale.
• Do not park in or across my driveway, no matter how short your stay will be. If I want to leave, I don’t want to have to wait for you to return.
• Do not park your car across the public sidewalk, forcing people to walk over my lawn or out into the street.
• Do not park on my lawn. Use that parking space 50 feet down the block. It’s not that much farther to walk.
• Do not run into my trash containers to try to push them aside so you can park there. They tip over and I’m the one who has to clean up the mess.
• Do not clean your car out and dump your empty fast-food bags, half-eaten French fries and ashtrays on the swale in front of my house. What sort of lesson are you teaching your child?
• When leaving, do not spin your tires on the grassy swale. It may seem cool, but it kills the grass and makes it look bad.
• Do not bring your dog and, while your significant other is walking the child to the school, let it relieve itself on the swale. People have to walk their children there.
• Do not bring your dog with you and, while you are walking your child to school, leave your dog in the car unattended, even if the window is partially open. For this breach of etiquette, I will call the cops, and they’ll be waiting for you when you return.
Our neighborhood is beautiful and well kept. We’re proud of it. Help us keep it that way. And enjoy a wonderful school year with your child.
Guy Smith, Miami