MAGNOLIA, TX-- It's a bad time to be a kid at Bear Branch Elementary. The new principal this year, Holly Ray, may look as sweet as sunshine, but parents says she's got some wicked ways!
For one, she won't let parents walk up to the Magnolia elementary school to get their kids after school. They have to be in a car. And she's serious!
"If you do not abide by the walk-up rule, the policy that she put in place, you will be sent to a truancy education course," says Magnolia mom Wendy Jarman. "If you do not complete that within two weeks, your child will be placed in in-school suspension."
Jarman has been so bothered by the nonsense of Principal Ray, she pulled her two boys out of school this week. "She announced that we would no longer be saying the pledge-- either the Texas pledge or the United States pledge in school. There was such an uproar over that, she did back down."
But Ray isn't backing down on the car line. So parents must wait 30 minutes, 45, sometimes an hour to get their children! And many just live three or four minutes away in the neighborhood behind the school.
Frank Young is one of those. He and his wife got over 200 signatures on a petition to get the policy reversed. He met with Ray to discuss changing the policy one afternoon. That evening, he was served with papers banning him from all Magnolia school properties due to inappropriate behavior. They stated if he stepped foot on school grounds, he could be arrested for criminal trespassing. "I don't know what I did.," he says "I didn't do anything."
What he did do is pull his kids out of Bear Branch. And if all the For Sale signs in the neighborhood behind the school are any indication, other folks are fed up, too.
Again, this is all over parents wanting to walk their kids home from school.
"A good friend of mine had the police knock on her door this past week," says Jarman, "and serve her with a letter that essentially said, 'If you do this again, we will take legal action.'"
The district relented somewhat by allowing parents to walk their kids home only after all the cars are gone. And during that time, kids told us, they're not allowed to speak, just sit quietly or be sent to detention.
Hey-- Ray don't play!
"This has to stop," says Young, "This is crazy. This is silly. This is ruining our community."
Somebody once said, "Failure comes only when we forget our ideals and principles." But it sounds like this principal is the one who's failing!