Local school threatens to call police if parents pick up students after 5 p.m.

By Sarah Acosta - Reporter, Lee Carpio - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - Pick up your children by 5 p.m. from school or the Idea Monterrey Park School will call the police.

A letter informing parents of this warning was sent home with children who attend the school.

School officials said parents are "taking advantage of the situation” and that “they have been put on notice."

Some parents KSAT spoke with said the letter took things too far.

“It's very harsh,” one parent, who didn’t want to be identified, said. “They went beyond, and it's not fair to parents, single parents and our babies.”

She said she is outraged about the electronic letter that was sent out to parents of students in middle school and high school levels on Tuesday.

The letter states that, if a child is not in an after-school program, they must be picked up by 5 p.m. or police will be called. It also said that if a student is in an after-school program, they must be picked up within 30 minutes after that program ends. If not, administrators will call police.

Principal J.L. Tyrrell sites school safety as one of the reasons for the new protocol to be put in place by Monday. He also said the school doesn't have the staff or a security officer to watch students after 5 p.m.

Some parents are OK with the rules.

“It doesn't bother me much,” Robert Almarez said. “I'm pretty much OK with it. He's been going here since kindergarten, so it's nothing he's not used to.”

Others say the new rule is too much.

“Some parents are single. It's harder or they don't have no family here,” said Andy Paredes, a grandparent who picks up his grandson for his daughter, who is a single mother. “They got to struggle to do it. And to be pressured like something like that from the school, it's kind of hard.”

The woman who didn’t want to be identified said she is a single mother. She said she gets out of work at 5 p.m. and has to drive for 20 minutes, not including traffic, to pick up her son.

Right now, her son is in an after-school program at Monterrey Park, but she said the program ends on May 17. For the last two weeks of school, she said she doesn't know what she will do.

“I'm going to have to start getting my son out during my lunch break, take him home and then speed back for the last two weeks of school. My son is going to miss out on a lot of things,” she said.

The letter also states that teachers and coaches are sometimes staying after 5 p.m. to watch students who should have been picked up already and that cuts into their family time.

The school did not release a statement about the letter.

KSAT contacted the San Antonio Police Department to see what officers could do if they were called out to the school. We are still waiting for a response.

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