I don't normally cry. So pissed they made me do it today. I know they think it was about the stupid $140 I was forced to pay. Please. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am still in tears as I write this. Why can't we just get to the point where educated adults can decide this is right and that is wrong? What happened to common sense and decency? It certainly was nowhere to be found in The Colony Courtroom today. Being a a parent and advocate for a special needs child is one of the hardest jobs there is. I try to never stress over the stares, questions, idiocy and ignorance of people. But today was about my little boy and how he needed me to be his mom.
Prosecutor Chase Griffith, could anyone be more smug, heartless and condescending? The second I sat down he wanted to show how 'smart' he was. Guessing my 'crime' like it was some kind of game show. Yes, he has seen this same citation walk through the doors many, many times. I knew from the second I met him he was a class A jerk. Yes, I made an illegal right turn into the driveway, but do you even care why? You did it, period, end of story, who cares if your kid has a medical emergency while the driveway is blocked, who cares if you can't get to him if he needs you. You make that turn you are getting a ticket.
A little background. Ryan, my 7 yo, has Down Syndrome, OCD, Hyperactivity, Implusiveness, Sensory Processing Disorder, Chronic rectal prolapse and is on the Autism Spectrum. He goes to Morningside Elementary in The Colony Texas. Morningside is an amazing school with an amazing special ed program. What isn't so amazing is the design of their parking lot.
Ryan had been riding the bus since Kindergaten but recently he was having some anxiety/behavioral issues that caused me to start driving him. Life is not easy for this little guy so if I can reduce some of his stress, than of course, I am going to do it. Now let me see if I can explain the craziness that is Morningside's parking lot. During afternoon pick-up the car pool line starts backing up pretty early. Sometimes as early as 2:15 the cars are already forming for a 2:50 dismissal. When the line starts forming there are about 8 cars that are physically in the parking lot then the rest start forming a line down the drive and onto the street. The entrance to the driveway has two lanes, an entrance and and exit. Since the bell doesn't ring until 2:50 no cars are ever exiting between 2:15 and 2:50..you can't move until you get your kid, right?
When I told Ryan's teachers he was going to stop riding the bus they said 'okay, our kiddos get let out around back at 2:30'. Now the special-ed driveway is not accessible from the street. You have to drive into the main parking lot to get to it. So therefore, in order to pick him up at 2:30, I, along with all the other special-ed parents, sometimes have to make a right hand turn into the parking lot by-passing all the cars in the carpool lane. This is just the lay of the land at this school. I have seen it be done a MILLION times since he started there. There is only one way in and one way out so when the only way in is blocked by cars we have no other option but to go around them. I honestly thought it was understood that this is how it was done. Evidently not. Since this incident I was informed we can pick our kiddos up after the bell. But that doesn't solve the access to my son issue.
One afternoon as I was making my 'illegal' turn to go pick up Ryan. Officer Simmons of The Colony PD followed me behind the building to where the Special Ed kids are let out. He pulled up behind me and waited while I struggled for 10 minutes to get Ryan in the car. It was his usual yelling and dropping to the ground routine that we often go through when getting him to do something he may not want to. He literally stood there and watched me have a anxiety attack over my childs behavior. I didn't know he was waiting on me so I asked him..'Are you needing me?" He said 'Yes, but I will wait until your done." Seriously?? So I pulled up and he proceeded to tell me he was giving me a citation for making an illegal turn into the school. I was speechless. I thought that was how we were suppose to get to our kids! I asked him how I was suppose to pick my son up. His response."I don't know, you should ask the principal". And my favorite..."We are really cracking down on this so I am not going to give you a warning.". Thanks, buddy, like I don't have enough stress in my life right now. Of course they are cracking down so much that I haven't seen one cop pull over another car since that day. And believe me everyone is still doing it.
I, of course, decided to fight this ticket. Why is it okay to block the only entrance to a school? What if my son's colon prolapsed and I had to go to him immediately? What about the American with Disabilities Act that says all public buildings must have an accessible entrance/exit? Fast forward to today and my meeting with Prosecutor Griffith. Who had an answer for everything but said nothing. "Yes, if a lady is having a baby and her husband is speeding to the hospital they can get a ticket"... zero common sense left in this world. How can it be that the only way I can get to my son is to break the law? I asked several legitimate questions that he of course did not have the answers too..."Why is it okay for all of the cars in the carpool lane to block the only entrance?", "What about the ADA act and my son's right to have access in and out of the parking lot?", "What if there is a medical emergency and I had to get to him?". Mrs. Forman this is a traffic court I don't have the answer to those questions. Of course not, it is real easy to do your job when you don't have to think very much. "I only have to prove you made a right turn, doesn't matter why you did it.".
No of course it doesn't matter, to you. And there lies the problem.