AUSTIN (KXAN) — Traffic issues at an Austin middle school have turned ugly, according to a recent email sent out by the school.
Gorzycki Middle School’s principal sent the letter to parents this week, which highlights issues with parents using profanity, verbally threatening staff and yelling at staff during school pickup.
The letter stated, “Starting Tuesday, GMS will have staff on the sidewalk in front of the school monitoring students, but will NOT be helping direct traffic any longer.”
“Parents are getting very aggressive at pickup,” said Becca Lusk, a parent at the school. “They are yelling at our teachers, our volunteers, our staff.”
Lusk said parents have received instructions on how the pickup works and there is even an online video.
“It is a time-consuming process,” she said.
Lusk said no matter how long it takes, no one should treat the staff poorly.
“I don’t think it is fair to punish everyone, but it has been happening so often that it is the straw that broke the camel’s back,” she said.
Some parents, who wished to remain anonymous, believe removing the teachers who direct traffic is a big risk for the students.
“There are countless times where they step out and stop to let a kid walk across,” said a parent.
“The fact that there are frustrated and/or aggressive drivers even, albeit just a handful, does not mean we need less monitoring by the faculty,” said a parent. “If anything we need more.”
Some parents we spoke to said the situation could have been handled differently.
“Take down the license plates of these parents and handle the problem directly,” said a parent.
“It feels like the kids are being put at risk rather than dealing with a few parents that need to be reprimanded,” said another parent.
Parents KXAN spoke with tell us the teachers should not have to deal with unruly parents, but punishing everyone only puts the kids in danger.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that teachers are being yelled at and cursed at, but this is a handful of bad apples, I think we can all agree on that,” said a parent.
The school has posted a video online to show the proper pickup procedure.
The school is also encouraging parents to have their kids ride the bus.
KXAN reached out to Austin Independent School District about the letter sent out to parents. The district sent us this statement:
“Yes, we can confirm that the principal sent the letter. Austin ISD is committed to creating a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for our students, families and staff. We aim to support all adults who enter our campuses in modeling and encouraging behavior that we would like to see our students embrace as they move out into the world.”