It’s my Opinion

PARENTS of young children will need no reminding of the fact that schools are now back - particularly those who have tots who are taking their first tentative steps into the world of education.

Letting them go is hard, as I seem to recall from the dim and distant days when my wife - rarely me - walked our two boys to primary school before they were able to make the trip themselves.

I stress the word walk, for only in extreme weather were they ever lifted by car to school, either in Dyce or Ellon.

Car travel to school in the morning is something that now seems to be the norm in the 21st century - certainly here in East Gordon.

Ellon’s parents in particular seem to have a real problem with their children walking to school. Or so it would seem, if you see the amount of cars queuing up to drop off the little dears at the two schools nearest to my house.

Not that I need to see them, for indeed those of you who live next to these two educational establishments are only too quick to tell of the invasion of privacy occurring five days a week.

My first response to the complaints of parents parking in private drives, or across driveways was disbelief. But after seeing the chaos first hand, I had no alternative but to accept there is, indeed, a problem.

The parking was actually the least of it. Many of those who drop off children are hostile to any reasoned debate about the validity of irresponsible parking.

One lady - it seems in fact always to be ladies - was heard to say after blocking an exit point: “But I park here every morning, you’ll just have to wait until I go into the school with my youngster.”

She then stomped off without waiting for a reply.

This piece of bad manners was nothing, however, compared to another parent - again a woman who blocked off a local tradesman setting off for his day’s toil.

Not surprisingly he asked if she would move, and was gobsmacked to hear her say: “No and who do you work for?”

As the van had the name of the company on its side, and did not merit a response, the gentleman thought that was the end of the matter, though he did have wait for her to walk her two youngsters into school before driving off.

What happened next was truly amazing as the driver of the car went to his employer and complained about this unreasonable demonstrably behaviour.

I don’t know the final outcome, but I like to think the lady was well and truly put in her place. That said, if the employer was a man, it is likely he would fudge it, as men are inclined to do when dealing with irate members of the public.

So while I’m not in a position to advise car drivers about poor attitudes on the road, I would like to ask that a nicer approach when parking be adopted, or in some cases abandoning vehicles.

I do, nevertheless, appreciate that we all live hectic lifestyles, but would ask - does that mean have the right to look cross and behave rudely when dealing with others?

From the stressed, angry expressions on the faces of some drivers dropping off children, the answer would appear to be yes.