Heartwarming Holiday Cheer: Pick Up Your Kid or Else!


A private Seventh Day Adventist school in our neighborhood spread the warmth of the holiday season with this sign:

Note item number two: “The school building will be closed at 12:30 P.M. Students not picked up by then will be left at the 88th Precinct”

This sounded like rather extreme punishment for a child whose only crime is that their parents are late, especially when you consider the effect going to jail as an innocent child had on young Alfred Hitchcock. We couldn’t reach anyone at the school yesterday, so we called the 88th to ask them whether the precinct had set up a crib-sized holding pen for the pre-school crowd.

The officer who answered the phone said they didn’t get an influx of tots, but if kids were brought to them, “We’ll try to make a good time of it for them. It certainly could bring up issues of abandonment. I mean, what kid wants to get sent to the precinct?”

The officer had coincidentally worked at a pre-school once herself, and she said it’s a common threat to encourage parents to show up on time, which is rarely carried out. She did have a colleague who dropped kids off at the precinct as abandoned children, but she could never bring herself to do it, even with a chronically late parent.”It’s kind of traumatizing for the kid,” she said. “They haven’t done anything. It’s not their fault their
parents are late.”