General chatter - Should I or shouldn't I say something

11-11-2008, 09:59 AM
Ok, here's something that is bothering me and I don't know if I should say anything to anybody or just mind my own business:

A dad has been picking his 4th grader up at school in the afternoon on a dirt bike with no helmets and a younger child riding in front of him. The 4th grader rides behind him.
We have helmet laws in our state. When he leaves, he goes back out the entrance way-against traffic.

I fear for the safety of the children, but I don't want to get anyone in trouble.

I feel he's breaking the law on several levels- no helmets, dirt bike on roads, driving out the entrance.

What would you do? :?:

11-11-2008, 10:18 AM
I'd probably confront the Father first, and nicely remind him about the helmit law. Then take it from there.

11-11-2008, 10:24 AM
are you staff at the school or another parent? in either case i would probably mention it to the principal if you have no involvement with the family. i would think that with many laws being broken and for the safety of the two children involved this is a matter that needs to be addressed.

11-11-2008, 10:44 AM
I just have a few things to add to the good advice already given here. First, without knowing this dad's situation it is possible that the dad has lost his drivers license and is picking up his children in the only legal method for him. My dh's had a coworker lost his license for doing dumb stuff and won't get it back until 2010. I know he has a 6 year old and struggles to find ways to do the things that dads need to do when there is no public transportation in our town.

Secondly, imho and generally speaking (Dad's don't get offended) Dad's tend to be less worried about safety. I can almost hear my dh say I didn't need a helmet when I was little, why should my kid need one. Or, this makes me a cool dad.

If you're really want to get involved, I might try to find out more about this situation and see if the dad needs help because he's doing the best he can, or if he just needs to be reminded about how dangerous he is being and let the principal handle the situation from there.

11-11-2008, 10:53 AM
I don't really know the dad, I just recognize the child because my daughter's in the same grade.
I'm just a parent at the school, not on staff.
If he lost his driver's license, there is school bus service available.

If something happened to the kids, I'd really feel bad for not saying anything,
but if he got into trouble with DHS/CPS or something, I'd feel really bad too :(

11-11-2008, 11:00 AM
I think you have to say something. I know I'd be worried just like you are. Yes, you might get the dad in trouble but the alternative is much worse. Think of it that way. I am really really afraid of confrontation so I can't offer much advice...maybe you can "ask" if he lost his helmet, or say something like you heard they're cracking down on helmet use in the area or something, or like others said, bring it up with the principal. They're trained for this sort of thing.

11-11-2008, 11:05 AM
I would definitely take this matter to the principal of the school. This father is being negligent and showing a bad example to his children, not to mention putting their lives in danger. There is no excuse for that.

SBD Sass
11-11-2008, 11:07 AM
I would alert the Principal and let the school handle it. I wouldn't go to the dad because that may cause some problems.

Shannon in ATL
11-11-2008, 11:17 AM
I would also go to the principal. If he is breaking the helmet law on school property and there is an accident the school could be included in the liability, like a bartender who lets a drunk person drive home who then causes an accident. They definitely need to know.

11-11-2008, 12:33 PM
For sure talk to the principal or even your child's teacher. Most schools have rules about these kinds of things!

11-11-2008, 12:56 PM
Yep. The principal. Perhaps the parent of the other kid that rides on the bike.

What would he do if he drove up and there was a cop sitting there? Maybe walk the bike with both kids sitting on it?

11-11-2008, 01:02 PM
Is there not a teacher standing outside making sure the kids are getting picked up safely? When I picked up my neice from school I always see a teacher "monitoring" outside the school? Maybe she is someone you can point this out to w/o getting law enforcement or the principal involved?

11-11-2008, 01:18 PM
I just have a few things to add to the good advice already given here. First, without knowing this dad's situation it is possible that the dad has lost his drivers license and is picking up his children in the only legal method for him.

Except ... it's not legal, in more than one way.

Personally, I find taking two young children, without helmets, on a motorcycle, one hanging onto you, and you hanging on to the other, while you have to choose between pay attention to driving and paying attention to them, and against traffic, is pretty horrifying.

11-11-2008, 01:57 PM
Is there not a teacher standing outside making sure the kids are getting picked up safely? When I picked up my neice from school I always see a teacher "monitoring" outside the school? Maybe she is someone you can point this out to w/o getting law enforcement or the principal involved?

Well, he drives the dirt bike around the side/back of the school and then comes back out that way. I think he's parking it, walking around to the front and getting his child and then walking back to the dirt bike and driving away.
So, I don't think anyone at the school really sees it.

I'm going to email the principal right now.
Thanks for all of the advice.

11-11-2008, 05:26 PM
I think some of the gals think the dirt bike was a bicycle....

I'd call the cops! A child's life is worth way more than being nosey!

11-11-2008, 05:31 PM
I did email the principal and he said he'd take care of it.
I didn't see the guy today though.
It's getting colder here, so maybe he won't do it anymore.

11-11-2008, 05:51 PM
I'd probably talk to the principal or to the dad himself, as others have said.

To add:

On monday night I was in the car and in front of us, a motorcyclist on his L's (learner's permit here) did a front flip after having used the front wheel brake too abruptly. If he hadn't been wearing a helmet, he'd surely be severely injured, seeing as he landed partially on his head (luckily the bike's right rear view mirror and handlebar took most of the blow).

11-11-2008, 06:14 PM
Go to the pricipal and suggest that a local police officer come to the school and give a talk on motorcycle safety and remind everyone about safety helmet laws Usually they have handouts of literature to take home to parents..A few months ago here in San Jose a young girl was riding her bike home from school.She was not wearing a helmet,( her mother said they couldn't afford one ) she was hit by a car and was killed. A local reporter who lives in the neighborhood was so saddened by this that he organized a fund raiser to buy helmets for those that can't afford one.

11-11-2008, 06:29 PM
Just another vote for telling the principle.
It's not unusual for the principal to stand outside and watch kids leave at the end of the day. You could ask the principle to say something then.

11-11-2008, 06:50 PM
Julie--You're right, I didn't really mean that driving his kids on the dirt bike was legal, because it was obviously unsafe and no helmet are definetly illegal. I just meant that he might not be able to drive a car but didn't need a drivers license to drive a dirt bike.

11-11-2008, 07:16 PM
I am not a parent and I have never been much for telling someone what they can and can not do with their children. However, as I am getting older, I see more people do not make the right decision with child care. I don't know if I could have gone to the principal, but I am glad you did.

I have a similar situation and I was hoping to get some advice. I got new neighbors about 2 months ago. Young couple with 2 young girls. If I had to guess, they are about 2 and 9 months old. The first time I ever saw them, the couple was pulling into the parking lot and the 2 year old was on the moms lap in the drivers seat. I though they must not have car seats in the car and while this is not excuse, they did what they had to do. I was wrong, they do have car seats, they just don't use them. For a while it was a daily occurance, I would see both parents in the car and each one had a child on their lap. Think Britney Spears but 2 parents and 2 kids. I don't care how far they are driving, this is a horrible idea and as I said it happened more than once. I always wanted to say something, but again, not my kids or my life, I just feel so bad for these little girls. It hasn't happened in a while, the car they were using is no longer around, and they now have a pick up truck that I can not see into like I could there car. Is there anything I can do or should do. I just feel like some day one of them is going to go right out the windsheild.

11-11-2008, 08:36 PM
Amanda, you should report the parents to the child welfare authorities or the police. Besides the parents breaking the law, it is also a form of child abuse. Hopefully, you can remain anonymous.

Arlene Dallas
11-11-2008, 08:46 PM
I wouldnt hesitate to turn him in. He is not only endangering himself but he is taking the lives of two children and putting them in jeopardy. Especially if you have a helmet law! It amazes me that some states still dont mandate helmets (I live in TX and this is one of the idiotic states where you can still ride without a helmet). It irks me to no end when I see these MORONS out on the road without helmets. I think that anyone that is applying for a motorcycle license should have to visit a neuro trauma unit to see the results of riding without a helmet.

11-11-2008, 08:55 PM
Or my brother's leg ARLENE...but then he had a helmet on....water trucks and motorcycles don't mix.

Again...I'd get in his business...protect the kids...and call the cops!

But that's just me!

11-11-2008, 09:38 PM
The state I live in used to have a number that you could call and anonymously report a license plate # of someone not using child seats and they would send them a letter explaining the importance of child seats and how to get one if you could not afford it. I'm not sure if your state would have that service or not. The police dept or DMV might know.
I called one time about a woman with an infant in her lap while driving.

11-11-2008, 11:03 PM
It utterly amazes me the irresponsible things that parents do with their children. I am not a parent and I can't speak from experience, but I would definitely tell someone of authority about the situation. I work with kids, and if something happened to one of them I don't know what I would do.

Sometimes I really think to be a parent you need to have license we do it for so many other things in our lives why not one of or the most important thing raising our future.