Tensions can run high at the school drop-off line, where parents are constantly cutting each other off and cars are forever double-parked. We get it. But is it really the best option to pull a gun on another mom, especially when kids are in the area?
Apparently, the stress levels hit the roof at Deer Park Elementary in Texas that on Thursday, because a mom did exactly that.
Witnesses speculated that one mom may have been mad about how the other mom was driving in the school zone. Jeanette Renteria told KTRK that particular mom "got out of her car banged on the windows, said, ‘You’re speeding in a school zone. You almost ran me over once. You need to start doing better’ ... So one mom’s yelling at one mom, and the mom in the car pulls out a gun and says ‘Back off.’”
Both moms' kids were in their respective cars the whole time, and other parents and children were in the area. No one was injured and the gun was not fired, but to those present, it was still a scary situation in what was supposed to be a gun-free zone.
The police were contacted and arrived on the scene. There were no arrests.
Principal Lisa McLaughlin sent out a letter about the incident to parents and guardians saying, "What should have been a reasonably safe drop-off process quickly became a police investigation. At our school, teaching students the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in life is our goal and purpose. But we don't just teach language arts or science or mathematics or fine arts. We also teach children the appropriate way to resolve conflicts. It's not unusual for there to be disagreements between students at our school, but we always encourage children to seek a peaceful end to conflict."
Finding the best way to resolve conflicts is a lesson adults also have to learn, as McLaughlin suggests in the next paragraph:
"At one time or another, we've all experienced frustration while driving. But, as our students know all too well, it's never a good idea to react when emotions are high. My hope is that we can all look at what happened this morning and reconsider how we deal with disagreements and anger in our lives. Conflicts such as the one that took place this morning have no place at our school. Keeping our schools safe for our children and community is our highest priority, but we can't do it alone. It takes all of us being aware of our surroundings, reporting suspicious activities, and using good judgment and restraint when disagreements arise."
No doubt, the drop-off stress is real. And you don't only have the hair you just pulled out in frustration to show for it.
A 2014 study by Dr. Simon Moore and funded by Allianz Insurance showed an alarming trend when researchers tracked cortisol levels. Turns out, parents' stress levels peaked at 8:15 a.m. in the middle of the school run. The impact of that stress stayed with them even until mid-afternoon. Their stress levels were also 30 percent higher when parents woke up on school days from anticipating the school run.