Public School Threatens to Call Police on Parents Who Fail to Pick Up Their Kids on Time

Fed up with serving as "an afterschool child minding service," a public school in Queensland, Australia, is threatening to call police on parents who regularly fail to pick up their children on time.

The policy change, which was announced in a Facebook post on May 19, has been met with controversy. While some commenters were all for it, others contended that it represents an extreme response to a relatively minor infraction.

"Only parents who have issues with prioritising their children's welfare would have a problem with this request!" one wrote in part.

"A bit rough threatening child services," another wrote.

The school, Marsden State School, bills itself as an academic community "that believes and achieves." Based in Logan City, it enrolls 1,170 students in grades "prep" (preschool) and 6, according to its official website.

Per the new policy, parents will be required to collect their children from campus by 3 p.m. every day of the school week, half an hour after classes end, or notify the front office beforehand that they will not be able to do so. If parents shirk this duty, they run the risk of being reported to the police as well as Child Safety Services, according to the post.

Log into Facebook to start sharing and connecting with your friends, family, and people you know.

"If you are not prepared to organise to collect your child after school and have not made arrangements with after school services, please organise a safe place for your child to wait. School is not that place as there is only supervision for 30 minutes after school," Marsden State School wrote in a comment on the original post, noting that there is a YMCA located nearby. Children "left unattended on a regular basis," it added, "are more likely to get up to mischief or be in danger!"

The Queensland Department of Education and the Queensland Teachers' Union (QTU) have expressed support for the school's stance, stating that teachers are not babysitters and should not be treated as such, according to 9news.com.au.

"The job of a school is to provide education for students and school hours are really clear to parents," Cresta Richardson, the president of the QTU, told the outlet.

However, parents of current students were divided on the ethicality and legality of the policy change.

"It's not illegal to leave your kids unattended," one wrote in a comment, according to The Queensland Times. The comment seems to have since been deleted, as it is no longer visible on the Facebook post. "An hour or so after school unattended wouldn't be something that needs reporting to police or child safety, just leave the kids to wait in the pick up zone quietly."

Some told 9news.com.au that the drop-off and pick-up zones can be hard to navigate at the beginning and end of the school day due to heavy traffic.

German girls wait outside their school.
Fed up with serving as "an afterschool child minding service," a public school in Queensland, Australia, is threatening to call police on parents who regularly fail to pick up their children on time. Above, girls wait outside a school in Germany. INA FASSBENDER/Getty Images