A Tennessee father of two found himself under arrest after attempting a school pickup on foot last week. The school policy is to wait in the car. “It’s ridiculous,” Jim Howe, a professional drag racer, tells Yahoo Shine, adding that he is “absolutely considering” legal action against the school.
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Howe uploaded a YouTube video of his confrontation with South Cumberland Elementary School resource officer Avery Aytes, who's also a sheriff's deputy, Saturday. The clip has since been viewed nearly 119,000 times.
In the video, shot by Howe's girlfriend, the 40-year-old dad is shown calmly debating the lack of safety in the new pickup policy and calling the sheriff to discuss the policy. The policy dictates that parents must wait in their cars in a line that can stretch to a mile long alongside a major highway, according to Howe. He adds that while students can get parental permission to walk along the highway to their parents' cars, parents are no longer permitted to park and go into the school to get their kids.
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“I didn’t intend to make a scene. But this is not about the policy,” explains Howe, whose 8-year-old and a 14-year-old attend the school in Crossville, Tennessee. “It’s about stripping parental rights away. You go in to get your kids, you should be able to get your kids.”
Neither the school nor Cumberland County Sheriff Butch Burgess returned calls for comment from Yahoo Shine.
In the video, before his arrest on a disorderly conduct charge, we see Howe telling Aytes, “They’re walking with me when school is dismissed, per state law.”
“No they’re not,” an agitated Aytes says.
Howe tells him, “Yes they are. You’re barking up the wrong tree,” to which Aytes responds that Howe is headed to county jail. “That’s fine, I’ve been there before,” Howe says.
Howe tells Yahoo Shine that while he’s never been convicted of a crime, he has been to jail because “sometimes things happen you can’t control.”
Howe spoke to Shine while waiting in his car at school pickup, saying that he’ll follow the policy for the time being. “In [the school’s] defense, today they moved traffic off the road and into an overflow parking lot.” His court date is set for Dec. 2.
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