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Carol Cwiak, West Fargo letter: School traffic rules in place for a reason

I am writing to both the parents at West Fargo's Westside Elementary who follow the traffic rules in the drop-off and pick-up circle and those who do not.

I am writing to both the parents at West Fargo's Westside Elementary who follow the traffic rules in the drop-off and pick-up circle and those who do not.

To those who follow the rules as they have been laid out all year long in school newsletters and other publications, I applaud you. I am impressed with your commitment to being good role models, despite the fact that you are on a daily basis surrounded by others who choose not to comply with the rules.

The rules are in place for the purposes of keeping children safe. Parents who wait patiently on the right hand side of the circle or park in a parking stall and get out of the car to drop off or pick up their child or children clearly support the intent of these rules. Every day I watch these parents comply with the rules and evidence courtesy to other parents and students.

Every day I watch these rule-abiding parents being cut-off and sandwiched in by the other parents who have evidenced no regard for the rules or for the safety of the children exiting vehicles or crossing the parking lot. More than a dozen times this year I have seen near misses wherein children were nearly hit by cars. I have also regularly witnessed near-miss vehicle accidents.

I personally do not understand why Principal Carol Zent has not done something more proactive as it applies to the circle - be it by consistent actual administrative monitoring, encouraging West Fargo Police Department to actively warn or ticket non-compliant drivers or stationing one or more personnel members to monitor and control traffic at the entrance of the lot. I know that the circle is an ongoing source of frustration and concern for many parents.

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I am grateful that no children have been injured this year at Westside, and I, for one, am appreciative of the parents who follow the rules and set a good example. Those parents who choose not to comply with the rules should recognize that the example they are setting for their children is a poor one. I doubt that lack of respect for the rules is a lesson any of us want to teach our children; so remember, actions speak volumes and your behavior, whether you intend it to or not, informs your child's future behavior.

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