The Unwritten Rules of Car Dismissal

Mar 25, 2015 | August, May, Teacher Wisdom | 41 comments

The Unwritten Rules of Car Dismissal.  It's so easy!!!  #SimplyKinder

Car Safety for Kids at School.

I have been fortunate enough to be able to pick my son from school this year as a regular parent and it is seriously so angering!   There are at least 2-3 times per week where I get cut off, short cut, or have to dodge children.  It’s not safe and it needs to change!   And as a teacher who has worked at several schools and has now experienced this from both sides, there are some unwritten rules of car dismissal that everyone should follow!  Parents – listen up!

1.  Get in line!

2.  Stay in line!

3.  Don’t not leave spaces in the line!  Pull up!

4.  Don’t leave your car while in line!

5.  Do not drive around and find gaps to fill in the line.

6.  Pull up.  If the line moves, so do you!!!  That’s how a line works!

7.  Don’t pull through the free flowing traffic lane, stop, and let your students jump in. It’s not safe!

8.  Do not talk to the teacher.  If you need to talk to the teacher, park and walk up.

9.  Park where you are supposed to.  Don’t park in the dismissal line or anywhere that will block it.

10.  Don’t let your kids run across the parking lot.  No honking and kids running to your car.

11.  No honking.  Just no honking please.

12.  Drive the right direction.  Go in the entrance and out the exit.

13.  Turn down your radio?  You want to listen to Bel Biv Devoe that’s fine but “Do Me Baby” is not school appropriate!

14.  Put your children in carseats!  Where I live the magic number to not have a booster seat is 8!  Yet I think in the last 14 years of teaching I have seen maybe 5 or 6 kids go in them!

15.  Be aware of what is going on around you.  If the line is moving, you should be moving.  Don’t stop at a certain point in the line and wait for your child!  Keep moving.

16.  Get off your cell phone.  It’s crazy and chaotic and you should really focus on getting out as quickly as you can.  Trust me!

17.  No smoking.  You are on school property!  It’s kind of illegal isn’t it?  Or wait that’s weapons on campus?  New rule.. if a teacher can’t do it, you can’t do it.  So no smoking and put a shirt on!  LOL!

Want to communicate this with your parents?  Here’s a FREE EDITABLE PRINTABLE to communicate your school’s expectations for all of your dismissal areas!

Free dismissal printable from Simply Kinder.  Explain to your families the procedures at your school!  And read all about the "Unwritten Rules of Car Dismissal."

Don’t be Jack Butler people!!!


Any rules I miss?  Please comment them below.  People need to know this stuff!

I have come the realization that this will be a working list and so check back for updates on how to act appropriate in the car dismissal area!

Thank you!


  1. Lorie Small

    Don’t come through the line with a can of beer everyday.

  2. Tami Wallace

    Don’t bring your pet if is prone to jumping out of the vehicle or is not friendly when you open the door for the child!

  3. Nicole Teran

    Not a time to nurse your baby either.

  4. Nichole Dirks

    Get dressed before bringing your child to school. It is not appropriate to wear your pajamas & slippers to school.

  5. Treva Ainsworth LaJaunie

    Once in our pickup line a car door opened and a bra fell out.

  6. Susan Osborn Bowen

    I cannot Deal with those parents who refuse to follow the rules as If they do not apply to them. Side note: the kindergartener in a stroller is making me laugh. Poor child

  7. Jaime Lee Ogle

    Hugs and kisses good bye are great…but should be done before it’s time to let child out at appropriate drop off.

  8. Rita Goode Huston

    Get off your cell phone.

  9. Jina Ethington Park

    #4 & #16 are my biggest pet peeves!!! In my area cell phones are prohibited in school zoned areas & I see people doing it every day! It is safer for all if YOU STAY IN YOUR CAR! & leading up to the pick up line…you are in a school zone obey the speed limit & the hand held device law. The life you save may be your own kid!

  10. Holly Rogers Dorris

    Have your kids prepared to get OUT of the damn car in the morning too!!!!

  11. Nichole Carrier

    Make sure your child puts their seatbelt on. I say that all the time. Your not in a booster, so at least put your belt on.

  12. Patricia Jones

    Have your child’s number attached to the visor in plain sight – and be nice to the teachers who are helping your child get out safely. No unruly fingers or unkind words about how long you’ve been waiting. A few parents think the car loop rules don’t apply to them.

  13. Cassie Pate Williams

    Please stay out of the bus lane. Do not park in the bus lane 15-30 min before school lets out. Buses will be coming. You will either get blocked in, hold up the buses or both.

    • Karen

      And if you do happen to get blocked in because you didn’t follow the rules, don’t drive across the grass or yell at the teachers or principal.

  14. Jennifer Shelton Meredith

    Don’t stop your vehicle on the crosswalk!

  15. Deb Bottles Willer

    If you arrive an hour early so you can be first in line, don’t

  16. Peggy Sink Ellis

    If you need top talk to a teacher, make an appointment! Don’t hold up the entire car line to ask if your child had a good day!

  17. Peggy Sink Ellis

    Don’t park your car, walk up to the door and tell us, “I usually pick up my kids in the car rider line but my car broke down so I need you to send the kids out.” SERIOUSLY?! Do you think we don’t see your boyfriend waiting in the running car??? Get in line and wait your turn!!!

  18. Peggy Sink Ellis

    I’m cracking up! I feel like we’re all at the same school! LOL!

  19. Heidi Hinman-Martinez

    Don’t park in the bus loop! We have parents that refuse to stop parking there and the bus can’t get in or out.

  20. Alycia Mattingly

    If you are going to take a nap in the pick up line, kindly set an alarm to wake up!!!!

  21. Stephen Bundy

    Know your child’s teach! When it’s March and your child has been here since Aug. you really need to know who your child spend most of their days with!

  22. Cathy Bradshaw Hooper

    Be sure anyone who picks up your kids for you knows

  23. Michelle Durange

    Put your child in the car seat but pull forward if you need to buckle them… Or teach them to buckle.

  24. Cathy Bradshaw Hooper

    Be sure that anyone who picks up your kids knows the rules. Very embarrassing when your husband breaks them. (#5)

  25. Paula Woolard

    Leave the dog at home!

  26. AndreaCarol Carter


  27. Melissa Hoopingarner

    Have your dang ID! Why are you driving without a license? And don’t get an attitude when I ask to see your ID! You want your child going home with a stranger?

  28. Micaela Walker Boness

    Your special snowflake will not wither away should he have to walk a few more steps to or from the car to the door. Pull up all the way when loading, and when unloading, don’t scoot up 2 car spaces so the walk is shorter, especially if the 5 cars behind you have already unloaded their children.

  29. Annette Bresnahan

    REALLY? Let the little darling walk home or take the bus…..hate to be the debby downer but I have a wonderful niece/mother who won’t let her girls walk1/2 mile to the school
    MOMS!!! give it up and get real!!

  30. Colleen Daugherty Jepson

    Don’t get out to buckle your child’s seatbelt. Teach them!!! It just holds up the line

  31. Mary Black-Mullins

    No you can’t just walk in and “grab” your child and walk out with them while all those other people sit in line waiting their turns!
    And…when you come in because you “forgot” your sign with your child’s name on it, don’t get angry with me when I make you another one and ask you to go get in line. I know that it’s probably under your car seat out of sight. Where else would you need it that you need to remove it from your car and I remember that I’ve made you at least 5 signs in the last 6 weeks!

  32. Amy Riley McElveen

    Don’t call the school from the car pick up line to tell the secretary not to put your kid(s) on the bus! Then, don’t sit there holding up the rest of the line while waiting for said kid to lolly-gag down the hall to the car dismissal line!

  33. Lara Shempert Pettit

    Snag some patience! The teachers on car duty are working hard to get your children to you! Kindly give them the time to do that safely!

    Watch your language! No Kindergarten child needs that kind of vocabulary lesson!

    Remember that the teachers are hot/cold/tired/stressed & determined to keep your child as safe as possible!

  34. Carrie Driggers Cordier

    Do NOT pass! Be patient! Kids take time to buckle up. It may take them a few extra seconds. When they are seated and buckled the car will proceed as needed. So no passing and trying to rush them along!!!!!!! That’s so nerve plucking.

  35. Erin Blecki

    I love the color coding of this! Right now I just give my students a bus cutout tag that says their teacher name, classroom, bus that drops them off and buss that takes them home. (We are required to include certain information on bus tags)

    Then I have a teacher clipboard for dismissal as well that tells me what bus each child is getting on. After a while I typically remember who rides what bus.

    I could color code their tags by bus # though! What a great fan freebie!


  36. Jenny Leathers Padgett

    “Haha! These ARE the rules at my school. The teachers and admin enforce them. Our dismissal flows pretty smoothly!”

  37. Holly Rosenthall

    “Just stay In your car period!! There is no need to get out of your vehicle; that is the glory of a car line!! There is no need to scoop your child up in front of the doors. This is not the time to socialize/complain with other parents. It is private transport dismissal! Better yet, if your child has a bus s/he can ride, use it except for special circumstances.Let your child grow just a little…please don’t carry them or their belongings…they’re big kids now. Ok…rant complete! Thanks!!”

  38. Amy Riley McElveen

    “Don’t call the school from the car pick up line to tell the secretary not to put your kid(s) on the bus! Then, don’t sit there holding up the rest of the line while waiting for said kid to lolly-gag down the hall to the car dismissal line!”

  39. Candice Psarsky

    Know your child’s schedule (if they are at tutoring or an after school club don’t come through the car line and say you need them early because you’re already there. We then have to hunt down your kid and it holds up the whole line.) Also, be respectful of the time. If dismissal ends at 3:30 don’t continually come at 3:35 or 3:40 when all of the teachers are walking back into the building! We want to go home too!

  40. Lynne Oakes

    “Why do people arrive an hour before dismissal, wait in their car, then complain that it takes too long! Arrive on time and the whole thing takes 10 minutes!”


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