Ah, the school drop-off line. Where parents everywhere grapple to hang onto their sanity each weekday morning. Where dreams are made and crushed. Where no one seems to know how to use their blinkers.
Now that it’s back to school season, it’s time for a refresher on just how to use the carpool line — and how not to use the carpool line. Enter Lateasha Witherspoon, a Texas mother of two who posted a helpful (and forceful) explainer to parents everywhere about just what your strategy should be.
In short, it’s perfect.
The TikTok post has gone viral, with over 3 million views and 17,000 comments, giving parents everywhere hope that the ridiculousness at drop-off can stop. Even celeb mom Kristen Bell posted it to her Instagram — either for a laugh or in hopes of a better drop-off world.
The video shows a real-time drop-off of her two sons, Jason, 8, and Jeremiah, 6. And she is not playing around.
“I’m tired. It’s the third week of school and people still don’t understand how the pickup/drop-off line goes. So I’m going to help y’all out,” she opens.
Then she breaks down the drop-off into five steps, which should be read in their entirety:
“First thing first: put your kids on the passenger side of the car. If you’ve got multiple, teach them how to one-two step on out. Slide. Shuffle. Whatever you got to do. Get them out the car!”
“Two: Teach them how to hold the latch. When we get about three-four cars out from our turn, they know what to do.”
“Third: Stay with me. They should have their backpacks on. In the car. It’s okay. It’s working on their posture. let them sit up. They need to be read to go!”
“Four! Y’all got to stop getting out of the car and opening the doors for them. Let them open their own damn door! It’s taking too much time!”
“And five. Most importantly, we are yielding. It’s not a stop. It’s a yield. We’re already going 5 miles per hour. We’re going to reduce that thing down to about 3, but we’re not coming down to zero. We’re going to teach them how to tuck and roll.”
Tuck and roll. Yes. Think about how much better the world would be if drop-off looked more like a finely executed military drill than the dawdling mess that it is now.
“We’ve been to three different schools and it’s the same thing no matter where you go,” Witherspoon, 32, told TODAY Parents. “No matter what time you get there, it’s always slow. I get anxiety every morning. We’ve got to get to our jobs, we have places to be.”
After her post went viral, Witherspoon got a call from the school principal. She thought someone might be in trouble, but nope, he just wanted to share the video to the school’s Facebook page.
Many of those commenting on the video shared their own angst about drop-off as well as their own rules.
“And lastly pull ALL the way up! Ya'll stopping at the door when 3 other cars can be in the zone unloading too!! Ain't the red carpet, it's school,” one added.
“When they get their bags out of the trunk!” one mom exclaimed about the worst offenders.
“And if you’re one of ‘those’ moms that need to do the extras (I am one of them) just park and walk,” concluded another.
Perhaps that’s the best advice of all: if you can’t tuck and roll, park and walk.