Ask Kari: What should I do if I’m concerned about the safety of someone else’s child?

Dear Kari,

Help, I need your advice as to how to handle an awkward situation that is happening at my daughter’s preschool. Almost everyday when I pick up my daughter from school, I see another parent pick up her child by opening her mini van door and letting the child hop into the front seat. The child is only 4 years old and should be put in the back seat in a car seat. The parent then drives off with the child moving around the car as she drives. When I brought this to the attention of the school administrators, they told me that it was really not any of their business. I was shocked. I fear for the safety of the child. What do you think I should do next?

Protective Mother

Dear Protective Mother,

It is wonderful that you care about others in your environment, especially children. I would attempt to address the issue one more time with the school administrator in an attempt for them to follow through with making sure that their students leave their school in a safe manner. The other option I see is to call the police and report what you are seeing. This action though may take you to a place that you don’t want to be, becoming involved in a matter that is bigger than you (public safety), and acting as a community policing agent who has a confrontation with another parent. Do what you feel is most right so whatever the outcome you would have followed you heart with good intentions.


As published in the March 2015 issue of Connections.


About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker and a resident of Issaquah Highlands.

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