First day of school: drama mamas and other things to look out for as DPS returns

Summer is over, and school is back in session. While the bell rang a few days ago for some kids and won't ring until tomorrow for others, today is the big day for Denver Public Schools -- the day when the mayor shakes the hands of grubby first graders, the day when the TV stations do live feeds from the lunchroom. But the excitement means trouble on the roads for your morning commute. Here are a few things to keep your eyes out for:

Drama mamas: They left on time, with their little ones safely strapped -- hair brushed, cheeks shiny -- in the back seat. It's all those other people, and dammit if little Billy is going to be late on his first day. Little Billy. Oh my god, I can't believe, sniff, how old he is, sniff. I hope every thing is okay for him. No, I am not going to start crying in the car.

Spazzy daddies: No one gave them the memo that school starts at, uh, the exact same time this year. Spring was a along time ago, after all. Are you kidding me? The first bell is at 8:25? I could have sworn it was 8:35. Jesus Christ on a cracker, kids, let's MOVE!

The cops: Oh yeah. Remember all those speed traps in the school zones where big signs and blinking lights (that we all ignore) means you a block or so away from a school? Well, they will be back, pulling over parents, commuters and everyone else.

Kids: Okay, there is a reason for those signs. There will be thousands of kids who walk to school -- in addition to those being driven by drama mama and spazzy daddy. Usually, they are well versed in looking both ways before they cross the street. Usually.

Buses: Yes, traffic is going to suck this morning as seemingly every parent in the metro area hits the road at roughly the same time. And although those yellow buses mean fewer cars, they are also driven by well-meaning people who apparently have their eyes closed. They are also slow and in your way. Move bus!

For more from our education archive: "School voucher program stopped: Dougco appeal would waste taxpayer money, ACLU says."

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes