Hailey Saunders is a 38-year-old mom with five children. Because of their age differences and school zoning, the siblings currently attend four, yes, four, different schools.
Saunders’ second youngest child is 5 years old. Saunders hoped that Darcy would be approved to attend kindergarten at the same school as her 10-year-old sibling, Memphis.
But when the respective school board denied her request, her daughter was forced to attend a different school on the other side of their hometown of Bristol, England; making Saunders’ morning drop off and afternoon pick up a total of three hours long.
According to the Daily Mail, her oldest children attend Christ Church Infant School, Steiner Academy, and Downend School, all of which are on the same side of town. However, because their home is located “just two streets away from the South Gloucestershire border,” Darcy was forced to attend Chester Park Infant School, which is on the opposite end of Bristol.
And to make matters even more exhausting for the mom of five, Saunders’ youngest child is just 14 months old. Saunders told SWNS that her baby boy still wakes up in the middle of the night, making her even more exhausted for the day ahead.
“I am absolutely knackered. Indiana is up crying three times every night and then you’ve got the school situation. With doctor appointments, food shopping, and work, it never seems to stop.”
In fact, she’s so exhausted that the family is considering moving homes just to make the school drop off less of a hassle. “Usually the sibling rule would mean Darcy could go to Christ Church, but we were told it doesn’t apply because we’re two or three streets away from the South Gloucestershire border.”
“We leave about 8:15 a.m. and I’m not back home until 9:45 a.m. most of the time. One day Lexie had a dentist’s appointment in Clifton. Phoenix had to walk over an hour and collect Memphis so I could take Lexie.”
The mom is also worried about how the closing of her 12-year-old’s school in 2020 and how that will affect the already difficult commute. Steiner Academy is the closest school to their home, meaning Pheonix walks to school every day. Saunders explained that she has thought about letting more than just her 12-year-old walk to school, but she worries over the recent crime spree in their area.
“My children are small and slight. Memphis looks seven, not 10. I want them all to be safe, and I don’t think that’s the case walking around here. Our house was owned by my nan. It’s been in the family 70 years and we have made it our own. It would be a shame to have to move just to get my children into the right schools.”
The local school district told the Daily Mail that they couldn’t make an exception for Saunders and her family because they are already at the max number of students enrolled at Christ Church Infant School.
The family has since appealed the decision to not enroll Darcy but currently remain on the waiting list.
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