Teacher Handed $116 In Cash After A Parent Was Charged $2 Per Minute For Being Late To Pick-Up

Parents who don't pick their children up on time are being financially penalized.

Last updated on Mar 20, 2024

teacher and hand holding out cash Studio Romantic via Shutterstock / Billion Photos and Trendify via Canva

As punctual as we all may strive to be, no one is on time 100% of the time. However, for some parents, every minute late may now cost you real cash.

A parent was charged $116 for being an hour late to pick up their child from school.

In a TikTok video, teacher Kristin Evans, was shocked when she was handed a wad of cash from her superior after waiting over an hour with a student waiting to be picked up from school. Accrording to Evans, her school decided to crack down on late pick ups by charging them for every minute of delay. 




"The director of my school just walked up to me and handed me $116," Evans said, showing the dollar bills she had just been given after one of her "half-day students" was picked up by their parents "almost an hour" past their scheduled pickup time. "We get paid $2 a minute for every minute that they're late," Evans explained, "So this parent was charged $2 a minute for being late and it goes directly to my pocket."


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Charging parents for late pick-up is a strategy some schools use to discourage chronically late tardiness.

While the penalty may seem extreme, it's meant to protect both teachers from spending excessive amounts of often unpaid time waiting around for parents as well as students who are stuck with nowhere to go.

"During my 10+ years in public education, I regularly waited 20-30 mins after school with students waiting for parent pick up," Evans wrote, adding that it was a normal occurrence working for the public school system. "This late pick-up policy is in my new school's admission agreement," she continued, noting that she now works for a private school instead of a public one. 

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While Evans acknowledged that the school's new late pick-up fee is a bit strange, the parent who was charged has a history of showing up late to pick up their child, which forces Evans to stay behind with the child until they leave.

"This also is not the first or second or third time they've been 20+ mins late without notice or communication but this was the first time they were charged the late pick-up fee," Evans explained.

Her school is not the first to enact such a policy. In 1996, the Los Angeles Times reported on another school that enacted a similar policy after finding themselves in "a situation that was bordering on neglect,” the school's executive director said at the time.

“I’ve seen some teachers stand outside for a long time with the students waiting and they have other classes to go to,” parent Maria Fernandez told the LA Times. “I think there are parents who take advantage.”


Knowing that life happens, charging $2 per minute of lateness may sound unfair — but may be useful in extreme cases.

In the comments on Evans' TikTok video, people pointed out that charging parents for running late, when sometimes it's not in their control, isn't a fair solution to the problem, especially in lower-income areas.

"Train [delays] happen in my town all day long that make me late. Sometimes a dead stop. As a struggling single mom, I couldn’t imagine...," one person wrote.

However, others noted that it's equally unfair for teachers to continuously spend their free time waiting for parents to show up. As one person asked in the comments, "Would you stay an hour and a half late for free at work?"


While charging parents for late pick-up may not make sense in all situations, it may be useful in cases where parents are chronically late.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.