Sadly, it appears that some people really are "just in it for the parking".
At Bertrand's school, some grandparents (with disability placards) are taking up the only 2 accessible spots--right next to the wheelchair ramp. They just sit in their cars, waiting for their able-bodied grandkids to walk to their car. Or sometimes they get out and walk (no cane, walker or wheelchair necessary) to sit under a tree and read their books. They get there early enough to take any of the first row spots, but choose to take up the only two accessible parking spots in the lot.
They've beat me there at least 6 times now.
I've had to park 3 rows back and weave Bertrand through the crowded lot, with Victoria strapped to my chest. Then leave him unattended at the back of the car, exposed to traffic because there is no room to pull him up next to our minivan while I unstrap Victoria. (Thank goodness it isn't snowing yet!)
I've wheeled Bertrand sloooowly past them--so they've seen who they are screwing over.
The principal has gone out and spoken with them.
They are still parking in the spots.
It is their "right". And, they are correct.
But, it is a blatant disregard for the spirit of the law in favor of the letter of the law.
I go out of my way to avoid parking in van accessible spots (and accessible spots period) if there is decent parking available--so it will be available for others who need the spots. I never park in accessible parking unless Bertrand is with me AND getting out of the car. It took until I was 7 months pregnant with Victoria, hauling an almost 40-pound Bertrand AND a 50-pound wheelchair before I broke down and got the disability placard. I would never, ever abuse it.
This situation with the school parking blows my mind.
That said, the school (administration, teachers and aids) have been fantastic. Everyone has been helpful and they've come up with a solution for Bertrand: his own parking spot.
It is sad that it has come to this.
Maybe some day in the future, those people who currently park and sit in the accessible spots will be so old that they actually won't be able walk anymore. They'll be wheelchair-bound, needing to get somewhere. It'll be snowing--but all the accessible spots will be taken. And then they will have to park at the far end of the parking lot.
Maybe then they'll understand.