Pain At The Pump Prompts Mom To Hire Driver

LANTANA (CBSDFW.COM) – Donitta Palmier is looking for a driver: Not for herself, no, but for her son.

The stay-at-home mom posted an ad in her local paper The Cross Timbers Gazette that reads, “Looking for a driver who is willing to be fingerprinted and background checked, and able to drive our son to and from Catholic School in Denton morning and afternoon, do not respond if you are not reliable. Trip is 13 miles each way, for entire school year $800.00.”

“If you go that way you can make your own gas money,” says Palmier, who lives in Lantana and needs to get her 9-year-old to his new school in Denton.

“In one year it would be – if we drove him ourselves – would be 9,360 miles a year on our car alone,” said Palmier, who drives a SUV.

She’s done the math on the gas too.

She says it would cost more than $2,100 a year.

“It would just be greener as well if somebody would be headed that way,” the mother said.

She posted the ad a few days ago, but took it down after getting a negative comment.

She is now considering re-posting. Palmier says if she finds a driver, he or she would have to do a fingerprint and pass a background check.

She says the Denton Police Department does that for a small fee.

She’s also looking at a shuttle service for students only, hoping to find others in her area who could use it, as well.


One Comment

  1. Jordyn says:

    I’m guessing something called a “bus” doesn’t come out her way?

    1. 2sister says:

      No, because he is going to a private school, and the private school is in another town 13 miles away.

      1. Kate Lynn says:

        I’m glad to see the safety of her kids has a price.

      2. PAMom says:

        My daughter goes to a private school not in our school district and bussing is still offered. The school district is required to transport her to school.

    2. Irrate Parent says:

      obviously if there was a bus that runs she would have taken it. ignorant peopled like you should not comment on anything.

      1. Jack says:

        Kind of childish calling people names don’t you think?

      2. yankee fan says:

        Yes Jack, especially because the word should be “irate”, not “irrate”, and the word is “people”, not “peopled”. So it is very funny – and childish – that she’s calling people ignorant.

  2. mac says:

    What a lazy ‘reporter’ – regurgitating this woman’s claims without fact checking. The average school year is 180 days(according to Dept of Education). Even if we round it up to 200 days, the total miles driven will be 5200(200 times 26 miles per day). This is almost half the 9360 in the report. Even if she’s driving an SUV at 20mpg, she would still be only paying $1040 per(@ $4 per gallon). It took me less than 10 minutes to figure this out, and its not even my job. Please check the veracity of your stories before you print them.

    1. 2sister says:

      Her figures might not be accurate, but there is more to how much gas you use than just counting the miles. You have to take into account stop and go traffic where you are just sitting there burning your gas. You also have to take into effect other problems which might cause you to have to detour (i.e. accidents). In any case, I don’t think it’s really fair for her to expect someone to take her son to school for free. If they want to do it out of the kindness of their heart that’s one thing, but she should be willing to pay for the gas.

    2. basicmath says:

      I agree they should have fact checked, but mac should have as well. Unless Mom is going to hang out in Denton all day, I assume she’ll want to drive home after dropping her son off. It should actually be 180 days x 52 miles to equal 9360 miles (just like the article says).

    3. marcchytil says:

      She is a stay at home mom. Her calculations are correct. Its 26 miles per trip. She has to make a trip in the morning and one to pick him up. Next time do the math before you comment on other people.

    4. george says:

      and able to drive our son to and from Catholic School in Denton morning and afternoon,

      dont that mean 2 trips there and back each day? or 52 miles each day x 200? 10400 miles a year/20mpg =520 gallons x 4bucks a gallon = 2080 bucks

    5. rmsbl4 says:

      Using mac’s rounding up to 200 days would come out to 10,400 miles.
      Morning 13 miles there 13 miles back = 26 miles.
      Afternoon 13 miles there 13 miles back = 26 miles.
      Morning + afternoon = 52 miles per day x 200 = 10,400 miles.
      If she wasn’t driving a SUV then gas would be a lot less.

    6. loo says:

      Actually it would be 52 miles per day, as I am sure she is not driving her child to school and sitting there until the end of the school day, hence the additional miles to drive back home in the morning and return to school in the afternoon. In addition my SUV got 13 mile to the gallon in the city, which is why I traded it in several years ago. So with those updated figures I beleive her calculations are closer to accurate than you think.

  3. Fact says:


  4. Jackie says:

    Check out Smiley Transportation, LLC. They are in the Keller ISD area, but might be able to help you out. Their web site is

    They are commercially insured, drivers go through back ground checks. We have used they before without any problems.

  5. garydon says:

    Are we blaming the hight price of gas or the SUV? Gotta blame something.
    Pain at the pump? No, its just part of the expense for a ‘stay at home’ mom to use private instead of public school.
    She just saved enough advertising expense through this ‘story’ to cover the extra gas.
    At least she is affording someone the opportunity to help her with the time and expense of rearing her child.
    I’m still trying to figure out why this is newsworthy? If it is because mom has something that prevents her from running her errands it should be mentioned.

  6. RussP says:

    If money and the cost of getting this kid to school is such an issue, she should consider the local, already paid for, neighborhood public school. The quality of the education is as much if not more about the student than the classroom. I went to a public school in a pretty mediocre part of New Jersey and had great grades and got into college where I earned two degrees. We also had a lot of failures and drop outs all from the same classrooms.

  7. AmyS says:

    Students Only Shuttle is a child shuttle service already in business in the area where Mrs. Palmier lives. Check out:

  8. fedup says:

    If it’s that much of a headache why not send your child to public school or ask other parents about car pooling? Start a business herself. Get a job! Sheesh!

  9. MH says:

    She’s after a bargain. She said herself it would cost $2100 per year. She wants to give $800? After subtracting gas and time, and not counting aggravation (kid late/sick/has to stay after school, etc), why would someone do it? Just MHO.

    1. KathyS says:

      I know that, I wouldn’t do it. Not enough money if you break it down to an hourly wage plus the cost of maintaining the car, fuel and so on. Yes, she’s definately looking for a bargin and I;ll bet that she’s even expecting the person who’s foolish enough to do this, to pay for the background check as well.

  10. Talliana says:

    I don’t understand, I am a stay at home mom so since I am not doing anything during the day why can’t I afford to take my kid to school. My kids go to public school and I take them and drop them off each day. If you are concerned about the money to take him to a school you choose then change schools. Why is this a news story. i feel no sympathy for this spoiled woman.

  11. Tony says:

    Give the lady a break! She is trying to kill 2 birds in one stone. If she can get her child to school for a cheaper price and pay someone for taking him that has to travel in that DIRECTIION regardless why not do so! Her son will get to school and the driver will receive extra cash!! Any further comments is unnecessary unless you plan on being the driver!

  12. Tony says:


  13. Lucky says:

    Hey, lady–trade in that fat SUV for a car you can afford.

  14. Joanne Gauthier says:

    This kid has feet.

    1. Sims says:

      You expect a kid to walk 26 miles a day??

      1. Ray says:

        In my day we walked 26 miles in the snow and our shoes were made of canvas.

      2. Kay says:

        And we walked uphill both ways, right, Ray?

    2. Kay says:

      Let’s see. The average human averages 3 miles an hour walking. Kids are young. They’ll be faster…though their strides will be shorter. Let’s say 13 miles in 4 hours. School starts at 8 AM, so the kid needs to start walking at 4 AM. Gets out at 3. Gets home at 7 PM. Yeah…that sounds like a plan, Joanne. 8 hours a day walking. Uh-huh.

      (Oh, but the kid could run part of it even while carrying his book bag, so let’s say he shortened his trip to 2 hours each way…those darned book bags are heavy nowadays. So he only has to spend 4 hours a day walk/running to and from school.)

      Some of the comments make me wonder how well some people did with those math logic problems in school themselves. Joanne. Mac.

  15. D says:

    Get a job if you can’t afford something and you are unemployed go out and get a job, this poor me is BS get a job by where the kid goes to school

  16. Harryfourth says:

    She could easily trade in that gas hog and get an efficient car that would save here that amount of money. Plus it would ad more quality time with her child! Just because you check somebody out, doesn’t guatantee that your kid will be safe! She not only needs to check for the arrest side of things but also the driving record with the DPS. If the person is paid to drive then the driver needs a license for that as well!

  17. Elizabeth Harris says:

    I give the mother credit for insisting on the the fingerprints/background check, but I still couldn’t trust them. I don’t like the human race enough to trust someone I don’t know with my children.

  18. Donna Sayles-Corbin says:


  19. KathyS says:

    A few suggestions for MOM.

    1. Move closer to the school.
    2. If gas is such an issue because you drive such a large vehicle, purchase something a little easier on gas.
    3. Get a job, during the day in Denton, to pay for gas for both of you.
    4.If you can’t afford to transport your child to a PRIVATE school, then odds are
    you can’t afford PRIVATE school.

    I had a handicapped child that needed transported to and from school daily because it was to difficult to put a child on a ventilator on a school bus. Each day the trip was well over fifty miles. So, I do know what it’s like to have to budget my gas funds.

  20. juana says:


    1. Mrs. O says:


  21. Leo says:

    $ELL YOUR $UV…

  22. Mrs. O says:

    She should Homeschool, problem solved and she gets to be with her son and watch him learn and grow.

  23. teremist says:

    $800 for a YEAR? How CHEAP! Try a minimum of $30 dollars a day for the driver PLUS a tank of gas a week.

  24. pancreas258 says:

    This rationale behind this story has so many flaws I don’t know where to begin. So Mrs. P wants to save about $1300 by this idea of hers, and I commend her for that. HOWEVER- the private school she sends her son costs $5300 a year to attend, not including fees for sports, volunteering, yearbook, and promotion for 8th grade. Throw in the cost of school uniforms, sold separately of course. If her son isn’t Catholic, tuition is an additional $1000 (Immaculate Conception Catholic School website) Based on the news video, she drives a 2009-2010 Dodge Journey which should get around 16-19 city/23-25 highway depending on the engine ( Using public information, her house could be considered either Argyle or Lantana depending on the source. (Yahoo People search, Zillow, Google Earth) But indeed the commute is 13.12 miles to the school, one-way. (Mapquest) So in a course of a day she will drive about 54 miles- two trips to school, two trips from school. The academic year is 180 days of instruction. Doing some supposition here, 180 days times 54 miles equals 9720 miles (she said 9360). Assuming 9720 miles divided by 21 MPG since it’s a mix of city/highway driving, she uses about 460 gallons of gas in that time. Average price of gas in that area is about $3.50 per gallon. ( 460 multiplied by 3.50 is $1610, and she quoted $2100 so I would say the math is fairly solid since the price of gas changes quite a bit over the course of the year.
    Now comes some of the shortfalls of the story. A brand new base model 2009 Dodge Journey cost about $21,000 ( The house she lives in was purchased in 2004 for $248,000 and estimated value is now $282,400. (Yahoo People search and The median income for a family in the city of Lantana/Argyle is $94,309. 2.8% of the families and 3.4% of the population live below the poverty line. United States average is 13-17% of the general population, while U.S. median income is $50,233 ( Look carefully at the beginning of the story where Mrs. P is typing on the computer. The ring on her left hand is hard to miss.
    So if my observations and facts are correct- this nice lady lives drives a fairly new car, has a family that makes enough money to afford a house worth a quarter of a million dollars, in a city that has exceptionally low levels of poverty or crime, has a median income almost twice the national average AND can afford to send her son to a private school that costs at least $5000 a year.

    And she wants someone to drive her son to school so she can save $1300 a year?

  25. Bigger problem at hand says:

    We can argue the numbers all day long, but there is a bigger emotional conundrum to this problem. What kind of message are you sending to a child when you can’t be bothered to take him to school and pick him up? I mean. that’s 52 miles of talking and interacting with your child a day!!! He’s gonna grow up later and your going to wonder why he doesn’t want to talk with you. But this parent isn’t alone. All the vehicles with TVs in them and the iPod generation of kids growing up, we are just separating ourselves from our children more and more.

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