Monday, November 10, 2008

Carelessness

Nearly every day, there is a story about how some school bus driver was careless, irresponsible, or otherwise unfit to drive a school bus. These stories reflect badly on those of us who do our jobs the proper way. Stories, such as the one below, are becoming more and more commonplace. Sadly, people like this should NEVER be around children.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,449307,00.html

Bus Driver Fired After Kicking Girl, 9, Off Bus for Changing
Seats

A school bus driver has been fired and may face charges after a 9-year-old girl was dropped off on a busy highway after switching seats without permission. Cyrena Medbury was ordered off the bus on Route 9 Wednesday more than a mile from her home in Shrewsbury, Mass."I switched seats," Cyrena Medbury told FOX News on Monday.

Donald Davison Jr. of Grafton was fired by theschool bus company AA Transportation Inc. after the incident came to light."I would like to see child endangerment charges on him," Melissa Doyle, Cyrena's mother, told FOX News.Another parent from the school picked the girl up and drove her home after being phoned by his daughter from the bus."She actually didn't walk all of the way home," Doyle told FOX News. "She started to walk and was picked up by a little girl that was on the bus and saw the incident, and she told her dad and she convinced her dad to go and get [Cyrena] and bring her home. So thank goodness there was a nice person out there that got her home safely."

Sgt. Alfred Pratt of the Shrewsbury Police Department told the Telegram
& Gazette of Worcester that he couldn't say anything more than it was "an
active investigation." Davison was replaced by a temporary driver the final two
days of the week and the bus company provided a monitor. A call for comment to a
listing for Davison was not immediately returned.


Its very unfortunate the family had to endure the trauma this careless bus driver inflicted. It could have been a lot worse. She could have been abducted. A passing vehicle could have struck her. Any number if things could have happened to this child all because of the carelessness of her bus driver acting seemingly in anger and out of spite. Should this driver be fired for his carelessness regarding the safety of one of his students? Yes.

That being said, was the girl correct in changing seats arbitrarily? No. The rules are clearly referenced on most buses and most students go through school bus safety training at least once a year. In my county, the proper procedure for a violation of the bus safety is to pull the videotape and write the student up for the infraction. Then we turn both the write up and the videotape evidence into the schools. The schools then decide on the proper consequence for the student. If a student is being particularly aggressive, defiant, and otherwise a nuisance, it is perfectly acceptable to leave the child at a school (doesn’t have to be their school) with an administrator, OR to call the police for a particularly unruly child. Additionally, the bus driver should have contact information for the child’s parents. When all else fails, call the parents and notify them of the misbehavior.

For parents, teachers, and other folks out there who may be reading this blog, I cannot stress enough, the importance of school bus safety. Discuss it with your children, students, and grandchildren. Stress the importance of staying seated, not causing a distraction, following the rules, and listening to the bus driver. Also discuss with them what to do if the driver DOES make them feel uncomfortable or if they feel the driver is making unreasonable demands. Had it not been for the other girl telling her father, that child who was kicked off may never have gotten home that evening. If you have any questions or concerns or even just want to schedule a meeting with your bus driver, don’t hesitate to call the bus garage and request a meeting. We don’t bite.

Always Safety Conscious,

The Bus Driver

3 comments:

Apple said...

Bad news sells. I'd love to see more articles about those of us that work hard at getting it right. A few do get through now and then and I should do more to highlight them.

I can't imagine kicking a kid off for changing seats (or any other reason). I'm sure there was more to the story but surely a discipline report and follow up with the school/parents would have been the way to go.

ChiTown Girl said...

Seriously, WTF?! You're right, it's jerks like this that get all the attention, and give the rest of you a bad rap. Same for us. You hear way more stories about bad teachers than good. Like Apple said, bad news sells. We don't have to like, but that's the way it is :(

On a side note, what an amazing little girl the friend was to think to call her dad!! Smart girl!

Fidgety said...

Hi Bus Driver, I'm glad you were finally able to get through to my blog and thanks for not giving up. It's true, bus drivers get a bad rap, just like teachers.
As apple might say, "One bad apple ruins it for the tree."
I heard on the news this morning that a bus driver was threatening students for saying, "Obama"- not sure where it took place.