Saturday, March 21, 2009

Write Ups and Parents

After reading an article about a child getting suspended off the bus for excessive flatulence, I realized I hadn’t explained what sort of things a child can get written up for on a school bus. I explained the common rules found on a bus here. On our “Bus Conduct” forms there are 10 check boxes. Nine of them have common violations listed, but there is one check box always left blank with several lines for the bus driver to write in the offense. Most of us opt to write in the offense along with checking off several of the other boxes.

A child can get written up for the following and any variation of the following:

1. Violation of Safety Procedures

This includes standing on the seats, walking up and down the aisle while the bus is moving, changing seats, and not staying in assigned seat.

2. Destruction of Property

This is self-explanatory, but includes defacing school property by tearing, mutilating or otherwise damaging the seats, walls, floors and ceiling of the bus.

3. Fighting – Pushing – Tripping

They lump these three together and we are expected to circle the appropriate offense on a student-by-student basis. These are pretty obvious offenses.

4. Excessive Mischief

This goes hand in hand with the Violation of Safety Procedures and includes crawling under the seats, making noises deliberately for the distraction of the driver.

5. Writing/Smoking

Again self-explanatory offenses.

6. Insubordination

Not following the rules and being difficult.

7. Eating – Drinking – Littering

Yeah.

8. Rude – Discourteous – Annoying

Again.

9. Unacceptable Language

Yeah, no swearing allowed!!!!!!

10. Other – Describe.

We most commonly use this checkbox to describe the incident.

Even with all this, we still get parents who complain. A common grievance we get from parents is “Why did YOU give my child X days off the bus?” Fortunately we don’t actually make the decisions on what each child gets as punishment for the infractions we write up. The school makes that decision, yet still, we get parents who insist it is still our fault.

To those parents who say “Not my child, he/she goes to church/can do no wrong!” I say this: I warned your child several times. I pulled the videotape of the incident and watched it. In some cases, my boss watches it as well. The administrator of the school has watched the tape. The tape never lies. Additionally there are typically witnesses. Fellow students squeal like stuck pigs when its not them getting in trouble. They are perfectly happy to throw another student under the bus in order to save their own skins. So please understand that when your child got 3-5-10 day bus suspension, it is entirely your child’s fault, not the bus drivers’.


Writing away!

The Bus Driver

18 comments:

ChiTown Girl said...

Amen!

Sue said...

As a school bus driver for over 30 years, I have had my fair share of writing up kids as well. Sometimes I wish I could write up the parents too. See more behaviour problems here.


http://www.schoolbusdrivers.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Does it go on there permanent record

Anonymous said...

I haven't had any problems with bus drivers in the past, I just started middle school and my bus driver wrote me up today for turning my head around, just my head, to talk to other students.

The Bus Driver said...

sorry to hear about that.... sounds to me like your bus driver might be a little too strict. I give my kids some leeway when it comes to visiting with each other, but as long as they are seated and not hanging over the seat, im okay with them talking and visiting with their friends.

jt burton said...

You know how some districts segregate boys from girls? Our bus does that. Well, today our bus started leaking transmission fluid so we transferred to a smaller bus. As you bus drivers know, not all buses are the exact same shape and size. By the time we loaded, there were no more spots on the boy's side, so I had to sit on the girl's. Of course, I could have moved after more space was made, but I was told that if i got up for ANY reason, that I would be written up. So, I go to get off of the bus and the bus driver stops me, he's semi- cool from the minimal interaction have had with him, so I figured that I could explain myself and it would be fine. Unfortunately, it was not. He told me those three little words "write your name" and my heart sank. I tried explaining further, but I knew that if I went too far that he would get annoyed and hit me with argumentative and disruptive behavior. So I returned his salutation as politely as I had been speaking, and got off. So, I was wondering, since there isn't anything in our handbook about it, what happens for the first write up?

The Bus Driver said...

JT - maybe you could write him an apology for being seated in the wrong section of the bus. A written apology can go a long way. That being said, if he does turn in a write up if it is your first infraction it is likely you will only get a warning for the behavior. If you remain polite and apologetic, nothing more than that will likely happen depending on your school district..... Ours usually gives only a warning for the first infraction. He may have had you write your name for other reasons too... If the bus broke down, he may have been told to provide the names of students on the bus for records purposes. It may be completely unrelated to behavior in general. Hope this helps!

jt burton said...

Thanks for the help. He wouldn't have needed our names though, he never had any of the other times we broke down. I asked one of my friends who had recently been written up, and they said that even on the first time it's iss. Luckily though, that same friend was able to convince him not to turn it in until after a formal dance I had been preparing for. So I'm still not sure what's going to happen, but I'll keep you posted. Tomorrow is the day I find out.

The Bus Driver said...

Good luck young man, I hope for your sake that he didn't turn it in and that he was simply having a rough day and had reconsidered turning it in at all. From what I see, you're a very polite young man and should be proud of the way you've handled yourself in this situation. I look forward to hearing what happened and hope that it all works out.

jt burton said...

Sorry for the late reply, I was waiting to see if anything happened. So far nothing, so i think either he didn't turn it in, or our district doesn't do anything for the first one. Thanks again for the suggestions, I didn't know what to write, so I brought him cookies and verbally apologized. So that might also have been it. Lol

The Bus Driver said...

The cookies might have helped... I'm sure you made his day. Hopefully he reconsidered and didn't turn it in after realizing you were honest and sincere. Keep up the good work!

Unknown said...

So today I was sitting down on the bus, meanwhile, every kid on my bus was screaming inappropiate things and jumping up and down like 5 year olds. I was on the phone when the bus driver pulls over. She tells my screaming friend, Phoenix, to go sit in the front, so she goes. Then she tells me "go sit with her". So I ask her what I did wrong and she said "they're all saying you were the one screaming". Now, unlike other busses, my bus doesnt have cameras or audio on it, so I have no proof but she doesn't either. So I have to admit, I took it too far, I refused to move because I knew I didn't do anything. So she grabbed me but then let go realizing she could write me up. She told me "Im gonna count to three, if you don't come sit in the front, then I will write you up, which means you'll have to be picked up by your parents. My parents work until 5:30, my dad works 1 hour away and my mom doesn't get a break until 3:00 (which she uses to pick up my sister from school ). So I refused for a second and then she walked up to the front and dialed a woman name Elizabeth I think. So I walked up to the front and sat down knowing I was at risk. She told the last "nevermind", and sat down and began driving again. As she was driving, she told me "Phoenix you have to sit up here for one week and Megan you have to sit up here for two weeks". I thought this was quite unfair, I do have Snapchat videos of my friends yelling, and I'm not yelling at all in the videos. I don't know what to do.

The Bus Driver said...

Just sit in the front of the bus for the period of time for now. Show your parents the videos however its very easy to make a snapchat video and NOT be screaming during it because it only records a small snippet of the incident in question. Ask your parents to help you fight this because it seems that the bus driver doesnt have control over the bus. Secondly... the bus driver had no right to put her hands on you unless it was an emergency situation (ie a fire and you needed to be prompted to get the heck off the bus!) that being said i feel the driver was in the wrong

Anonymous said...

@The Bus Driver Hi, if you are written up, would it go on your permanent school record? I ask this because today my bus driver said that she would write "all of us up," this including a few of my friends and I, mostly because we have one friend who is super hyper and always gets on the driver's nerves. This being said, I am worried that if it does go on my school record that it would affect my future chances of, for example getting into a certain college. Can this happen? Thank you!

The Bus Driver said...

Chances are good that your driver said that simply to get you guys to behave and stop doing what you were doing to get on their nerves. Often times I'll threaten to write a child up and that will usually straighten them out before I actually have to write them up. I'm more likely to move them to the front of the bus if their behavior is a problem before writing them up because I find that a seat change can bring an attitude change much quicker than anything the school can do. Chances are good too that unless its something really super bad like you got in a fist fight or brought a weapon on the bus then the write up will likely just end up in the trash at the end of the semester or even by the end of the week after the incident has been dealt with and you've been warned not to repeat the behavior instead of on your permanent record. On a side note, while colleges do consider a persons previous school behavior as a factor in admissions its a small tiny percentage of that admission weight that it probably wouldn't factor if you had a write up for something like chewing gum on the bus or being loud and obnoxious. Most colleges understand that the teenage years are rough in general and they are more concerned with the academic side of things. So do well on the SAT and ACT, get those scores, keep your GPA above a 2.7 and you're golden for most colleges. If you want your pick of colleges, the higher your GPA and more extra curricular activities that you do will be a huge factor in their acceptance of you. Good luck and feel free to email me at any time at busdriverquestions@gmail.com if you want more college advice ;)

Anonymous said...

ok thank you so much, I'll make sure to keep that email in mind :)

Anomoys said...

i got written up at school today on the bus for having m y phone out what is the big problem with our phones. is it distracting or something. they said it interferes with the radio system but i don't believe that. so now they have to bring me into the office and call my parents so now i am sure to get m y phone taken away and i am grounded now.

The Bus Driver said...

It could interfere with the radio system in your district, however it can also be a distraction to the driver. If you were being obnoxious with your phone such as playing music when the driver asked you to stop or put headphones in, then he had every right to write you up. That being said each driver has a policy on phones and the school districts in general have policies on phones on the buses and on school property. Basically anything that goes during school hours also applies during the bus ride to and from school. Good luck.