Sunday, April 25, 2010

Response to an Anonymous Comment

First off, I sincerely apologize for not blogging more. Both jobs have kept me rather busy averaging about 60-70 hours a week between the two, so time for posting has not been in the schedule. I do have a couple good blogs planned for the future though.

Secondly, I have had this comment sitting in my moderation area for quite some time, I had intended to make a blog of it and simply haven't had the time. So, without further adieu, here it is:

Anonymous wrote: Not sure if I can comment without registering, but wanted to say that not all bus drivers are good ones either. Tell me what exactly a 2nd or 3rd grader could possible do to warrant a driver yelling at them every single day so loudly that it makes their ears pop? You bring up major offenses that must be being committed by teenagers or something, but my kids do little stuff like peek out the window to see if where they are is their stop or not. Some kid will have his foot in the aisle. They're yelled at to SIT DOWN as soon as they enter the bus, even if they're bewildered as to where to sit. 7 year olds, after all, are not the must "with it" crowd, yet. I think that it's great everything is recorded so I can prove that my kids' driver is acting like a maniac. She doesn't ever inform me that they are misbehaving or anything like that. I think it should be her job to inform a parent of misbehavior before she assumes that she can yell, scream, mimic, or mock their children. In a lot of cases, children are the victims of the abuse that adults can dish out and if you can't handle a 1st to 5th grader without having to resort to abusive tactics like YELLING over a PA system, for God's sake, then find another line of work, please.

Yes Anonymous, some people are just not cut out to drive a bus. Abusive adult behavior towards children should not be tolerated. However yelling seems to be your main concern. Often elementary children are loud and chaotic. They have not learned how to control their voices and speak in a manner that is appropriate for all situations. A bus is a 40 foot tube with seats and a steering wheel. Even with the windows open, the noise gets very loud inside and often the driver needs to raise their voice to even be heard.

You say it should be our job to tell you if your child is misbehaving on the bus BEFORE we yell at them/correct the behavior on the bus. So does that mean that I should wait to tell little Johnny to put his body back inside the bus and instead pull up to your stop with little Johnny hanging halfway out the window so you can see that he is misbehaving? I'm being sarcastic here, but the reality is, if I see a child doing something that is putting themselves or others in danger, I'm not going to wait until I see a parent at the bus stop (most parents don't stand at the stop in the first place) before I handle it on the bus or take it to a school administrator for disciplinary actions.

Student behavior problems are the number one concern on a bus. Simply put, a teacher has 30 children in FRONT of them, a parent has 1-5 children on average, a bus driver has upwards of 60 children BEHIND them. We hold bus safety classes for grades pre-k through 5 every year at the beginning of each year. During these classes, we teach children the emergency exits, the proper way to sit on a bus and the proper way to behave on a bus. Part of the reinforcement for these skills comes from parents. Teach your children that the bus is just like a car, they need to sit in the seat and stay seated. They need to realize that even though a bus does not have seat belts like a car, that it is a vehicle and deserves the same respect. You wouldn't let your child stand up in the rear of the vehicle would you? You would likely yell at them to sit down and buckle up. I don't like to raise my voice to be heard, but if it means they will stop, think, and listen to me, then I do what I have to do.

Chugging Along,

The Bus Driver