More importantly, this should be titled, "Why should parents be home when their children get home from school?" A whole issue brewed between a fellow bus driver and a parent earlier this week. Since the child lives down near the end of a dead-end dirt road, the bus cannot go down to the end of the road and risk getting stuck in mud or sand in an attempt to turn around and come out. Instead, we drop the child off at the corner, and she has to walk a measly 2 and a half bus lengths (about 100 feet) to her driveway. We have never gone down to the end of that road and have always dropped off at the corner. There is simply no place for a 40 foot long vehicle to turn around at the end.
Because the child is in 3rd grade, we ask that the parent be visible to the bus driver before the driver will let the child off. This means the parent needs to either be at the end of the driveway or at the actual stop. The alternative to the parent being at the stop is to have the parent sign a letter stating that someone will be home to receive the child every day. A majority of the time, parents seem to feel "inconvenienced" by their children. How dare we ask them to interrupt whatever they're doing, in order to be home for their child?
So, the parent found themselves up at the bus shop in my boss' office. The mother was demanding we make an exception for her child. I only happen to know about this child because while the bus driver was out one afternoon, the child began to ride the bus. I stopped at the end of the road (closest to the paved highway road) and the child said "I live all the way down this road." I told her not to worry, but that I had a few other stops before her designated stop. When I stopped to let her off at the corner closest to her house, the child claimed I missed her house. So, I kept her on the bus until the end of the route, letting her know I'd go back down the road. Maybe I got the numbers wrong, maybe I misread the bus pass, maybe I was at fault. We traveled down the road, and she informed me that her house was 3-4 houses past the corner where I originally told her to get off the bus, down towards the dead end part of the road. I informed her that this would be her stop and that she would need to walk to and from this point. She seemed to accept it.
The mother was in my boss' office when I overheard the conversation. The mother was not understanding why we couldn't go to the end of the road and drop her child off at her driveway. I peeked my head in and interjected that I had been the one to drop the child off on the first day, and the mother accused me of trying to MAKE her child get off the bus at the "Highway". I informed her that I told her daughter that I would be going down that road, and explained that I let her off at the corner closest to the house. After this, I had to get going, and I over heard her ask my boss. "What are ya'll gonna do if it rains?"
I had to stifle laughter and bite my tongue as my answer whispered through my lips. "Buy an umbrella and a poncho."
The Bus Driver