I've been buried in college homework as I continue full steam ahead into my career change from Bus Driver to Accounting and Marketing. This has caused much turmoil in my life that I've actually cut back on doing field trips and actually considered taking on a regular route. In fact, I will be taking on a regular route at the end of this week in a bid to get some normalcy in my life. Hopefully things will begin to settle down.
In other news, I had a bloodbath on the bus a few weeks ago. Two elementary boys, ADHDBoy and SmartyPants got into a bit of a heated argument which ended with ADHDBoy hitting SmartyPants in the nose and other areas causing him to have a severe nosebleed. Neither boy could give me a straight answer on what started the argument in the first place, but ADHDBoy was definitely the instigator. Review of the video tape proved that ADHDBoy started it all and SmartyPants tried to finish it, but instead got more than he bargained for.
The result of this fight? Both boys got 3 day suspensions off the bus and I ended up calling the police to remove them from the bus at the time of the incident. SmartyPants' mom was very concerned about her son (obviously) and the lasting effects the fight might have on his yet unblemished school record. I wrote him up for his involvement in the fight. As for ADHDBoy, his mom immediately was upset that her son was involved in the fight and wanted to know if the other boy involved got the same punishment as her son. She was more concerned for "fairness" than she was about the actual behavior of her son who had to be pulled off SmartyPants! She was also upset that I had written him up as the primary instigator in the fight. I wonder if she was allowed to view the same video tape that I had seen, which clearly showed her son striking SmartyPants first.
This fight brought some pressing questions to mind when handling children on the bus in the midst of an argument or fist fight. Who do we call? When is it okay to call the police? When should students be removed instead of allowed to ride home? Then, how do we deal with parents after the fact?
Unfortunately, times are such that parents and guardians often provide excuses for behavior instead of managing it. Denial that their child could have possibly done something wrong often is the main reaction in a case like this. Blame is shifted and placed on medication or lack thereof, instead of handling the behavior of the child in question and teaching them right from wrong. Additionally, the lack of support we get from school administrators on the subject has many of us questioning our jobs. There is one school in my district where the students will tell the bus driver that if they get written up on the bus, the school won't do anything to them, which undermines the drivers' authority when it comes to maintaining discipline on a school bus. Yes, we have people who abuse the authority that is given them, but when the students know there are no consequences, what is stopping them from acting out? Then who is to blame?
I just wish that people would stop excusing the behavior and start correcting it.
"Its not his/her Fault!"
The Bus Driver