I seem to be doing alot of topics in two's, so in keeping with tradition......
A popular topic as of late that is debated year after year is the issue of seatbelt restraints on school buses. Most states have laws where Special Education buses and smaller buses - half the size of a normal 72-100-passenger school bus - are required to have some form of seatbelt restraints installed. People often ask why seatbelts are not required for the larger buses especially given the “cargo” we transport daily. There is no doubt in my mind that seatbelts save lives, however a seatbelt restraint system in a large school bus while theoretically is a good idea, is largely impractical to implement.
First, there is the practicality of getting all the children seated and buckled. On a Special Ed bus, an aide rides along and ensures the children stay seated and firmly buckled. Additionally, on a larger bus, there is only one driver that handles all the children. Putting seatbelts on a bus only increases the possibility that they be used as weapons against peers. (Miss Bus Driver…..Little Joey choked/hit me with the seatbelt!!!) Also if the bus gets in a crash or otherwise needs to be evacuated quickly, some children may get stuck by the seatbelt. Many children don’t have the dexterity and strength it requires to press the seatbelt buckle. They may also be injured to the point of immobility. It then becomes the bus driver’s responsibility to free and rescue that child with a seatbelt cutter. Multiply the mayhem and insanity on a regular day times 100 and you’ve got what happens in an accident. As a driver, I don’t want that added responsibility on my shoulders.
Backpacks are the fashion statement from hell. You may think it’s cute to send little James to school with a Spiderman backpack or little Mary to school with a Dora the Explorer book bag. What I see is the multitudes of paper your sweet child will dump all over the floor of my bus, which I have to clean, if the paper has not flown all over the bus and ends up crumpled or in my face while I’m driving. Also, I’m sick of picking up Joshua’s or Janie’s pencil that they forgot on the bus for the MILLIONTH time. They call it HOME-work for a reason! I swear I should charge a dime for every pencil the kids want to “borrow” from my cup of pencils that I’ve accumulated. I have to clean out the pencil cup at least 3 times a year to keep it from busting at the seams with pencils, pens, crayons, erasers, and other items I find on the bus floor.
Also those backpacks with wheels on it are the worst invention/fad EVER. It’s obnoxious enough when your child insists on taking EVERYTHING out of his backpack during a 15 minute ride and then has to hold the whole bus up when we’re at his stop waiting for your little cherub to wander up the aisle and waddle off the bus holding 20 million papers, but when your child insists on trying to wheel the backpack down the narrow aisle, getting it stuck on every seat along the way and holding up the route while they wrestle the stupid bag into the seat they’ve chosen, at the BACK of the bus, only to wash, rinse, repeat at school, here’s a little hint…. THE WHEELIE BACKPACKS DON’T FIT DOWN THE AISLE OF A SCHOOL BUS --- DON’T BUY
Toys should be banned from the school bus. Especially toys that are round, or have wheels that make the toy move easily along the floor. Please teach your children that the school bus is not a playground and the seat is for sitting in, not playing with toys and being obnoxious. For the Love of God, please, please, please lock your children’s backpack and offer your child’s teacher a key. Then maybe you’ll actually GET that field trip permission form that didn’t end up in the garbage of the school bus.
Up next!! Obnoxious Children!
The Bus Driver