Archived Story

School bus waiting policy needed

Published 9:04pm Thursday, January 31, 2013

To the editor:

This past year I have had to drive on our back streets more often to get to work, and I have been amazed at how our school bus drivers coddle the children they drive to school each morning.

I have sat and watched these drivers stop in front of a house when no child is visible and then wait to see if the child comes out of the house.

This morning at the corner of Country and Pleasant, I sat along with many other motorists as Bus 296 turned onto Country Road and then immediately stopped, switched on the flashers and waited for two minutes before the student appeared from the house. An adult then carried the child on his back and put him onto the bus steps β€” and then we waited another minute while the child took his time to be seated.

Why is this allowed? Why should one child be allowed to disrupt so many others from getting to their morning destinations? If the child is not at the bus stop, why should the bus driver even stop the bus?

This is another fine example we teach our children β€” that it’s OK to be late and force others to wait on me.

Is there a policy in place to cover this kind of situation for school bus drivers and the kids who ride our buses?

William Hirsch

Suffolk

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  • bkgirl1313

    I do not understand how you all would like this situation resolved. Based on the original letter, the child was carried on the dad’s back. This would suggest a child of Elementary school age. Would the responders like Elementary children to be forced to walk to school as well? I was thrilled to read about a dad helping a child get to school with such enthusiasm to help the child start the day off on such a positive note. Also, as you do not seem to know this, most buses have assigned seats for elementary students to allow similar age groups to sit together rather than having a 5th grader next to a Kindergartner. This means that yes, students have to walk slowly down the middle aisle to get to their seat. It is also a law that students must be seated before the bus moves. As far as students obstructing mailboxes, why not try talking to the students? Unless you expect the city to miraculously find money to create wonderful heated bus stops for children to wait in, some parents will care about their children enough to try to keep them in a heated environment (such as a car or house) rather than have them stand outside in the freezing weather. I am sure if you had the option of doing so you would do the same thing. If you find yourself running into a school bus stop every day, I would suggest you take a different route or perhaps leave a little earlier. The buses can’t change their routes for you and their times are usually the same. You might also consider the fact that if the bus is early for a stop, it is not fair to leave right away if people are not there yet. City buses wait for a minute and so do school buses. In my eyes, the adults of a community should want to have students get to school safely rather than complaining about how they are affected in such a minor way by buses on the roads. Let’s teach them compassion and understanding rather than whining and selfishness.

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    • bfhirsch34

      The time for this bus stop was a little past 7 oclock. This suggests that it was not an elementary school child rather a middle or high school student. We are talking about a 40 foot walk from the front door to the steps of the school bus, not walking the entire way to school. This particular student is the first one on the bus and has no obstructions to impede his way to a seat. So lets teach them school is where they can get an education and time schedules are made for the many not for the one.

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      • bkgirl1313

        Well it certainly sounds like you know the routine for this student and the bus stop so I suggest as the adult in this situation you find a way to adapt and overcome.

        Suggest Removal

  • KNRMCO

    I agree w/you sir. If they aren’t there waiting, leave. Or better yet, let them walk period. I know times have changed, however as a child, I never was afforded the luxery of a bus. I grew up in PA & my junior high school was a good 1-1 1/2 & senior high school at good 2 miles fr my home. We walked, rain or shine, in the winter with inches of snow on the ground & freezing temperatures. Even in elementary schhol I walked, abt 15 minutes for an 8 yr old. Jr & Sr school students are more than capable of walking to school; the exercise may do some a world of good not to mention the savings in fuel, bus maintenance
    & insurance. We are coddling our older students way too much. There are certainly some instances where walking to scool is not an option, but if you aren’t at the bus stop at the designated time, then the bus should leave. And also, don’t have those buses stop at evey street corner…they can be every 4 tenths or so of a miles..make them walk.

    Suggest Removal

  • dollyb12

    I see this clowning around going on in our neighborhood, too, so I tend to think that this is a citywide problem. Aside from calling the police due to children hanging around our mailboxes and obstructing my access to my mail (this used to be considered a federal offense and I am assuming it still is), what department do we contact to file a complaint? The parents of these children think nothing of parking in front of and behind our community mailboxes and literally IN THE STREET while waiting for their children to be dropped off at the questionable bus stops. Who decides the location of bus stops? The School Board?

    Suggest Removal

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