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Schoolbus Stop Situation...was I wrong? (LONGGG) - Page 2

post #21 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2cutiekitties View Post
The kids were supposed to get off of the next stop... so if you put them back on the bus, then they would go to the next stop which maybe had mom waiting for them?

You did fine, but you shouldnt be put in a very precarious situation. Your hubby does have a point. I, personally, would have put them back on the bus. Quite frankly neither you or the mom should be happy and I would call and complain. What a ridiculous situation. What if you werent there? OMG..........

The what ifs are what would eat me alive.
IMO there were no "what if's" about this situation. If the OP wasn't there, the bus driver would NEVER let the kids off. He/She would have them stay on the bus and call the garage and confirm where they got off. It's not like they leave them at the side of the road.
post #22 of 124
I don't think you were interfering. I think the situation was totally fine! I mean, yes, crazy stories are reported in the media. But I imagine that in 99% of situations another mom with kids in the same school waiting at a bus stop to help some lost girls call home is not going to result in fistfights and abduction charges. I choose not to live my life in fear of that other 1%. I don't think you were out of line!
post #23 of 124
I don't understand why the kids there don't have little tags on their backpacks that are labeled with all their info. Here, at least where I did kindergarten student teaching, each child had a tag with their full name, parent phone number, address, bus number, and bus stop street/location. Walkers, parent pick up, daycare pick up, and bus riders all had different colored tags. No confusion!

If I sent my DD to school and the school didn't have that system I would be tempted to make her a tag like that so that she could have the bus driver look at it if she was confused.
post #24 of 124
I don't understand how The bus driver didn't know if it was their stop or not. I get that it was only the 3rd day of school, but all the more reason he should be double-checking his master list.
post #25 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Youngfrankenstein View Post
IMO there were no "what if's" about this situation. If the OP wasn't there, the bus driver would NEVER let the kids off. He/She would have them stay on the bus and call the garage and confirm where they got off. It's not like they leave them at the side of the road.
From what I read.. the girls were ALREADY off the bus saying it was their stop.
post #26 of 124
As a bus driver, I say the situation was totally botched. The girls should not have gotten off the bus. The driver should have used the radio to call base to double check their stop or checked their route information/manifest.

Our policy is that if someone is not there to pick the child up, we wait a reasonable amount of time, radio base, they call the provided number and then the backup number. If no one can be reached, the child stays on the bus for the remainder of the route and if no one can be reached by then they are returned to school. Rarely do they end up back at school, usually we can meet the parent at some other point on the route. A child NEVER gets off at a stop unless they are old enough to be home alone, they have an older sibling who is old enough (legally) to be home alone with them, OR a parent/guardian is there to meet them.
post #27 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little grey mare View Post
As a bus driver, I say the situation was totally botched. The girls should not have gotten off the bus. The driver should have used the radio to call base to double check their stop or checked their route information/manifest.

Our policy is that if someone is not there to pick the child up, we wait a reasonable amount of time, radio base, they call the provided number and then the backup number. If no one can be reached, the child stays on the bus for the remainder of the route and if no one can be reached by then they are returned to school. Rarely do they end up back at school, usually we can meet the parent at some other point on the route. A child NEVER gets off at a stop unless they are old enough to be home alone, they have an older sibling who is old enough (legally) to be home alone with them, OR a parent/guardian is there to meet them.



Thank you for that information! I agree. .. if anyone made a mistake it was the bus driver. The OP was an innocent bystander who tried to look out for small children!
post #28 of 124
Although I understand that you acted from a good place, the children were never in danger, and you saved the girls from some anxiety, I would be pretty upset if this happened to my child.

If the bus driver let the girls off with you, then he likely would have let them off with other people, some of whom might not have been "right". I wouldn't ever want my child let off the bus to someone who I had never met, and I'd worry that by taking these kids you'd communicate to the bus driver that he could let your kids off with strangers in the future.

Let's imagine that the kids had gotten on the wrong bus, instead of off at the wrong stop -- how would mom have known where to look? How would you have known where to find them? Put them in your car and driven them back to school? Taken them to your house and called the police? It could easily have become a nightmare.

Why not ask if they know their mom's cell phone number, and let them call. If she says "Oh, I'm on my way" then ask her if she wants you to keep them. If she says yes, then all is good. If they're too young to know her number then no way would I want the responsibility of keeping them, because how would you return them?

If you'd seen them even once, and had a good sense that they were in the right neighborhood, or if they could have told you how to walk to their house, or if someone else (the bus driver, the other mom there) could confirm that they were definitely at the right stop, then I'd feel differently, but in your case, I would have either put them on the bus, or had them call right then and there.

Having said that, as the mom, my anger would be directed at the driver and the system, not at you.
post #29 of 124
I think you did the right thing.
post #30 of 124
I think you acted in a very natural and maternal way.

I however think the bus driver made a HUGE mistake.

I'd be livid if my children were released to a stranger (which you admitted you didn't know them or their mom) at a bus stop. I'd be calling the school and probably saying some not so nice things.

Thank God you are a great person! I don't think you did anything wrong, it isn't your job to follow protocol, that's on the bus driver.
post #31 of 124
I would be livid not at the OP but at the bus driver and the system. The school would have one irrate parent on their hands making a huge stink. First off I realize it is only the 3rd day of school, that is exactly why the bus driver should have some list or way of knowing what children get off where. Asking a child is not appropriate in any way and if the driver was unsure they should have kept the children on board or made them come back to the bus and call dispatch.
Our local school bus stops have # and a letter such as 12A meaning stop #12 bus A followed by the phone number of the bus dispatch center. The drivers have a manifest list that has all the stops # and what children get off. The drivers announce the bus stop # so smaller children know if its their stop. The parents can be connected to dispatch immediately by calling the # who can can find the appropriate bus and let the parent know if say the bus is running late or what not.

I would also have a problem that the driver entrusted the children to essentially a stranger (no offense OP) but seriously how the bus driver know if that person isnt some flake/dangerous or worse. That is a huge liability for the school among other things. What if the children were left out there and "started going home" only to have panic and then really get lost.

It seems to say the whole "what if's" could have been easily avoided if the bus driver had just made them come back to the bus and stay put.
post #32 of 124
Quote:
I don't think you were interfering. I think the situation was totally fine! I mean, yes, crazy stories are reported in the media. But I imagine that in 99% of situations another mom with kids in the same school waiting at a bus stop to help some lost girls call home is not going to result in fistfights and abduction charges. I choose not to live my life in fear of that other 1%. I don't think you were out of line!
I am with those who said you did GREAT and were so right.

I disagree with your dh, and I work with kids in a field in which I am trained never to be one-on-one with a child so would have hesitated before doing what you did (but it was a public space).

I think the world has gone off the deep end. Truly.

That said, I am also with those who said the bus driver really mishandled the situation. Can you imagine how panicked those kids felt when they realized the hill didn't look familiar? Poor kids! The bus driver should have gotten on the radio and double checked if the manifest wasn't on the bus.
post #33 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by babymommy2 View Post
I am also with your husband. I think you did what you thought was right and luckily the mom was not more upset, but it was up to the bus drivers to not let those children off, at least not the 5 year old. The bus driver does not know you, and cannot entrust those children inot your care.
And while you are absolutely right, the bus driver DID let them off the bus and DID leave them in her care. What was she supposed to do, go on her merry way and leave them standing on the side of the road by themselves???

My Kindergärtner has been wearing a sticker with her name on it and an A under her name all week. The first day of school I couldn't figure out what the A stood for. I thought they had her last name wrong. Turns out.. she goes to pick up spot A. I can only imagine what they do with the bussed children if they are labeling the picked up children.
post #34 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2cutiekitties View Post
The kids were supposed to get off of the next stop... so if you put them back on the bus, then they would go to the next stop which maybe had mom waiting for them?
But how would the OP know that? She couldn't have, especially since the girls were somewhat sure it was their stop.
post #35 of 124
I think YOU did fine, but I would be furious at the driver if my kids were let off at a stop that wasn't theirs with a strager. I took the school bus from 3rd grade through senior year in HS, and there was always a master list of who got off where and in the first weeks of school or with a substitute driver they were always careful about checking where people got off. I can't imagine him letting young kids off if there was even a doubt in anyone's mind about where they belonged.
post #36 of 124
If it were my children I would be very thankful for the way you handled it. I htink you could not have made bettter decisions at any point in time. I am however appalled that the bus driver did not know what stop they were supposed to get off at. Here each child is checked on and off the bus the first few weeks of school.
post #37 of 124
I think you did great, about what your DH said...unfortunately things are a LOT different for men in the same situation. Men have to be much more cautious about being left with children that aren't theirs because people are more likely to be suspicious of men's intentions...not saying it's right, but just how it goes.
post #38 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swan3 View Post
I think you did great, about what your DH said...unfortunately things are a LOT different for men in the same situation. Men have to be much more cautious about being left with children that aren't theirs because people are more likely to be suspicious of men's intentions...not saying it's right, but just how it goes.
I agree, they do have to be more careful. I also don't think you did anything wrong. You acted like a mom and you took care of children who needed caring. The situation itself was less than optimal but you can hardly be faulted for that. Twice recently I've found myself with lost children and I've taken them by the hand until we found the appropriate person--one time the mother and the other an employee. Thank goodness for a person like you who is willing to put herself out there for the sake of a child rather than protect herself in spite of the need of a child.
post #39 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Youngfrankenstein View Post
IMO there were no "what if's" about this situation. If the OP wasn't there, the bus driver would NEVER let the kids off. He/She would have them stay on the bus and call the garage and confirm where they got off. It's not like they leave them at the side of the road.
But given that the kids were already off the bus, I think the OP did the best possible thing. I would not have felt comfortable (as a parent) literally dragging the children back onto the bus and I don't know what the bus driver would have done--- leave the bus full of kids to catch the two walking down the street?

That said, I would be really upset with the driver! I would also expect the parent to talk to the kids about NOT getting off the bus unless they see me.

Sadly, as well, I think a man would be in a different position. Even with kids, many people would react differently to arriving and having their kids waiting with a female stranger than a male stranger. DP is very aware of this with strange children and is always very aware of his body position w/respect to theirs (I am as well, but I think men do need to be more careful).
post #40 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Youngfrankenstein View Post
If the OP wasn't there, the bus driver would NEVER let the kids off. He/She would have them stay on the bus and call the garage and confirm where they got off. It's not like they leave them at the side of the road.
The policy here is that if a parent or other responsible person isn't at the bus stop the child will be left anyway. The bus will not take the child back to the school, and will not wait with the child. So, here they actually do leave them on the side of the road.

While it sounds like the bus driver was being hesitant about letting the kids off, it doesn't sound like s/he was really trying all that hard to convince them they had to get back on the bus. The policy in the OPs town might be to just drop the kids off and no longer be responsible for them. In which case, at least the bus driver went to the trouble of asking someone who obviously was a mom to be aware of kids s/he thought might need someone to look after them.

So, if this happened with DS (who I currently drive to school since he hasn't started K yet) in the future I would be nothing but grateful to a mom like the OP who stuck around till she knew DS was safe.
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