School busses and joint custody - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-16-2006, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone else had this problem? Dss goes to his mom's house 2 days a week. She lives in the school attendance area, too and both our houses are in the bus riding areas. I just got off the phone with dss's new school, and they say he can only ride one bus. Ever. He can only ride the bus to his "primary" residence. WTH? Lots of kids have two homes. It won't be a problem for us, because we are the "primary" (I guess, if there is one) but that seems totally unfair. The secretary gave me the number for the bus department but she said they are very strict about it. Has anyone else delt with this? The biomom has 2 babies and I'm sure she'd appriciate bus transportation.
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:13 PM
 
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Don't have an answer for you, but wanted to say how nice of you to look into it. I hear so many step moms talk 'rough' about the exs, it's nice to hear someone trying to help the biomom out.

(please no snark, not trying to talk bad about about stepmoms at all!)
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:51 PM
 
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Sounds to me that the school doesn't want to do the little extras to accommodate divorced families. That is wrong. Not to mention that a lot of court orders could be broken like that... My son's school sends two sets of everything home because his father and I have joint custody 50/50. Two lunch menus two class calendars... two sets of practice cards, etc. Sounds to me that they need to step up a little, considering over half of marriages end in divorce-with 50% of them having two or more children... that is not good support.

On the other hand, I have seen first hand how confusing it is to have a child not know what day he is supposed to go where & end up at the wrong place on the wrong day w/no one to get him- so at the same time I think all parents involved should be communicating with the school regularly, even daily if needed, with notes stating what day your child goes where.
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a middle school by the way, so the kids being confused shouldn't be much of a problem. I was irritated. If the courts say a kid has two homes, why does the BUSING DEPARTMENT have any say in it? Who is the primary residence if you are 50/50?
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:31 PM
 
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I would take it up LOUDLY with the school and busing company! I've found that often schools and the companies that serve them are just plain lazy when it comes to giving effect to children's family arrangements - we got huge grief for trying to order our own set of school photos, because they only do one form per child!

My guess is they have a rule about one pick up/drop off address so they won't be ferrying the kid to various after-school activities (soccer on Monday, scouts on Wednesday, sitter's on Thursday). That makes sense, but this is the kid's home. If the child has two homes, the BUS COMPANY shouldn't require that one be given more weight than the other. :
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Old 08-17-2006, 03:59 AM
 
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Unfortunately, I can see their point of view: that if 50% of a middle school have divorced parents, they'd have probably around 20% of the children who would ideally get two different buses on two different days- which makes more paperwork for everyone. So they're going to tell you that the reason they can't do it is for financial reasons: and at this point, you're going to need to go further up the chain of command.

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Old 08-18-2006, 11:42 AM
 
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my dd's school hands out a bus form each year for parents to fill out. It lists each day and a blank for am and pm for parents to mark where they want the dc picked up and dropped off. Sorry to hear your school can't handle this.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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Old 08-18-2006, 11:50 AM
 
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Our district is very strict about bus stops, but the one exception that they do make is in cases of joint custody. Then they issue an alternate stop for the kids.

Maybe the person that you spoke with at the school is misinformed. I would definately pursue it directly with the bus company.

Good luck to you!
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Old 08-18-2006, 02:25 PM
 
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I don't know...I have heard a lot of horror stories about the kid getting on the wrong bus (forgetting what day it was) and being left at an empty house. I do sort of think it really has to be one adult's job to help the kid get where he needs to be.
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Old 08-18-2006, 03:28 PM
 
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That's not the bus company's call to make, though. If all the adults in a family agree that this is the kid's schedule, and there are no 'horror stories' to speak of, it really can't be the bus company's place to say "oh, but on the days you go to your mom's house you can't take the bus because it's not your 'primary' home."

I don't think the child needs a lot of outside messages telling him that his home life is somehow inadequate - by the bus company's standards, for heaven's sake!
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Old 08-18-2006, 05:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar2
That's not the bus company's call to make, though. If all the adults in a family agree that this is the kid's schedule, and there are no 'horror stories' to speak of, it really can't be the bus company's place to say "oh, but on the days you go to your mom's house you can't take the bus because it's not your 'primary' home."

I don't think the child needs a lot of outside messages telling him that his home life is somehow inadequate - by the bus company's standards, for heaven's sake!
I disagree...when did it become the bus company's problem that the parents divorced and have a back and forth schedule mid week.

I am sorry no.

Time for parents to take responsibility for their children and getting them where they need to go.

The bus is responsible for getting kids to one house and one house only. From there it is up to the adults.

And no one is telling anyone that this is weird or inadequate. Just that they won't take on responsibility for what isn't their job. And dang right! I get tired of parents in all parts of life trying to foist their responsibilites on others. It isn't the schools job to do visitation hand offs.
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Old 08-18-2006, 05:52 PM
 
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Well, sounds like some bus companies have no problem with it. It's their job to get kids home, and some kids have two homes.

By the way, Flor, I agree with the previous poster who said how considerate it was of you to look into this for your stepson's mom!
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Old 08-20-2006, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm. Have to disagree with Mommymine that this has anything to do with responsibility. It's not a requirement that all parents have cars, for one thing. Why this situation is particularly irritating to me is that the school that dss is assigned to is 10 MILES outside of town, accessable only by a freeway and it is located on an AIRFORCE BASE so kids can't ride their bikes or walk and there is no public bus service. I think if you assign a kid to a school that is 10 miles away,with no public bus service, you better give them a bus. I think this is a policy left over from a different era. It's silly that the biomom's neighbors can ride the bus, there is bus stopping by her house, but dss can't ride it. I still think it is none of the school's business how many houses dss has. No updates yet, though.
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Old 08-20-2006, 01:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor
I still think it is none of the school's business how many houses dss has. No updates yet, though.
but it is their job to make sure the child gets on the right bus?

My friend is a teacher and she gets emails from each parent in her class with just their one kid's schedule for here and there- well with 30 kids and five days that 150 non school related details she is expected to keep track of.

Nope. It is the parents deal.

what happens when your kid gets on the wrong bus and gets dropped off somewhere where no one is- or remembers before they get dropped off- then does the bus driver have to take them to the right home? Why is this their problem. Bring them to one home since they are ten miles off- you figure out how to get them back and forth. I took taxis when I was a kid. (I am a sahm so my kids won't ever have to do that but it worked).
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Old 08-20-2006, 01:52 PM
 
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But this child is in middle school- how much of a tragedy would it be if he ended up at the wrong house with no one home.
A. I assume he would tell the driver- "hey this is my mom's house I'm supposed to be at Dad's today."
B. If he didn't do that I'm assuming he can walk into the house and say- hey mom we messed up - can you get me to Dad's house.
C. If no one is home I'm assuming a middle schooler has a key or knows how to get into the house and can manage using the phone to make a call.

I can see that it would be more work for the bus company- but really to make this an issue about parents responsibility just doesn't seem to be the case here.

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Old 08-20-2006, 05:31 PM
 
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I just have to say that at least 15+ years ago, my parents were easily able to have the school system take me to whichever of my parent's house I was living at that week. The only time I forsee a problem is if the bus routes have so many kids that the busses are full - legally thay can't have more kids than seats. In my bus experience, I have yet to be on a bus that was completly full, especially in Middle school.

Depending on where the op lives, there may not be taxis or public transportation, so the kid may not have an alternative way of getting home besides walking. Unless the bus company/school can present a reason why the child cannot be transported on a second bus (overcrowding or something?) I can't see a reason to deny the transportation. It's not like there will be extra gas used; they usually have stops set up for more than one kid except maybe in rural areas.

Mama, fight for your child's right to have bus transportation home to both houses!

Good luck!
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:35 PM
 
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They will only bus to one house here also......We only live like a mile from my stepsons biomom's house, but the bus won't bring them here. We go get them on the days we have them. It's especially annoying, because 2 of them get home at 3pm, and the other doesn't get home til 5 (2 in elem school, 1 in middleschool), so we have to run over there TWICE.
According to them, even in cases of "joint custody" there is still always a "primary residence", even if that "primary" residence only gets 1 more day than the other home....and that is where they will bus!

CPST
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madre Piadosa

I can see that it would be more work for the bus company- but really to make this an issue about parents responsibility just doesn't seem to be the case here.
that is my point- it is passing what should be the parents "more work" onto the bus company. It isn't their job.
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Old 08-21-2006, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't see how it is more work for the bus company. If dss ended up at the wrong house, his fault, not theirs. It's a middle school. I work at one and I have NO IDEA where the kids go after school and it's not my business. I don't know anyone's bus schedule. The kids take care of that. Basically, I think bus driver A would see dss 3 days a week, and bus driver B would see him 2, but him not being there on the other days isn't strange or confusing to a bus driver. Kids use different modes of transportation (even a "bus kid" might not ride each day). All the things the previous poster said about what would happen if the kid got on the wrong bus is true, except he can't walk to mom's house because it is 5 miles away on a freeway. The kids also cannot walk to or from school because it is on a military base and only accessable by a freeway. I don't think it is irresponsilble for a parent to use the bus for their kids especially since, again, this is the school where he is assigned and it is 10 miles away on a freeway. The biomom is calling the principal today. It's hard for me not to get involved since I work in the school district.

We've been a blended family for 6 years and this is the FIRST time anyone outside of ourselves has ever given us a hassle about any aspect of it. I was so annoyed!!
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