WWYD- bus comapny never sent bus to take children home-kinda long - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 09-28-2004, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I am trying to be calm and think with a clear head before I call this morning...(I did try to call yesterday when this mess was going on but there was no one at the bus company.) I posted this here and on another board trying to get some input before I call.

Heres what happened:
My oldest 2 are in 5th grade- 11 yo and 3rd grade-just turned 9 this past Sunday and go to the school that is at our church. There school lets out at 2:45. Around 3:15 I receive a phone call from the secretary saying that the bus company never sent a bus to take them or the other two little girls that go on it home. The other 2 girls were going home with their mother since she happened to be subsituting that day for one of the teachers but my 2 needed still to get home. The school did say that they had asked why no bus was sent, this had never happened before, and they said well since they had been driven into school that morning they didn't need to send a bus to take them home, they could find their own way : The principal said a bus needed to be sent but they told her they were not going to do that-end of subject. The principal did say she was going to file a complaint with the head of the transportation department this morning. The principal in turn called us and said she would personally drive the kids home and not to worry. She knew dh would be working until at least 4pm and I had my other 2 at home and the 3 daycare children that I watch and they wouldn't have fit in the vehicle. I was so thankful to her for doing that, I know she didn't have to do that.
This is not a policy the school or us have ever known about in our 4 years dealing with them. I have done the same thing in the years past on occassion when there was a project too big for the bus or when it snows and they need to bring snow gear in order to play outside (our bus driver said she doesn't like them coming on with so much stuff so I have to drive them when they bring snow boots/pants).
Anyway, how would you handle it in speaking with the bus company/director? I am not very good at saying how I feel...having it come out right. I just think this was awful to do. Here is a bit more background on the transportation director- I had called her 2 weeks ago because our busing information card states pick up at 7:43 in the morning and drop off at 3:58. Well pick up has been anywhere from 7:15 in the morning to 7:30 now and drop off no earlier than 4:10 to 4:25. The kids had been late to school everyday for the first week and 1 time the following week. (Like not getting to school until 9 am and it starts at 8:25. Dh and I agreed to call because 1 and 1/2 to 3/4 hours is a long ride each way. I told her my dd has a bladder problem and even if she goes right before leaving school, limiting how much she drinks in the afternoon, she had a accident on the bus allready but was too embarrassed to say anything. Also, my ds has some special needs and couldn't they maybe just send a minivan or something for them and the other 2 girls that go to this school instead of doing all the other private schools too. The director told me that is not what is on her card time wise and she had not given any other times/changes out so I must be mistaken. I told her to contact the school secrectary who could vouch that the bus had to come to the front of the building because the back busing door had been locked. She said she would look into it but she would tell me what she told another mother last year when her daughter would throw up at least 3 x's a week because of car sickness- it was your choice to send your kid to a private school not mine and that she would get back to me. She has never gotten back yet. The bus comes pretty contant at 7:28 am and drops them off from4:13 to 4:20ish. By the way this is the same driver for the past 4 years. I just hate to make waves or complain but darn it this just wasn't right to do...I mean we are paying taxes which pays her salary and the drivers etc. Any thoughts? Sorry this was so long in the morning
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#2 of 5 Old 09-28-2004, 10:03 AM
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OK - I'm confused... it's a private school, but a public school bus? If that's the case, I would tell them how I feel, but don't really expect them to change much. If it's a private bus that the private school pays for then I'd make a HUGE stink. Also, depending on how far away the school is... I would be livid if my kid had to ride the bus for 1 1/2 hours!

It's OK to express your anger to people - just do it in a way that doesn't blame them - own and express YOUR feelings, explain what happened and ask them what they can do to be sure it doesn't happen again.
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#3 of 5 Old 09-28-2004, 10:13 AM
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I grew up in the Philly area, and went to private schools. I think that it is a state law in PA that all school children are provided with transportation to and from school, (within a certain distance) the only problem is the logistics are left up to the local public school transportation contractors.

For instance, when I was in primary school, we had enough kids to fill a bus, so that worked out great. BUT when I was in High School, we rode the bus with the public school kids, waited on the bus while they all got off at the local high school, and then stopped at 2 other private schools BEFORE we even got to my school. I got on the bus at 5:50 AM, and got to school at 7:45AM. After 1 week my parents gave up on bussing, and drove us when we didn't stay over at school (it was technically a boarding school, but we lived so close)

It was unbearable as a teen, so I can't imagine making small children sit through the same thing.

My suggestion is to get the school involved as your advocate. That way they can also speak from the experience of other families, and it seems less like a "you vs. me" sort of thing. Also, the school should be involved because the children have been delivered late repeatedly, and that is disruptive, and certainly not within reasonable expectations.

As for the bus not showing up at all, the explanation they gave us just wrong. I can understand not sending a bus after maybe calling the school and confirming that there was no need for transportation, but to just strand the chidlren, that is wrong!

Maybe I am just rambling and not being much help, but I hope that this can get worked out. It is frustrating!
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#4 of 5 Old 09-28-2004, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry I put this post in the wrong place I didn't realize it should've been in parenting.

Well I have had a call in to the transportation office. No response yet. Bippity, they are in a private school but bused by public school. It is set up that private school and public are not on this bus together. It does hit 3 or 4 private schools though. I am not sure how much will get done but we will try. Hokiemum I can't believe you went through the same thing. This stinks that they can treat children like this. It is like commuting to a job or something when they are expected to ride that long. Dh is wanting to put a call into our local state representative. He heard at work that he has gotten involved in somethings and has helped. First I do want to see how the transportation director responds. We have support to a point I am sure from the school. Thanks for the input and I'll keep this updated when we hear something.
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#5 of 5 Old 09-28-2004, 04:47 PM
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I doubt you'll have much luck getting a shorter route- I mean, given that it IS your choice to send them to a different school they don't have to be terribly accommodating- but it is absolutely unacceptable for them to not show up when they're supposed to (either at the right time or at all!) (Also, bringing snowpants on a bus should not be "too much stuff"- the busdriver just needs to deal.)

If you are not satisfied with the response of whoever you talk to, I would move up the chain of command; speaking to the public school's superintendent if need be. I would ask what their policies are on the situation you encountered today (i.e. they weren't there in the morning so they figured they wouldn't be in the afternoon)- see if you need to call to let them know when that will be the case. It's great that the school is also making a complaint, and that your school handled the situation so well.
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