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#61 of 80 Old 06-11-2009, 06:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommy2two babes View Post
I wanted to say that being molested by a dirver on a school bus full of other kids is probably alot more unlikely than it happening at the hands of another child on the bus. When I was in elementary school and still to this day busses are shared by JK - grade12 students. There is no way that a single bus driver even an amasing one could adequetly supervise all those kids of different ages on a bus of the size.
I know that I and some others had issues with the HS students on the bus.
My daughters school bus only transports grades k - 5, and the children are assigned seats by grade level (K in front... to fifth in the back), and by sex if possible. My children sit with other girls in their grades.

Now, if there were also highschool (or even middle school) students on this bus I can understand not trusting the situation.

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#62 of 80 Old 06-11-2009, 10:08 PM
 
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Yes. My daughter rides the bus to preschool. They have 5pt harnesses on the bus and they let me know I was more than welcome to check them out and make sure I thought it was ok for her ride. But when she goes to kindergarten I most likely will just bring her. Not because I dont find them safe but I like bringing her into school.

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#63 of 80 Old 06-11-2009, 10:47 PM
 
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I never worried about the bus driver being a molestor. When are they alone? I could see bus harassment as a real threat, but I think that really depends on so much. Here's, it's a VERY very short ride with a bus less than 1/3 full of neighborhood kids, k-5. On the way home it was only the Kindergarten kids (all four). I worried about a stranger driving a vehicle with my child in it, but I came to realize that the vehicle itself would likely make it safer.

I think the five year-old wrong stop thing is a valid thing to worry about. They are so young. Yeah, they know their house, but I've had a sub bus driver stop at the wrong stop, not know what he's doing with the route, etc. You'd be surprised. I think that's an important responsibility of the school though.

I don't quite agree with the characterization of this concern as a paranoid. In certain circumstances I would certainly worry about the bus driver's skills, mean kids on the bus, etc.
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#64 of 80 Old 06-11-2009, 10:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Brisen View Post
Just out of curiosity -- how common are seatbelts on school buses? I always thought school buses never had them, but I'm not sure.
My kids ride the bus.

Their full-size bus has seat belts in the first row of seats. The driver has a short route and a not-very-full bus, so the front row is for the kindergarteners and pre-k'ers.

Their driver is really aware of the kids. I ask him every day how my kids behaved and he's straight forward w/ me if there's been an issue. Conversely, he's also quick w/ praise if it's been a good day. I feel very confident w/ my kids in his care.

My junior high bus driver was an old guy, probably in his 60's, Berge was his name. Really nice old guy. He'd had an anyeurism some years before. Talked about it a lot, didn't really pay much attention to what the kids on the bus were doing, let us stand, change seats, knees on the seat, etc. It was a FULL bus, too. He'd get after us once in awhile, but not much.

There was another bus I took during those years when I had ballet. I took it once a week. It was even worse than mine. HORRIBLE. And the driver never said a word.

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#65 of 80 Old 06-11-2009, 11:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Little grey mare View Post
If you have a well-behaved kid, they are much safer on the bus. It's the children whose parents don't enforce the rules that I worry about.
Yes! This is how my neighbor is and it stresses me out so badly! I get her dd on and off the bus so I make DARN sure that child knows she needs to sit down & face forward. She has a tendency to lay on the seat, stand in the seats, and otherwise not be safe. She's the same way in her mother's car. I don't let her do that in my car. (I'm trying to talk her mother into getting the kid a HBB, too.)

More than once our bus driver had talked to me about this child and the mom said to me, "I think ppl [bus driver & teachers] are picking on her!"

That was fun.

Of course, when the little girl did better w/ sitting down & facing forward, the driver was sure to tell me! I know he's not picking on her.

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#66 of 80 Old 06-11-2009, 11:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ABmom View Post
And of course everyone knows that if a girl sat in the last few rows then she is fair game for some unsolicited touching.
I forgot about this. Happened to me in grade school. Stupid Jason H. :

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#67 of 80 Old 06-11-2009, 11:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Amylcd View Post
My daughters school bus only transports grades k - 5, and the children are assigned seats by grade level (K in front... to fifth in the back), and by sex if possible. My children sit with other girls in their grades.

Now, if there were also highschool (or even middle school) students on this bus I can understand not trusting the situation.
That's how our driver does it, too. Although, at my request, he did seat ds1 and dd together for awhile because I was hoping it would help their behavior on the bus. It didn't.

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#68 of 80 Old 06-12-2009, 12:09 AM
 
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We homeschool but if we were to public school it would be over my cold dead body my kids will EVER set foot on a school bus. EVER.

I had horrid wretched experiences riding the bus in jr high/early high school. Mainly over a bus driver who flat out hated me (and I was actually NOT a trouble maker, I sat there and read 99% of the time). Plus she was an UA violation, she picked up a HITCHHIKER on the bus with myself, my kid brother and 2 other small children on the bus...this was on a major highway, there was not increment weather, we were less than quarter mile from a business, sure THIS time he was an honest to goodness 'stranded motorist' but he very well could have been a psycho. Then when my mother complained to the bus barn and the superintendent we got a letter that flat out said "This is not a big deal except to a few hysterical parents who insist on making mountains out of molehills"

I realize not all bus drivers are like this woman was, but I'm still not EVER putting my kids on a bus.

I guess if it were a field trip, I wouldn't have a choice but for day to day riding, never ever ever.

AFAIK the buses around here don't come with seat belts at all.

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#69 of 80 Old 06-12-2009, 07:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by HarperRose View Post
My kids ride the bus.

Their full-size bus has seat belts in the first row of seats. The driver has a short route and a not-very-full bus, so the front row is for the kindergarteners and pre-k'ers.

Their driver is really aware of the kids. I ask him every day how my kids behaved and he's straight forward w/ me if there's been an issue. Conversely, he's also quick w/ praise if it's been a good day. I feel very confident w/ my kids in his care.
Thanks for the info -- I haven't heard of there being partly-belted buses. When I was, hmmm, maybe in high school, there was some debate around here about putting belts on all school buses. In the end they didn't, and I don't know all of the reasons, but I remember one of the objections was that kids wouldn't wear them anyway, and they would just be used as weapons. There is a bus that goes by our house each day with a preschool-aged kid (or seems to be, from what I can see) sitting in a 5-pt harness car seat in the front, and I was taken by surprise because I didn't think buses ever had belts, so what was the point? But it's likely the same kind of bus as you're describing.

And your next paragraph also shifted my worldview a bit. I don't remember ever having an adult with me for pick up or drop off for the school bus. I waited at the end of my sitter's driveway with the other kids, or at the end of my very long driveway on my own, and when we were dropped off, we all just ran off. I never recall any parents talking with the driver, ever. Of course, I'm also often oblivious to what's going on around me. It just never would have occured to me to chat with the driver when my kids were dropped off. Really OT to this thread, just realizing how different bus culture is in different places (and times, I suppose).

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#70 of 80 Old 06-12-2009, 08:50 AM
 
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My DD rides the school bus and I have absolutely no problem with it. Our district has tiered start times so around here, the buses only carry certain grade levels at a time. High school starts first, then middle/intermediate and then elementary. Kindergarten is mostly in another building so there aren't too many who ride even with other elementary level kids. I would rather her ride the bus than me drive her for many of the reasons others have stated (safety, size, etc). We woke up late one day and had to drive her and the parent drop off was a mess. I was almost afraid to get out of my car due to all the crazy parents in the parking lot. I would rather one vehicle drop off 40 kids in a special "bus only" area than 40 parents drop off their kids in the general area. It seemed like a lot of parents were not paying attention and rushing off to wherever they were going rather than paying attention (almost like "Hey, my child is dropped off and safe, now I can talk on my cell phone and practically plow yours down!"). And, FTR, I don't walk my child to the bus stop and wait with her - she goes on her own.

Oh, and my child was taken to the wrong school the first day of first grade year. The bus & the daycare got mixed up and all the kids going to elementary school were put on the same bus instead of separate buses for the two elementary schools. They were also 1.5 hours late getting home that day as well due to kids getting on the wrong bus and having to delay a bus until the child was brought back (child decided to get on a bus with a friend instead of the right bus). My child was not traumatized by it but I'm sure some people will be appalled that I didn't file a lawsuit over it. Maybe it's that my mother is a public school teacher and told me ahead of times that buses run a little late the first couple days. I'm sure I'll be flamed for sharing that story and not being all spazzed out by it. Yes, the district should have gotten it right, but I trust the district and they handled it well in my opinion.

I really think I would be more concerned with a bus driver for field trips than for day to day. Often, daily bus drivers are consistently the same every day and get to know your kids but field trips may be a one-time chartered bus and driver. That's not always the case, but sometimes.

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#71 of 80 Old 06-12-2009, 09:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Brisen View Post
Thanks for the info -- I haven't heard of there being partly-belted buses.
Busses under 10,000 pounds are required to have at least some seatbelts AND some lower anchors to attach carseats.

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#72 of 80 Old 06-12-2009, 12:14 PM
 
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I can understand the concern based on the route, kids, the child's age, bus driver, etc. I can't understand restricting it simply b/c of your own experience. True, then you know what could happen. Experience can be valuable insight. But that doesn't mean it is going to. It could be entirely different. I could have had a terrible experience, but that doesn't change that my child still rides it four blocks with a handful of kids he knows well. I slightly objected to the post that stated concern as amounting to restricting your kids and being fearful, but if you're fearful solely based on your own experience, I would think it somewhat true.
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#73 of 80 Old 06-12-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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There are some special restraint systems available for special-needs children - the kind we use is called a Qstraint (sp?).
In one case I had it for a child who had a spectrum disorder, not so much for safety but more for an reminder that he needed to stay sitting down and facing the front.

For our (largish) company, each bus is required to have at least one lap belt installed. They are generally just used for the bus drivers child's carseat. I have two in my bus for two carseats...


One more point to ponder - I know there is no other job or situation out there where I could legally be the sole person responsible for 45 children under the age of 13 at one time. But as a bus driver, I am. Most of us do the best we can, but when you constantly are dealing with unruly children without the backup of parents and without the support of the school, it's literally impossible to maintain discipline and order on the bus.

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#74 of 80 Old 06-12-2009, 02:53 PM
 
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I certainly would, but DD will be going to charter school and they have no buses. I'm totally bummed about this. For one thing, think of all the wasted gas.

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#75 of 80 Old 06-12-2009, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Little grey mare View Post

One more point to ponder - I know there is no other job or situation out there where I could legally be the sole person responsible for 45 children under the age of 13 at one time. But as a bus driver, I am. Most of us do the best we can, but when you constantly are dealing with unruly children without the backup of parents and without the support of the school, it's literally impossible to maintain discipline and order on the bus.
And do that while driving.
to you for doing that job.

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#76 of 80 Old 06-12-2009, 06:09 PM
 
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I don't allow my child to ride the bus, that's probably a bit ridiculous but I am just not comfortable with it.

I can remember at least five of my bus drivers being fired.

One of our bus drivers was stopping by the local burger joint after school and letting the kids get off the bus and order food. (my mom did NOT believe us about that until they got fired, apparently it was a bit TOO unbelievable )

One of our bus drivers smoked a lot of pot. That is where I learned "what pot smells like"

One of our bus drivers liked to speed, a LOT he also let all the kids sit on the back of the seats.

Another let the kids smoke on the bus "as long as they threw away their butts"

The last one just had too many tickets, he didn't let everyone sit on the backs of the seats.

My sisters and I were always getting picked on. The boys used to boing my curls Or we would get in fights because someone was picking on one of our little sisters. It was a mess.

If I had multiple kids in school I would probably let them ride but I am just not comfortable with it just being her.

Our bus driver when we first started riding was awesome and my mom really liked her but then she moved and started on a different route and we had a string of people who should NOT have been driving a bus. We finally got another mom and things were nice and calm again.

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#77 of 80 Old 06-12-2009, 07:01 PM
 
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Wow, those are some wacky stories, Abimommy.
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#78 of 80 Old 06-12-2009, 08:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TheGirls View Post
She's probably safer in a school bus (which is designed to keep kids safe without seatbelts) than in your car in a 5pt harness. The bus keeps kids safe using compartmentalization - the tall padded seats protect the child in an impact. Also, busses are less likely to get in an accident in the first place (being big and yellow helps, also they're driven by professionals). And due to sheer size, a school bus is unlikely to be significantly damaged in a crash.
This.

My son's bus driver is amazing. I have a lot of respect for her. I'm surprised to see someone say they "Distrust bus drivers in general".

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#79 of 80 Old 06-12-2009, 09:11 PM
 
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My comments in red. I'm shocked that so many people are this paranoid about school buses.
I completely agree. My son will ride the bus to kindergarten in the fall. If I have concerns, I'll bring them to a supervisor. He'll be riding with kids from K-5th grade.
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#80 of 80 Old 06-12-2009, 09:19 PM
 
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All these fear of lecherous drug-addled bus drives make me think people are watching too much Simpsons...
Thanks
I actually don't watch tv at all but I DID get driven around by drunk or drugged bus drivers in junior high and high school. When I was younger and lived in a wealthier neighborhood that never happened, but as a teen I was on the "wrong side of town" and got the distinct impression that we simply didn't matter as much and got the bums for bus drivers. Everyone has different experiences.

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