At what age do you think a student would be allowed by the bus driver to get off the bus, cross the street, and go into the house without an adult... - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: With no adult visible to receive the student, at what age would a student be allowed to cross a stre
under 4 2 1.04%
4 5 2.60%
5 45 23.44%
6 35 18.23%
7 29 15.10%
8 32 16.67%
9 12 6.25%
10 15 7.81%
11 2 1.04%
12 10 5.21%
13-14 1 0.52%
15-16 0 0%
17-18 0 0%
NEVER! 0 0%
other 4 2.08%
Voters: 192. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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At what age do you think a student would be allowed by a typical bus driver to get off the bus, cross the street, and go into the house without an adult visible to "receive" the student?



NOTE: I am NOT asking at what age a child SHOULD be allowed. Please feel free to leave comments along such lines, but for the purposes of the POLL, I'm looking for the age at which bus drivers DO release students when no parent is visible, without having a problem with it.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#2 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 02:17 PM
 
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I remember when I was a kid we could (and did) do that when we were about 7. Maybe even 6, but I know definitely by 7.
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#3 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 02:27 PM
 
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Around here, I don't think they would care at all. : I think they just drop kids off, and don't worry one bit about whether they're dropping them off safely or not, as long as the bus doesn't actually run the child down. So I voted 5, which is the age when kids start riding buses around here.

When I was teaching, we once had a child who got on the wrong bus accidentally at the end of the day, through his own absentmindedness and the failure of the teacher to pay close attention. The bus driver said afterward that he knew the kid didn't belong on his bus. And yet he allowed him on, and allowed him to get off at some random bus stop. The child was found later that evening hanging out in a fast food restaurant about five miles from home begging quarters from strangers to buy himself a burger. This was in a large urban area with a high rate of crime and heavy traffic on all the roads.

The child was 6 years old. The mother of course was outraged, and the teachers and principal acted outraged, but there were never any systems put in place to prevent it from happening again. :

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#4 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you think it could also have to do with how long the student has been taking the bus? For example, do you think a 7 year old could be less or equally likely to be allowed when it's the student's first year riding a bus, than a 6 year old who's been taking the bus since age 4 and "knows the drill?"

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#5 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra
When I was teaching, we once had a child who got on the wrong bus accidentally at the end of the day, through his own absentmindedness and the failure of the teacher to pay close attention. The bus driver said afterward that he knew the kid didn't belong on his bus. And yet he allowed him on, and allowed him to get off at some random bus stop. The child was found later that evening hanging out in a fast food restaurant about five miles from home begging quarters from strangers to buy himself a burger. This was in a large urban area with a high rate of crime and heavy traffic on all the roads.

The child was 6 years old. The mother of course was outraged, and the teachers and principal acted outraged, but there were never any systems put in place to prevent it from happening again. :
Good grief!!

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#6 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 02:33 PM
 
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The rule in our district is 9. That seems reasonable. I voted 10, though.

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#7 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 02:34 PM
 
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I was kind of confused by the wording - would or should? I know for a fact they would do it age 5, but I don't think they should until age 11 (which is the age - I think- that a child legally could stay home alone). So my vote was 11, but maybe I voted wrong by picking the what it should be versus what really happens.
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#8 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABand3
I was kind of confused by the wording - would or should?
would

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#9 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 02:39 PM
 
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Once we crossed the street, we were on our own. I don't think it's the bus driver's job to make sure that every parent is home.

We were dropped off on the corner and then 5 or 6 kids all went in different directions from there. I don't even know how the bus driver could have checked to make sure there was a parent home without driving to each kid's house individually.

We had a role call sheet for the bus. The driver checked your name off as you got on and then you got another check when you got off the bus. If I had a friend coming over after school and they needed to ride my bus with me, they had to get a pass from the office and show it to the driver. Then, their name was added to the list for that day (just written in by the bus driver).

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#10 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 02:41 PM
 
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I think my dd, who's almost 7, should be able to come home on her own in that scenerio. She rode the bus all last year and, assuming the bus driver knew that, there shouldn't be a problem with her getting home on her own. Of course, I was walking 2 blocks to school on my own every morning starting in Kindy so I may be biased, lol!

In our district, I know they require someone to be there to get Kindergardeners off the bus but I don't know what their rules are beyond that.

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#11 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 02:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sustainer View Post
would
Sorry I skewed your results then, I can't unvote.
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#12 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABand3
Sorry I skewed your results then, I can't unvote.
It's okay

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#13 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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Well I don't necessarly think the questions should be when should the driver be allowing the kids the driver (at least here) has designated stops and physically can't see that every kid gets safely in there home no matter how much they may want to. Like if my DD rode the bus she'd be picked up and dropped off a the corner area of the apartment building. No street crossing but no way the driver would see our front door.. Its the parents responsibility to know there kids and provide safety measures weather its meeting them having another adult to it see that they are buddied with an older child ect.. reality is here K and older can be dropped of at a stop where they both have to cross a street often a busy one and wont be seen going into a home.

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#14 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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In our area, kids under 6 have to be met at the bus. Over 6 and they can go by themselves. But you can only get on your bus and can only get off at your home stop. You even need a note from a parent to get off at a friend's house. It seems reasonable to me. I wouldn't let a 6 year old walk down the street alone, but it would be my responsibility to ensure that didn't happen.

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#15 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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I voted 10 but I am in shock that 8 people voted age 5.

NO WAY....I live in the sticks and voted age 10 is appropriate, but I can assure you my 11 year old middle schooler has NEVER come home to an empty house even though the bus driver lets him off the bus without knowing whether anyone is home. I am here.

5 years old.......YIKES!
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#16 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mamax3 View Post
I voted 10 but I am in shock that 8 people voted age 5.

NO WAY....I live in the sticks and voted age 10 is appropriate, but I can assure you my 11 year old middle schooler has NEVER come home to an empty house even though the bus driver lets him off the bus without knowing whether anyone is home. I am here.

5 years old.......YIKES!
The OP asked what age a kid WOULD be let off by the bus driver without an adult to recieve them. She did not ask what age they should be, or what age you would let you children do it.

I'm Kellie :, married to Chris , and mom to one baby girl (7/12/09).
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#17 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamax3
I voted 10 but I am in shock that 8 people voted age 5.

NO WAY....I live in the sticks and voted age 10 is appropriate, but I can assure you my 11 year old middle schooler has NEVER come home to an empty house even though the bus driver lets him off the bus without knowing whether anyone is home. I am here.

5 years old.......YIKES!
I'm not asking what's appropriate. I'm asking what's allowed by the bus drivers/school systems.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#18 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 03:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
The bus driver said afterward that he knew the kid didn't belong on his bus. And yet he allowed him on, and allowed him to get off at some random bus stop. The child was found later that evening hanging out in a fast food restaurant about five miles from home begging quarters from strangers to buy himself a burger.

The child was 6 years old. The mother of course was outraged, and the teachers and principal acted outraged, but there were never any systems put in place to prevent it from happening again. :
As horrifying it is, I'm not sure how common an occurance this is. I think most bus drivers know which kids belong on the bus. In my experience it is difficult, for example, for a kid to ride home with a friend without a note. The bus driver would not let them on without a note.

In my past experience kids in the country kids are dropped off at the bus stop (not in front of a kids home sometimes), so the bus driver doesn't monitor where the kid goes after he gets off the bus. Younger kids walk with older kids or are picked up by parents, but this is casual.

In my present experience in NYC there are Bus Matrons on all the buses, these women walk the kids across the street, communicate with the school and monitor the drop off, freeing the bus driver up to drive.
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#19 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 04:13 PM
 
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I'm not exactly sure how they do it where I live, but I know they don't allow children under 3rd grade to walk home by themselves from one school and most kids are not bussed. But the 4-year-old pre-K kids are bussed home and I "assume" they have to have someone to receive them.

When I was growing up you went to a bus stop and for most kids it was NOT in front of your home. There is no way a bus driver is going to know if a kid is going home to a empty home or not. And kids are suppose to cross the street in front of the bus so the driver can see them cross and they have the flashing lights and stop sign that indicate that other drivers are "suppose" to stop as well.
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#20 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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From the driver's POV, their job is to drive, and to ensure the child's safety while they are on the bus and crossing the street. If they don't let them off, are they supposed to take them all the way back to school?

In California, if you are the working poor, you're expected to put your children on public transit all alone to get to school. It doesn't matter if they are in kindergarten and you are a single mom with no family to help you, that is what you do. The only reason I didn't have to was because I was driving public transit and therefore couldn't put my 7 year old on it since it wasn't running before I got to work. I was getting food stamps for 2 or 3 months and made too much money to qualify for anything other than discounted daycare until I got my first raise at work. To a whopping $10 an hour. I was stunned by the risks women are expected to take with their children if they fall on hard times. It was a real eye-opener.

I was flabbergasted that I was in a bad neighborhood and expected to just toss my kid out there to wait alone for a bus while I went in another direction to work in the early AM darkness. And the only reason I got out of it was because I drove the bus. Before that, when I was working in SF, I would see small children riding the Muni buses by themselves all the time. It's scary.

So sadly, I would think 5 is probably your answer.

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#21 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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Our district does not allow kids in K to get off the bus unless someone is waiting at the bus stop to pick them up. Not sure if they are allowed to get off if they are in the company of an older sibling.
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#22 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 05:05 PM
 
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I put 4 because the cut off date here is Dec 31 so there are kids who are 4 in kindergarten.

I also think it is appropriate, but then I grew up in rural areas where kids were dropped off at the laneway & once you crossed in front of the bus the bus left to the next farm.

Here town kids are not bussed unless they go to the public catholic system or if they're in Grades 7-12 & then they are picked up at various schools and bussed to their next school. Some(city and out of town kids) have a transfer at the highschool. At the various bus stops(which aren't marked at all) there are no adults waiting or dropping kids off.

All the kids in the schools do bus safety at the beginning of the year.
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#23 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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I voted 5 because that's the way it was when I was a kid. I'm not sure it's that way now. My sister is now living with my parents and her 3 kids go to my old elem school. I think my Dad has to meet the youngest at the bus stop and he wanted to know what would happen if he missed it. I had no idea because it wasn't that way when I went to school.

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#24 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigeyes
I was flabbergasted that I was in a bad neighborhood and expected to just toss my kid out there to wait alone for a bus while I went in another direction to work in the early AM darkness.
It seems insane to me that anyone would expect a mother to do that with her child!

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#25 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 06:03 PM
 
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I was recently at a school board meeting where this issue was being discussed. The elementary school principal suggested that kids 7 and under with no sibling on the bus should be let off only if a parent was visible. But one of the board members said he would be really annoyed at having to walk all the way down his long driveway to meet his kid. (This is a rural area where a lot of people have long, long driveways.) And he pointed out that the driver would have no way of knowing whether the adult he saw waiting for the bus was a parent or relative or malicious stranger. In the end, it was agreed that the principal would send a letter to all the parents of kids 7 and under asking them to specify whether their kid should or should not be let off without an adult present.
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#26 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 06:04 PM
 
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I voted 5 because my area doesn't have school buses until K.

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#27 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 06:16 PM
 
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I voted 5 because my area doesn't have school buses until K.
The same here.

I live in an apt complex, and about 15-20 kids use our bus stop. There is no way the bus driver could be responsible for making sure that the kids have an adult present (there are a bunch of adults and a bunch of kids, but it creates a cluster of people and no way the driver could tell which kid belonged to which child before driving off).
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#28 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 06:17 PM
 
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The driver would wait to see that we got in the door at age 5. I don't know if the babysitter waved or not. Later on, if we were dropped off after dark, we had to flick the porch/field light.

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#29 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 06:37 PM
 
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I voted 6, because that is first grade around here. My daughter just started riding the bus this year, in 4th grade. She is 9, and she walks about .2 of a mile to the bus stop in the morning, and back in the afternoon. I'm not sure if they would let kindergartners off in a situation like this or not. I don't think my 5 year old could handle it by herself, so I wouldn't let her do it, but I think it's fine for my 9 year old.

We live a little over a mile from the school, and I see fairly young children riding their bikes or walking. My daughter had a friend in her class last year who would walk home from school on her own, but I didn't feel comfortable letting mine do that, although sometimes I would go a little late to pick her up, and let her walk part of the way home.

I used to walk 1 mile to school when I was 7, and then a little less than half a mile to the bus stop when I was 8, but the bus would drop us off in front of our house on the way home, for some reason.

In my sister's school's district, the one I grew up in, the bus drivers wouldn't let elementary kids off without an adult there to meet them at the bus stop. They would take them back to the school and call the parent to pick up the child. I remember my mother rushing home to meet my nephew at his bus stop.
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#30 of 67 Old 09-19-2008, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellien C
My sister is now living with my parents and her 3 kids go to my old elem school. I think my Dad has to meet the youngest at the bus stop and he wanted to know what would happen if he missed it. I had no idea because it wasn't that way when I went to school.
That's sort of what I'm wondering too. I live in the country and the bus drops my child off at the bottom of our driveway. (Or, rather, across the street from it.) I'm wondering what would happen if for some reason I wasn't standing right there in sight at that moment. Would she be taken back to the school and I'd have to pick her up? Would the driver drop her off but then call me and ask me about it or even report me to someone? Or, as it seems to me would be most likely, would he simply drop her off and think nothing of it? I personally have zero experience with school busses. The other thing I'm wondering is if I should, at some point in the future, try letting my child come up the driveway alone and meet me somewhere out of sight of the bus. If I started making a habit of such a thing, I wonder if the driver would think anything of it, depending on my child's age when and if that time comes. At this point it's hard for me to imagine not wanting to meet my child right at the bottom of the driveway. I might take baby steps. Wait half way up the driveway and then at the top of the driveway and then in the front yard. I don't know how long I'll spend at each stage.

Here's another question: At what age were you (or would you be) comfortable with your child crossing a country road without adult supervision? Assuming that you know that your child is not going to wander off or run away but is simply going to walk to the house. So the only thing you have to worry about is cars and stuff like that. (I mean the child's age, of course.)

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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