My best friend and I have joked about this for years. Amy thinks that school busses are the best thing ever and even a necessity in life. I hate school busses and am thrilled that my school district doesn’t offer them. Amy would never live anywhere that didn’t offer bus service.
Amy and I both lived in Burlington and were preparing to move around the same time right as the children were hitting school age. I moved to Fort Thomas. That was a no brainer for me since I was from the area and wanted my kids to attend Fort Thomas schools. Amy, being from Louisville and having a husband who works in Norwood, was a little more flexible… sort of. She was looking by school district with Fort Thomas Schools and Indian Hill Schools being her top picks. Of course we wanted to live close to each other but I could tell that something was holding her back from pulling the trigger on Fort Thomas.
She kept mentioning that we didn’t have school busses. I couldn’t imagine this was a real concern since everyone lives within a mile of their elementary school and four or five miles of the high school. She talked about not wanting to have to get dressed in the mornings (I take my kids in my pajamas quite often). She kept going on and on about the convenience of busses. But then it finally came out… she was worried about parking because frankly, she sucks at it. Apparently, Amy can’t parallel park, back out of a parking spot or get out of a tight spot. I constantly ask how she passed her driver’s test. LOL
I offered to teach her to do these things because I couldn’t imagine putting my kids on a bus so I didn’t want her to either. You are probably wondering why I am so anti bus. Where to begin…
I attended a Catholic grade school and had to take a public school bus. We lived pretty far out so I walked a half mile to the bus stop and grabbed the first bus. It dropped off us off at a public middle school where we waited to catch another bus to our school. Going home was the same in reverse. I remember the high school and middle school kids on the bus and at the public school being mean to us. They would tease us about our uniforms, religion and anything else they could think of. My friend K always looked a little sad so they played on that. They would sing “Cry Baby, Cry Baby, Cry Baby Cry” to her every day. And guess what; she would cry. They would approach our table pretending to be nice and then suddenly do something mean like knock our stuff on the ground. I remember one older boy being extremely creepy. He would tell me he was my uncle (he wasn’t) and just say really inappropriate stuff. I remember being a little scared. My older brother usually kept the creeps away but he must not have been around. The monitors could have cared less what was going on.
I took bus 57 to school. My driver’s name was Linda and I’m pretty sure we didn’t have a monitor. How do I remember this all these years later? I remember because Linda was terrifying! She was so mean. You could literally be five feet from the door and she would leave you. She would scream at everyone as soon as you walked up the steps to the bus. The screaming would get worse if we didn’t move to the isle way fast enough, as there were never any seats left for us so we just stood. My older cousin Jessica took the bus with us. She apparently wasn’t walking fast enough for Linda one day so she pulled Jess up the steps by her shirt and actually ripped it. I’m not even sure what happened next. I was horrified.
I remember also learning about the birds and the bees and every cuss word in the book on that bus. Kids ranged from kindergarten to 12th graders. The bullying on the school bus obviously hasn’t stopped. We have all heard the story about the bus monitor who was bullied to tears by students.
Some of my friends and I decided to start walking to and from school any time we could to avoid the mean kids and the crazy bus driver. It was 3.1 miles but it was worth it to avoid that terror.
My children have been on a bus for field trips. I have to say I’m not impressed with the way most drivers control the large vehicle and how fast they speed. Now it seems that we read about a bus crash or a bus driver who put the kids in danger at least once a month. In fact, there was a wreck involving a school bus in Cincinnati on Wed., Aug. 22. There was another crash in Campbell County just the week before. You can find a whole list of stories regarding bus crashes on WCPO’s website. A quick Google search will also show a lot of results for bus drivers who drive drunk and bullying on the bus. And of course there is the issue with other drivers ignoring the fact that there is a school bus on the road. This story states that there were 1,627 school bus-related crashes in Kentucky last year, resulting in 506 injuries and five deaths. Most of these happened because of inpatient drivers.
I’m sure now you can understand why I am just fine with having to drive my kids to school every day, letting them walk when needed, taking a ride from a high school kid who we know, parallel parking, backing out of spaces and even maneuvering tight spots (I love you Amy). I wish that Amy would have given up the convenience of a school bus and moved to Fort Thomas but I’ll just tease her about it until she finally wakes up and lets me teach her to park. J
Are you a fan of the school bus or private transportation?
I, too, wanted to avoid a school district where a kindergartner rode together with older children (even seniors in high school in some districts). Some people have fond memories of riding the bus in school. Many people don’t. I walked to school until I was in high school and then I took the public bus. I felt that I had a close relationship with the teachers because I saw them every day and spoke to them every day my child was in kindergarten and first grade. I also made enduring friendships with the other parents while awaiting school dismissal. I would not have had these in-person experiences if my child rode a school bus. I would probably have an email relationship with the teachers and other parents but not a daily, in-person interaction. I think it is what makes our schools strong and ensures every parent has a voice in school district decisions.