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Home » 9to5to9, School days

Supporting adults who really don’t deserve it

Submitted by on Thursday, 5 November 2009 No Comment
Today was a "good" day at the bus stop.

The dozen and a half first- and second-grader crammed into a shelter not really big enough to hold them and either sat quietly on the bench or lined up at the entrance. They were as unflinching as a guard at Buckingham Palace. Chit-chat was minimal - it was as if they could feel the steely eye of the driver piercing them from miles down the road.

That's because the previous morning her steel-trap mouth had snapped at them, stopping the line of kids halfway through boarding. It was as if she had tried to restrain the rant but couldn't hold it in any longer. She's done that before, letting several kids pass through with their water bottles open and suddenly pouncing at the end of the line.

"You kids know where you're supposed to be waiting, and it's at the bus stop," she growled this week. "I don't want to pull up here again and see you out running around."

Overlooking for a minute that she'd scared the crap out of the innocent kid at the point in the line when she'd started for her screed, there was another problem: No one had been running around. The kids she saw were the stragglers, the ones who always come late and were still filtering toward the stop when she pulled up.

Heaven knows what time she'll pull up. It's anywhere between 7:14 and 7:21. She's showed up early before and pulled off to leave kids practically pressing their noses to the door. If you're not there when she's there, you're late regardless of what the clock says. And she's not going to let you on.

She finished her lecture Wednesday morning and then waved to three waiting parents. "You have a great day!"

Is there a sentencing enhancement in California for verbally assaulting a bus driver? I'm dying to. I'd love nothing more than to get in her face and give her a dose of what she gives these kids on at least a weekly basis.

Yes, I get that rules are rules, and if I were driving a 10-ton vehicle filled with 40 or so kids, the last thing I would want would be a bunch of screaming banshees. But you can enforce the rules without being a jerk.

That's exactly what I tell the kids, too. She doesn't need to be such a grump, but it is her job to make sure you get to school safely and she needs you to be quiet so she can do that.

She does not, however, need to go off at random just because she's having a bad day or she's not a morning person or she drank too much coffee.

She's a tough case and one none of us has officially complained about yet, though we're inching closer every day. It's not that what she's doing is wrong. It's the way she does it. I'm sure she could successfully claim that there's nothing wrong with the way she does it, that it's just these overprotective moms whining because someone disciplined their kid.

That's so not me. If my kids do wrong, tell them about it. But don't blame them when they're doing nothing. And don't bark like a rapid pit bull.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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