The Tragic School Bus

Surely there are passionate people in this world.  Surely there are people who take a stand when push comes to shove, when backed into a corner, when faced with a dilemma! Right?!  Then why do I always feel like I’m the only one sticking my neck out or whose head is on the chopping block?

Enough with the clichés, you say!

I am at it again!  Since school started this year, I’ve been hearing about the all-out war that breaks out when the bus arrives!  A war to get on the bus and get a seat with too many almost-full-grown teenagers determined to get one of the 57 seats on the only city bus that operates after school.  There is no other bus for another hour.

You may ask, “where are the school buses?” They been gathering dust for at least 3 years, due to budget cuts.  I’m not a stay-at-home mom, cause there would be no home to stay-at-home in if I didn’t go to work, so we had to devise a way for them to get home.  I couldn’t find a carpool.  Kids with cars, at 16, are not allowed to drive other kids (in California).  That means public transportation.

But don’t cry for my poor chillren’ for having to ride the bus, as if they are forced into graffiti-decorated relics of city abuse. These city buses are like the Greyhound buses back when bus travel was respectable, with raised platforms and individual reading lights and vents (think airplane seats).  Neither food nor drinks, nor cell phone conversations are allowed.  Clean.  Nice.  Unsullied. This is cushy Marin, not San Francisco where people were getting stabbed a couple of years ago.

The issue is that my kids are getting mobbed, elbowed, punched, pushed and trampled by their own kind.

I asked the school to provide supervision.
I heard crickets, as they say.
I emailed the Public Transit Company to ask for a 2nd bus, after school ends.
Crickets, you might say.
I email the school back and ask if they are not aware, concerned, complicit?
Still no answer.

The underdog in me bites down like a pit bull and won’t let go.

I am not only fighting for my kids.  I’m fighting for yours too! And yours and yours and yours! I’m fighting for the girl who had bruises all over her hands; I’m fighting for the girl who sprained her ankle and had to be helped onto the bench, crying.

If this school won’t pay attention to kid’s welfare and the bus company won’t react, maybe this blog will help.  Maybe the videotape that I’m about to make will help.  Maybe providing the videotape to the newspaper will help.

Just yesterday I’m told the bus driver took off even though someone was running toward the bus.  The student caught up and was hitting the side of the bus.  The students inside were telling (probably yelling) the bus driver to stop.  He didn’t.  The running student tripped and fell onto the side of the road.  That is a disaster in the making.

Why isn’t anybody else thinking about the children? It seems to me they are in danger.

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