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bus service didnt care dd7 never made it on the bus

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sullymeishadomi posted 8/29/2013 18:10 PM

I seriously dont know what is wrong with people.

First the bus didnt show up. It ignored our stop. I was later to work than I had asked for so I could drive the kids to school.

Then when the driver finally showed up at drop off (I had taken a long lunch to meet the kids at the bus), the driver:
A) tried to tell me she arrived on time In the a.m.

B) she didnt know what time school began.

C) smiled and shrugged her shoulders when she realised my 7 yr old wasnt on the bus.

I smiled and said I would call the school. If I didnt smile I would have lost it

The friggin dispatch witch was annoyed when I called her to tell her her driver didnt make sure my kid was on the bus. Said witch was sarcastic and put out; she told me to call the school or the person who contracted them.

The person who contracted them never returned my call and the school apologised profusely.

What upsets me out of this whole thing is the bus driver not caring one iota about the kids getting to school and home and then the dispatch coping an attitude because how dare I call her.

See, my ex-coworker and two clients have driven school bus. Im not stupid. I know the rules and I told this to the driver and dispatcher.

Dd got left at school bc she was confused where to go. She was safe, but the attitude of the bus company shocks and infuriates me. What happens if this was their kid. What if I were the bus driver who smiled and shrugged my shoulders that their child was not on the bus.

What is wrong with people?!

[This message edited by sullymeishadomi at 6:11 PM, August 29th (Thursday)]

stilllovinghim posted 8/29/2013 19:04 PM

Well, damn. Sully, seriously, damn.

I don't have much to say other than I would be infuriated as well. Don't let this rest. Your kid could have been endangered that day. The bus driver does not need to throw such a laxidasical attitude either. Those children are HER responsibility until they are safely dropped off.

If its any consolation, my bus driver just about ran me over when I was in kindergarten. She had only 2 kids to drop off at that spot, me and my brother. As I was walking in front of the bus, right in the middle she decided to go.

[This message edited by stilllovinghim at 7:04 PM, August 29th (Thursday)]

jrc1963 posted 8/29/2013 19:37 PM

Is your bus service run by an outside, for profit, company? Because if it is, I'd go up the chain of command to someone higher up.

Our school busses are run by the school district directly. They run on my tax dollars.

I would be so PISSED!!!!

When we moved and DS was in 1st grade, 6 years old, he started riding a school bus for the first time. His first trip home the driver let him off at the wrong stop. Fortunately it was in the same neighborhood as our house... and it was quickly corrected.

She, the bus driver, was mortified tho that he'd gotten past her.... and it was only one block away.

Lionne posted 8/29/2013 19:47 PM

I don't want to go all political, but it is SO much better when bus service, cafeteria workers, etc are NOT sub contracted. Bus drivers do take good care of kids that they know, if they are part of their regular route. Of course, the first day of school is hard for all concerned.

When DS#2 was in K, I was late getting home due to a car problem. The wonderful bus driver, Miss Kathy, saw that my car wasn't there, and took him to the caretaker, even though it wasn't her day, walked him to the door and made sure he was safe. It was the days before cell phones...She said she would have taken him back to school if she couldn't get the caretaker. Of course, we developed an emergency plan after that, but this was a HERO.
Don't let this go, Sully. People who care for kids need to be held to a high standard.

Mommato4 posted 8/29/2013 20:59 PM

This is horrible.

I am a school bus driver. I have been for 5 years and have seen a lot in those short years. Yes the first day is a little crazy. I work for the school district so I don't know how the contracted services work. Apparently very poorly. We have them here and they make minimum wage and lots of turn over.

We have a new computer system which actually shows the names/ pictures of the kids at each stop. This has helped tremendously with knowing faces and names together. Also the young kids usually have a tag on their backpack with their am/pm stop location and route/run number. Before this, the first week was very difficult as you don't recognize faces and names if its a new route for you. we usually run behind because of this. Many times little ones have no idea where their stop is. Our policy is KG is not allowed off the bus without a parent to meet if they don't have an older sibling on the bus. I personally do not let little ones (1st/2nd grade) off my bus if a parent isn't there and usually is. Something out of the ordinary. I would rather keep them on my bus and get a call from dispatch asking if I have them. I have been through this. It's a scary situation for all. My job is to call dispatch with the situation and they call the school to find out if the child is there and missed the bus, or got on the wrong bus by mistake and put out a call on the radio to other drivers out of that particular school.

Also the school should have helped her get in the correct line or however they do it. We have 21 elementary schools here and they all have different ways getting kids on the right bus in the pm. The school and dispatch work together. This does not sound like that happened at all.

With that said, I would go above that dispatchers head. I'm sure they were overwhelmed with calls from all buses, but they handled it poorly. We all work together for the safety of the kids.

This is not an easy job. You constantly multitask, hear lots of things from kids , have to manage over 4 dozen if not more kids while your back is turned to them 100% of the time, get yelled at by parents, and get told you're "just" a bus driver by many. Oh and drive safely.

[This message edited by Mommato4 at 9:28 PM, August 29th (Thursday)]

Mommato4 posted 8/29/2013 21:22 PM

Also regarding the missed stop, you should ask if they have GPS. We do now and it gives our times and location when we activate our light system and open the door at each stop. It shows exactly where we are.

They can look in their computer system if they have it to find out if they stopped.

Nature_Girl posted 8/30/2013 00:31 AM

This is the kind of thing that makes the local news around here. For sure it would if one of my kids was left behind and I received the same piss-poor attitude you did!

monarchwings posted 8/30/2013 05:09 AM

I am so sorry to hear about uour little girl and the bus fiasco. Especially the crap attitude. Our school puts stickers on the first week to help everyone get where they are supposed to go and contact numbers for just in case. I hope today goes much better.

There has been lots if bus drama here too but not leaving someone behind thank goodness. I would be upset at the school who should have had a better plan.

I hope today is much better for everyone...

sullymeishadomi posted 8/30/2013 07:56 AM

Thank you everyone

Once I found out where the bus stop was located, whenever we passed that spot (at least 3 times a day...literally), I would point it out to the kids

What happened was dd thought she was being picked up by the sitter....which she was at the bus stop. So instead of going in the bus line she ended up in the carpool line.

One of the ladies who manages the bus lines checked and double checked the was one of those things. I understand how this can happen. New kids. First day of school is insane. Dd was safe.

My issue is not that she was left at the school but that a) the driver had no idea who was or was not on her bus nor did she care. B) It didnt bother her one iota dd was not on the bus. C) dispatch didnt care either.

Jersey and just over the river in PA, drivers do dry runs. I see them and like I said, I know bus drivers and ex-bus drivers.

This bus driver was called wednesday night while in florida and asked if she would be driving the next day. Then she was handed a piece of paper. She went according to last year.

Today, she showed up on time. I asked her name bc I wanted my kids to greet her. She was not comfortable with that. Too, bad. My kids will greet her on the bus and say goodbye when they get off.

Anyway...yesterday was ds5's first day of kindergarden. The day was negative. Its a memory I wont get a redo on.

I was going to go to the police but the school principal asked me to let her handle the situation. I will let her handle it, but I will find out the name of the bus service and go to bbb.

I was told yesterday by a neighbor the drivers are allowed to leave the kids at a bus stop even if nobody is waiting. I will have someone waiting but if there is a chance something goes awry and my kids get left at the stop without a parent I will go to the media.

As for those parents who say a bus driver is JUST a bus driver...they need their heads checked. Anyone who has contact with our kids have an important job. Driving a school bus is not an easy job. The responsibility factor is high. Maybe those who say a bus driver, cafeteria worker is not a worthy job, dont value their kids. I know tons of people who are thrilled over back to school night just to get away from the kids (here in New Jersey back to school night is for parents; kids are left at home). If they dont want to be near their kids, then why have them?

I just dont understand peoples mind processes.

[This message edited by sullymeishadomi at 7:59 AM, August 30th (Friday)]

Mommato4 posted 8/30/2013 12:36 PM

I was told yesterday by a neighbor the drivers are allowed to leave the kids at a bus stop even if nobody is waiting. I will have someone waiting but if there is a chance something goes awry and my kids get left at the stop without a parent I will go to the media.

Our district policy is we drop off kids at their stops without parents/ guardians present. Now if said children are confused and don't know where to walk to get home, then no, they stay on the bus and usually get taken back to school or a parent has been known to flag down the bus. Again this is the first few weeks until a routine is established. It is difficult for new and substitute drivers to know each child and even experienced drivers on a new route. We have usually 50-60 kids on each route so it takes time to familiarize ourselves with each child's face and each parent. Those first few days we are still learning too and don't always know what kids aren't on our bus for any reason. We don't get informed most times by the school, teachers, or dispatch. We can't control that. Just telling you my experience.

I understand your anger sully, I really do. I have 2 that still ride buses and my youngest is 7. He is an established rider now and knows exactly where to go in the bus line and when he gets off the bus...straight down the street to the house. I'm not home but his older sisters. I live off a busy street so I always talk with his drivers to tell him make sure he heads down the street and not dink around at the stop.

With that said, make a plan with your driver and dispatch. Do not let off if a parent is not present. Are there other parents at the stop that can help you? Discuss with everyone involved including your kids what to do. I do that at my stops with parents who come to me with an issue.

It's weird she didn't give you her name. Obviously you can find out from dispatch. She may have been nervous that you were going to yell at her or something, and not just so your kids are polite and respectful, I don't know? It's not fun being verbally abused while you are trying to do your job safely and with it happening in front of kids. (Been there).

I hope things get better.

[This message edited by Mommato4 at 12:40 PM, August 30th (Friday)]

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