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Should students (as young as 5) be responsible for getting off the right bus stop, especially when they have never rode on a bus and is unsure where to get off at the first week of school?

I know this is the first week of school, and everybody is busy trying to get organized for the school year. There is a lot put on parents when it comes to school safety as well as other school issues. This year my 5 year old great-nephew started kindergarten and have rode the bus for 2 days. The second day of school, which was yesterday, my 5 year old was not on his bus when it dropped off all the other children from school. Some of the older kids told me he got off at another bus stop. He's never along and have been taught to stay with adults at all times. So when he's let off at the wrong bus stop, I panic and immediately went to the bus stop where I was told he was let off. He was not there and was not on the second bus that came minutes after. I called the bus bond and they called the school. My reasons for not calling the school first was because the first day of school another child also was let off at the wrong bus stop and his mother panic as well. When she called the school, no one answered. So this made me very panicky, because the same thing happened to another parent the day before. Someone saw him and took them to their porch to get him water because he told them he was thirsty. He knew not to cross the street, so he didn't. The lady then walks him to our home: of course I was not there, because we were out looking for him. She then walks him to our neighborhood office. They called me and I immediately went and got him. While this was happening, the dispatch from the bus bond and the school was still online with me. After noting my child was finally back to me safely, one of them tells me does he now know where he gets off. I understand if he was on the bus last year and was told that because he should know: but this is his first school year. He's already crying each morning because he does not want to leave me he wants to stay at home. I told them he's only 5 and should not be responsible of where to get off the bus. If the bus arrives and I'm not here, then that's my fault: but it's the bus driver's fault if he's on the bus, to insure he gets off at the right bus stop. Am I wrong for being upset? This morning I called to report to the supervisor about the 2 incidents. I was very dissturbed at what I was told by the supervisor: he told me all students are responsible of making sure they get off at the right bus stop the first week of school, because the driver does not know everyone and where everyone suppose to get off at. Just like the driver does not know everyone, a 5 year old kindergartner does not fully know the operations of being on a school bus and should be made sure they will get to their parents safely. I can think of millions of dangers that could have happen to my 5 year old. Although he's taught stranger-danger, this incident puts him into a different situation with strangers. He could have gotten hit by a car trying to walk himself home; the stranger that kindly took him to safety could have been a preditor or kidnapper, and so so many more. What are your opinions, and what should I do as a concern parent as well as a mentor of many children who i'm always assuring safety are top notch when ever my children and other children are in my care. Should the school and bus bond be responsible for students' safely while getting home from school on the bus or should it be left up to the child.

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Asked by ladynell4god at 10:14 AM on Aug. 29, 2012 in

Level 10 (477 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • You might want to break up your post a bit so it's easier for people to read.

    I would never, ever let my 5 year old be responsible for that. Too many sick people in the world that prey on kids that young.

    Answer by Moseley at 10:17 AM on Aug. 29, 2012

  • In our school a child under the age of 8 must be met by an adult at their bus stop, or have an older sibling that gets off as well, I would think this would inspire me to have a call to action, to have your school enact the same rules. If there is no adult present, the child is not allowed off the bus period. I have a hard time imagining a 5 year old just left at the wrong stop to fend for theirselves. I would demand to speak at your next school/board or PTA meeting.

    Answer by kimigogo at 10:18 AM on Aug. 29, 2012

  • Aww,poor lil guy!
    That bus should have a printed list of student's names and stops
    Once those kids are on the bus,they are the driver's responsibility
    My son rides the bus to school and the driver has a list of student's names and has to note whether or not they are on the bus

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 10:22 AM on Aug. 29, 2012

  • Wow. I'd be pissed. That poor baby had to be scared to death. Someone would lose their job. If you are not happy with the schools response then go to your local news station!

    He's too young. Way too young. They need to change the rules at your school before some kids gets lost, kidnapped or abducted.

    Answer by texasgurl33 at 10:25 AM on Aug. 29, 2012

  • I agree that a 5yo is too young to be completely responsible for getting off the bus at the correct stop but at the same time the Bus supervisor has a point that it is the first week of school and the bus drivers don't know everyone yet so how could the driver had known it was the wrong stop for a particular student? Mishaps happen, ESPECIALLY the first week of school, its just up to the parents and caregivers to stay vigilant. Have a talk with your 5yo about staying on the bus until he sees YOU at the bus stop or teach him where exactly his bus stop/neighborhood is and how long he has to wait until its his stop.

    Answer by DreainCO at 10:26 AM on Aug. 29, 2012

  • I totally agree with butterflyblue19. There should be a list, and the bus driver should verify it.

    Maybe first time kindergarten bus riders should have a name badge with their stop on it that the bus driver can check as they get off. It's ridiculous to expect a 5 year old to know where to get off.

    Answer by ohwrite at 10:27 AM on Aug. 29, 2012

  • Although it is the first week of school and a lot of responsibilities is put on schools, like many said a 5 year old is much much too young to have to defend for himself. The bus was very unorganized and should have a monitor on it since so many younsters rides it. I did talk to him to make sure he gets off, but he was confused and saw other kids getting off so he thought he was suppose to get off too. He does have a tag on him with his name, teacher's name, grade, and bus number. I personally wrote his bus stop on the tag and reported to the driver this morning he let him off the wrong stop yesterday. The driver showed little concern and responded to me after I told him my child's name: "I'll try to remember". The bus driver also told me a lot of kids was getting off at the wrong stop. So this to me is a great cry-out. Will it take a child to come missing for days or even worse before this is fixed?

    Comment by ladynell4god (original poster) at 10:40 AM on Aug. 29, 2012

  • I can see it both ways. He is too young to be completely responsible for making sure he gets off at the right stop, but at the same time, it is a valid point that the bus driver doesn't know all the kids since it's the first week. Mistakes can happen. I would teach him a couple of very unique landmarks to look for and tell him not to get off the bus unless he sees those landmarks and/or you. Or maybe teach him how many stops there are between school and his stop, so he can count and know when he should get off.

    I'd also talk to the driver or the school or someone about implementing some sort of system to ensure this kind of thing doesn't happen. Maybe wrist bands with a bus stop number that the driver can check before allowing the child to step off the bus - it'd be quick and easy.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 10:40 AM on Aug. 29, 2012

  • Hi wendythewriter: i like your idea of color-coded wrisk bands for the students. Here's my issue: I can only tell him don't get off until he sees me: but with a young child like this, this can also be confusing if there is an emergency where he must exit the bus such as a break down to switch buses ect. Our transportation is currenly out of pocket, so I can't take him to land marks when the bus travels through more residential areas. I believe all schools should be required to have a bus monitor on the bus until the driver knows and learn all the students and where they should get off. While they are trying to save money, it is putting our children's lives in danger. I did speak with him about where he suppose to get off. I drilled it as best to my ability. The monitor can have a list to make sure all students are at the right bus stop. The bands are great, I will definitely mentioned it to the school and bus bond.

    Comment by ladynell4god (original poster) at 10:49 AM on Aug. 29, 2012

  • I am sorry this happened but it has always been this way. You make sure your child knows rxactly where to get off and that you will be standing at the bus stop (he can see you) where he will get off. Our bus drivers have the younger ones sit up front so they are less distracted and can see th waiting parent.

    I am sorry it is the child/parent responsibility.

    Answer by Dardenella at 10:51 AM on Aug. 29, 2012

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