I just got back from my 15 minutes of fame.  Yup, that "closed session" school board meeting is a 15 minute window they allow you prior to the actual school board meeting starting.

15 minutes.

Fortunately, I realized this at home when they told me what time to be there, so I was able to write up a summary of my points I wanted to make.  Each member, the Director of Transportation, and the Principal all got a copy....of course, I was not allowed to address any of it, until the Director of Transportation reamed me for speaking too loudly to the bus driver, and informing me I will LET HIM TALK first.  Ummm...hey buddy...you got to do plenty of talking when you banned my son from the bus and then informed me I couldn't discuss it unless I took it up with the school board.

Here's what I addressed:

 

1.  Lack of safety on the bus….reports of other children being hit, kicked, and pinched, with no disciplinary action taken.  Children refuse to report instances because they see nothing being done to correct situations.  Vulgarity and unsanitary items being said and tossed about.

2.  Threats of removal with no follow up.  Children are led to believe they cannot enter the bus the following day.  No discussion or communication thereafter with the school or the parent, thus teaching the child there are no consequences for their actions.

3.  The banning from the bus is over food that was thrown, and not staying in his seat.  Not violence, which is a common occurrence on this bus.  Other options were available, such as assigning a seat in the front of the bus, away from the other children involved.  Action was not taken until I took up issue with the driver for his handling of my child.  He made this clear, the following day, when he took Gage aside and said “this would never have happened if you hadn’t gone crying to your mother”.  What lesson is this teaching my child?

4.  Why am I, as the parent, cut completely out of the loop?  The driver made insinuations that Gage has been a problem for quite some time.  Why have I never been notified?  Why was I never told?  Our home is at the bus stop…the driver could have taken an extra five minutes and spoken with me.  He could have called me after finishing his route.  He could have spoken with the school, who in turn, could have contacted me.  Gage is easily corrected, as long as he knows and understands consequences.  This is why this situation was so unnecessary.  Had the driver not let behavior go on for so long, it would have been easily remedied.  We have consequences for this type of behavior in our own home, but the school has circumvented my authority not only by allowing the driver to handle the children in this manner for so long, but also by the way they have handled the disciplinary action.  Gage was asked to read and sign a paper by the Director of Transportation without a parent present.  I do not know what this paper is, I have not seen it, and Gage cannot remember it.  A simple phone call to me, early in the progression of this “behavior” was all that would have been necessary.  We are a strict household, and could easily have addressed the issue with Gage before it getting to a point of removal from the bus.  It is ultimately Gage’s responsibility to conduct himself in a positive way, but as his parent, it is my responsibility to instruct him in this.  It is my obligation and duty as a mother to know when there is a problem.  The school system is not charged with raising my child, I AM. 

Wanna know what they said?  They made sure I understood the disciplinary action.  They then re-emphasized that Gage cannot ride the bus the rest of the year (Thursday), and that he will be on probation at the start of next year.  And I really need to address that this is a safety issue with Gage so he understands why he can't ride the bus.  (Ummm....didn't I just address safety???)  They then said if I had issues with the policy or concerns for the safety of those riding the bus, to address the Director of Transportation at a later date.  (This is the director who refused to discuss it with me to begin with)  THEN, I can feel free to speak to them about my concerns, by attending a school board meeting in the future.   Basically, shut up.  Oh, and shut up.  And bye bye, now shut up.   Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.  (That was actually said as "I think we're done here" by the school board president.)  It took every ounce of willpower I have to not give each and every one of them a nice little one finger salute.

I'm sorry Gage, I have now put a great big target on your forehead.  Momma should have just shut up. 

 

 

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Comments:

yogap...
Jun. 3, 2008 at 9:09 PM Good luck with this,  I had an issue with the buses BEFORE my kid even rode them, because one would tear through my neighborhood and almost ran into us headfirst one day, even as I stopped my car and honked long & loud.  Well into the school year, some kid slapped my daughter across the face and was still allowed to ride.  So yeah...buses...suckitude.

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diand...
Jun. 3, 2008 at 9:31 PM

The more you post on this, the more grateful I am for our bus driver.

I'm sorry it feels like you're not getting anywhere. Futility sucks. Hopefully you can at least take solace in the knowledge that you're showing Gage how important it is to stick up for the little guy as well as just how far his Momma Bear will go for him.

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Careb...
Aug. 5, 2008 at 9:49 AM

You did the right thing.It's our jobs to correct and teach our kids.They are all obviously fucktards and should all be fired.I still say a petition signed by all the parents and a nice threat of a big ass lawsuit might make them sit up and pay attention.

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