OK for school bus driver to intimidate child?

Cathy - posted on 10/22/2009 ( 43 moms have responded )

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Should I be upset that my son's bus driver feels it's necessary to embarass and intimidate him on the bus? So here's some information on my story, k last week my 12 year old came home crying on his bus ride home I guess the bus driver told him once to stop saying a vulgar word (freakin") so later on she says she heard him say it again and proceded to stop the bus get out of her seat and got in his face and began yelling at my son in front of everyone...I have never been notified that he was having a problem on bus til now, that I've ?'d her as too why she had to use such aggression..She now procedes to tell me he has had a horribly foul mouth all year!!!! I might believe her if she had come to me with this sooner but now I think she's trying to save her own hide...

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Janice - posted on 08/18/2010

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I am a Bus driver and sometimes calling the parents does nothing, It's not right to have to drive around with foul mouthed kids, it distrupts the driver to where sometimes watching traffic and trying to get an 11 year old to stop cussing, makes it very dangerous. Everytime a driver takes their eyes off the road to speak to a student it puts the rest of the students and drivers on the road in jeperdy. Try driving 70 middle school kids around for a week and maybe then you can see why sometimes yelling works.

Kelly - posted on 12/08/2009

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12 years old...middle school? i think all parents should have an opportunity to drive a 6th-8th grade bus run. i'm sure most would consider driving it in a ditch. i bet money that freakin was not the worst word used either. she would have had to write up at least 20 kids a day, i'm sure that woman just couldn't wait to get those kids off the bus. my mom drove a school bus for 15 yrs. and the middle school run has always been the worst. the kindergarteners don't even behave that badly or scream as loud.i guess i'm that parent who would of said "I guess you won't use that language in front of her again." you'ld be surprised how your kids can behave when your not there. don't get me wrong i've heard the horror stories of bad drivers but if i'm driving my mini van i make the rules in that vehicle." i'll pull over and duct tape you to a stop sign and call your mom to pick you up." yes, i do use that threat, and yes, they do get quiet.i guess they've seen the roll of duct tape.

Carol Jane - posted on 11/08/2011

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I think it's utterly wrong for a person in authority to humiliate a kid like that. It may even backfire by making the child a hero in the eyes of the wrong crowd. Confronting him in a stern (meaning definite) way, however is acceptable in my opinion. There is a fine line there, but it exists.



It's interesting that one of the suggestions (which I supported) for a similar issue was to have the child sit in the first seat behind the bus driver. If I were the bus driver, I'd have gone back and “invited” him up to the seat behind mine. Once there, I’d quietly, but firmly, while making eye contact with him tell him that he’s been moved because of his unacceptable language, and up there his language AND behavior can be more easily monitored. I’d also tell him he was to sit in that seat and that seat only for the next week. At the end of the week, his behavior would be re-evaluated and a decision would be made about whether he sits in that seat for a few more days or not. Each day I would comment on everything he's done right, but if necessary address any more misbehavior. Confronting his behavior in a constructive way would go much further than humiliating him. Being confronted at all may make him feel humiliated anyway, but the humiliation would be on his own shoulders, not hers. Dealing in a firm but respectful (not condescending) way can go alot further than an adult’s condescending approach.



I believe kids should be confronted about unacceptable behavior, and that appropriate consequences should be imposed when necessary, but must be followed through with. I also believe that kids should know EXACTLY what they have done wrong. Hysteria does not convey that.

Debbie - posted on 11/15/2011

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Janaye, after warnings of misbehavior bus drivers are allowed to refuse to pick up children not obeying the rules of the bus. Lives are at stake here. Buses today have cameras, recorders and cb radios. Parents would probably be surprised at what their little ones are doing on the bus. If a child can not sit down and be quite they do not need to be on the bus for an hour. Why put a child on a bus if he or she can't be still and quite for an hour? Do you honestly want your child on a bus that the driver has to constantly watch a certain child or most of the time several children. Try riding down the road talking to children sitting 7 or 8 seats behind you. Do you have a child on that bus?

Debbie - posted on 11/09/2011

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Most buses have camera's. You need to get the transportation dept to watch. Who knows your child may need to be put off the bus. Most of the time the parents that complain have the worst children.

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Chris - posted on 04/01/2014

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First of all telling a kid to be quiet or not talk on the bus is NOT a violation of free speech. Riding a school bus is a privilege not a right. There are rules on the bus and if a child's talking, yelling or language is disruptive to the bus the driver can and should tell them to stop. The state may "owe" them an education but they don't "owe" them a ride. The driver should not however leave their seat unless it is an emergency or there is need for assistance. Getting in a kids face is counter productive but I admit I have lost my temper when dealing with problem kids. I would never get in their face but have yelled at them to shut up. I know that isn't professional and I did apologize the next day. However all you parents out there going off about the driver your kids learn their rude, disrespectful behavior from you. They learn their curses from you they learn their attitude from you. If you have no respect for others or the school system or rules then neither will they. Simple when kids keep getting out of line then I stop letting them on the bus. When you have to cut your work day short or stop working to bring and get your kids you can deal with them however you like.

Brandy - posted on 01/13/2014

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Let's say my 8yr old who was made in front of. Dropped off to cross 5lanes of traffic. who was a perfect child. And she was quit on the bus. She was killed due to the carelessness of that bus driver. This is a true story. She died at age 8. Now my son is having the same kind of trouble. I am fixing to have a law suit . I refuse to lose another child. If u drive a bus. That means u are willing and able to endure what ever it takes. To provide safety to each student. Not bullying. RIP Allana Daugherty

[momoftwo] - posted on 11/06/2013

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Wow that bus driver is a snap case for getting mad and yelling in his face over the word "freakin'". I wonder if it would make a difference if everyone else complained about the bus driver because I mean after so long they would have to be fired.

Bill - posted on 11/06/2013

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All I can say to the no talking thing is the day a bus driver tells my kid not to talk witch is against the first amendment as freedom of speech I will be Haveing a nice law suit as for slaming the brakes that is puting kids in danger and in a danger zone by law a bus driver is not to put any kid in danger and fair as getting in the kids face that is what the state calls bullying witch is not legal for a school staff and or a bus driver Look in to it stand you ground I'm tryerd of the school not standing up for are kids like they should

Tara - posted on 09/12/2013

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MY SON IS 10 YRS. OLD IN 5TH GRADE.HE'S BEEN KICKED OFF THE BUS A TOTAL OF EIGHT DAYS THIS YEAR ALREADY. I'M CALLED OUT TO THE SCHOOL FOR THE FIRST TIME LAST WEEK ,FOR "INCIDENTS"THAT HAPPENED ON THE BUS.WE FIND OUT MY SON IS IN THE RIGHT,BUT OFF THE BUS THREE DAYS,BECAUSE HE GETS "TOO ANGRY"WHEN HE GETS IN TROUBLE.I'M THEN TOLD I CAN NOT TALK TO THE DRIVER TO HEAR THEIR SIDE OF WHAT'S GOING ON. MY SON IS AFRAID TO TELL THEM HIS SIDE BECAUSE THE PRINCIPAL HAS INTIMIDATED HIM FOR SO LONG.THEY'VE KICKED HIM OUT OF BETA CLUB ALSO.THIS PROGRAM HAD HIM PROUD AND MOTIVATED.I THINK THEY'RE PUNISHMENT FOR HIM IS HARSH AND INTENTIONAL.I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO NOW!!!!!!

Danielle - posted on 02/25/2013

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I'm going through the same thing. My son who just turned 10 a couple days ago got off the bus crying with my 3 other children who were also upset stating that the bus driver pulled his hair. Now mind you my son had cancer almost a year ago where they had to remove a tumor out of his neck. I had to bring him to his Dr because she pulled so hard his neck is still hurting. I called the school and they had a meeting with the driver and Principal and she admitted to pulling my childs hair. And all they had to say was that they discussed protocol and if this ever happens again she would be fired. I feel that this is ridiculous !!! My children have never been in trouble before and I feel that this is very sad, but I don't know what to do. Can anyone please give me some advice so that this doesn't happen again ? Thanks

Mary - posted on 02/20/2013

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This sounds exactly like our bus driver. He does this to the children. If the school does not handle our situation with swift action, I am going to the State Superintendent.

Mary - posted on 02/20/2013

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Hi. I'm going through the exact same situation. Except my daughter has experienced this before, but for falling out of a seat that held three girls. The bus is three to a seat, no seats empty. Long story short, our bus driver has been reported on more times then I can count. Yet the school finds it only necessary to "talk" to him. He will do good for about 2 months until he's at it again. He has cussed my child, screamed in her face, slammed on brakes causing the kids to slam into the seat, among other things. My daughter has never been wrote up and the video shows she's doing exactly what she is suppose to. Behaving. Right now I'm in contact with the vice principle, awaiting her call. I will not stop this time until he is removed or fired. You should do the same. We are our child's protectors.

Kirafreeman - posted on 02/11/2013

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I gesus I just have question my son bus driver keeps yelling at him and everytime im there and hear it . but I call the bus grage and they say that he will not be fired because its my word agest his . my son doesn't want to go on the bus due to this driver what can I do

Frederick D - posted on 01/13/2013

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I agree with you. Their should be no talking on school buses. This will effectively help with many safety issues.

Frederick D - posted on 01/13/2013

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I also drive a school bus.Some parents can`t believe their kid is a pain in your ass. They should have the experience driving them to and from school in a safe and timely manor.They don`t act up in the classroom and they should not act up on the bus. Students should not talk on buses, this will eliminate bullying and other chronic problems we all have

Ariana - posted on 10/19/2012

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I understand you never want an adult to be getting crazy with your kids, but some of you have no idea what your kids are doing on the bus all year. Do any of you remember what it was like when you took a bus trip to school?



We had kids who threw things out windows, swore at other kids, pushed at other kids. I remember one boy who kept getting up to go hit this girl in another seat. Our bus driver stopped the bus, got up and basically dragged the kid back to his seat and told him not to move again. This was probably our best bus driver and I have the feeling because he was a guy that he got waay more respect than any female bus driver we had (and we had a bunch, wonder why they kept disappearing?).



You can continue pointing the finger at the bus driver, even report her if you like, but right now it sounds like your trying to take the blame off your kid who's been swearing on the bus all year. You might want to focus some more attention on how to discipline your son for being disrespectful on the bus.



I highly doubt the only word he used was 'freakin'. You'd be surprised how your kid might act while you aren't around. He's even got you all upset ready to report the bus driver. Is it that she really did something so bad, or that he's got you under his thumb trying to get rid of someone who called him out for doing the wrong thing?

Carleen - posted on 10/15/2012

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As a school bus driver and a mother I have two different opinions on this subject. As a mother, my instinct is to be angry and want justice for my children. Authority figures in any capacity need to be someone safe and reliable for our children, regardless of their age, to depend on. As a bus driver, chances are your little angels are no little angels. If you believe something inappropriate is happening on your child's bus, contact the transportation office and discuss it with them. All busses now have video AND audio cameras so you can see and hear what is occurring. When a child, especially a middle schooler, has a captive audience like he/she has on a school bus, you will be amazed and shocked at what they are capable of. Think twice before blaming the driver. Look a bit closer to home.

Stephanie N - posted on 09/05/2012

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For 2 years now both of my teens have had issues, with this bus driver! This woman has another child on the bus that taunts my daughter and she lets her get away with it,I've asked her to keep them away from each other, but yet this one girl still finds a way to still make nasty remarks to my daughter! my daughter got into a fight on the bus with this girl last year and now a new year and this girl still won't let up and the bus driver makes comments that she won't let my daughter get to her etc! Then my daughter comes home tells me that the bus driver called her a dumb ass and my daughter was only trying to tell that one girl to stop with her taunting so the bus driver called the police on my daughter !I've tried to reason with this woman try to understand it must be stressful with all those kids screaming and such but to not target my daughter and to not be fooled by this girl's bull! So, the next day my daughter is getting kicked off the bus !Last year the bus driver had my daughter searched for a knife , there was no knife this girl made up that my daughter was going to stab her,so the she reported it to the principle and illegally had my daughter searched by a male officer! What do I do? I pay my taxes so this woman gets paid to do her job not to belittle my child! I've talked to the transportation folks but yet this woman is making it so hard on my child, what do I do now?

Janaye - posted on 11/18/2011

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Debbie, I said nothing about drivers are required to pick up children. I said they are required to put the problems in writing. If a bus driver is refusing to pick up a child and they have never put in writing reports of the problems with that child, then they are not doing their job properly and there are hundreds of people who would be willing to have the job and do it correctly.

In California, anybody who has educational interaction with a child (bus drivers, teachers, teacher's aide, playground worker, etc.) are required to keep track in writing of any negative interactions with a child. I have relatives and friends in many states and they tell me the law is the same there. Unfortunately, not all schools choose to follow the law.

Angel - posted on 11/15/2011

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yES!!!Ask to see the video tape! I am a bus driver;and this type of behavior really gets to me.Although I will tell you children are completly different when they are not in our care(mine included) He may use foul language as a way to look cool in front of his friends;and I will tell you most bus drivers I know deal with their buses disapline in their own way(I am included for the past 22 years I've driven school buses) but she should not have lost her cool.she should have stopped the bus,and made him move to the front seat and told him that the language is not permitted.If that didn't work she could use a referal to the school's office.As a general rule drivers are not advised to talk over problems with the bus with parents;we are told that we can meet with our supervivor at the parents request.Anyway almost all buses are equipped with camera systems.call the tranportation office and ask to have the tape pulled for you to see..Your son's driver may not be the only guilty person .

Janaye - posted on 11/15/2011

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In most states, Bus drivers are required to report problems in writing. It's actually an insurance thing to cover their own butts if they get sued for harassment, etc. Call the school and ask to see the record of where the driver has reported previous issues with your son. If they hire an outside company, the school can give you the name and number. Then call and speak to the driver's supervisor.

Laural - posted on 11/13/2011

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The horrors of riding the bus is yet one of many reasons we home school. I imagine the bus has gotten much worse since I had to ride one.

Debbie - posted on 11/09/2011

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Didn't you get a rule book at the beginning of school. No foul language or distrations on the bus. He probable needed to be supended from the bus and the bus driver didn't have to warn him.

Katy - posted on 11/08/2011

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Carol Jane has very valid points. Kids can be disciplined without irrational behavior on the adult's part. I do not look forward to DS' coming days of riding the bus to school.

Terri - posted on 09/04/2011

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It sounds like you have tried to talk with the bus driver allready. You should call the principle and explain the situation. Tell them you wants to know the dates of when your child acted up. also ask the policy they have in place for the bus driver. I would also make it a point that they tell you right away if your child is acting up on the bus. I would also tell the principle that you do not tolerate anyone yelling at your child.

CoffeeMom - posted on 03/07/2011

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if you have issues set a time aside and speak with the bus driver don't do it at the bus stop. However I can understand raising your voice as a girl scout leader having large group of kids you have to be heard over all the singing,talking, screaming, laughing and such. I am sorry but half the parents out there don't care how thier kids act when they are not around. Our School has suggested and is working on having a parent/school employee ride on the bus so the driver can drive. I am luck in my life and in my daughter we have had great bus drivers that are willing to work out problems that come up. Such as the other day it was to loud on the bus so she stopped it at the side the road for 5 min. sure made the kids wonder what was going on. It is not the easiest job in the world. Kuddos to all the awesome Bus drivers out there!

Stacy - posted on 11/17/2009

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Tell the school, and see what they can do. Nobody has the right to do that to a child, no matter what they had done. There are rules and regulations they have to go by, steps they should take. Yelling in your sons face was not one of them. If her boss or the school principle does't do anything about it, report her to the bored. I am glad my kids don't ride busses.

Lori - posted on 11/16/2009

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A similar situation happened to me when I was in middle school. The bus driver did something ( I don't really remember) and my dad got involved. Needless to say she was replaced. Don't be afraid to stand up to people that bully your child. I was grateful to my dad for stepping in. No one deserves to be yelled at for any reason.

Jennifer - posted on 11/15/2009

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I don't know what it is about bus drivers lately...but the one my son has this year is very intimidating as well!! One morning she was yelling so loudly at the kids on the bus (before they even left the bus stop) that two sheriff's deputies got out of their car and got on the bus to find out what was going on and to make sure that everything was okay! She has also pulled the bus over numerous times on the way to school...making the students late for school in the morning!!! My son and several others on the bus get to school in time to eat breakfast...this day they had to get it and take it to class because they were so late!! Although my son is never the target of the drivers aggression I have stopped allowing him to ride the bus. I have also contacted the transportation department to report her! (which I don't think did much good)

You have every right to be upset!! I would speak to your son about his language and then ask for a conference with you, your son, the bus driver and school principal to discuss what has been going on so that you can get to the bottom of things!! At the meeting I would let everyone know that you want to be notified in the future the very same day if your son gets into any trouble on the bus so that you can immediately handle the situation!!

Good luck!!

[deleted account]

Our Bus driver is extremely late showing up 3 mins before School starts and I called to complain, next thing I know my kid is being yelled at because someone bumped into him on accident and he fell forward. The driver got in my kids face and yelled at him. Yeah, NO ONE yells at my kid~ you can talk to him about it but you also need to listen and find out what happened to begin with. My Mom is a bus driver so I hear about the horrible kids that are out there but she tells me that they ticket the kids if they are being foul mouthed they don't yell at them and the parents are made aware of the situation since the ticket has to be signed by the parent in order to ride the bus the next day. I would be calling the bus barn and getting straight to the issue with this driver. Send your kid with a cell phone that is capable of taking video and have him record what is going on for proof. Good Luck with your Bus issues I think majority of us are in it. : )

Chris - posted on 11/14/2009

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get ahold of your school district and ask to speak with the bus driver service manager or with the schools principal or superintendant. does your childs bus have a camera on it? if so demand to see the tapes to get to the bottom of what is going on.

Angie - posted on 11/13/2009

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I'm sorry your child had such a bad experience on the bus. An adult should never yell at a child. I would ask to see the tapes from the bus - most, if not all, schools use them now. This way, you can see exactly what happened. If a child is disobedient, yelling is NOT the answer. The driver should have followed the school policy in this circumstance.

Jaqui - posted on 11/13/2009

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There is absolutely no reason for a person to speak to child with such aggression! I completely agree that you should be upset and are within your rights to act upon it. It has been my experience that when a child is being unruly on a public school bus the driver takes note of it and passes it on to the school district. I strongly encourage you to seek some form of corrective action! Let you son know that no matter what he says that an adult should never be allowed to verbally assault him!

Stephanie Gretchen - posted on 11/13/2009

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NO-ONE should be able to intimidate any child! If the bus driver was having a problem with him, she should have notified you immediately! I would call the school and make a report about that!! Tell your son to keep his head up. But you should REALLY report the driver. The driver could be doing this to other children as well. GOOD LUCK!!

Holly - posted on 11/13/2009

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We had a problem with our bus driver calling the kids names like retards and my kids told me he would swear at the kids, I blew it off thinking my kids were making it all up until one day my oldest told me he did not want to get on the bus because the driver was saying really mean stuff. When I asked what, he told me the driver said he would strangle them all if he could, my kids make up stories so I decided to ask some of the other kids at the bus stop if he was saying anything wrong and sure enough they all had the same stories so I called the school and he is no longer the bus driver for our stop. That was just crazy! These are little kids (elementary)!Makes me wonder where the schools find thier bus drivers?

Amanda - posted on 11/13/2009

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You should absolutely have reported her and if the director didn't do something go over their head. Under no circumstances should a bus driver be allowed to discipline or humiliate a child there are steps to be taken and guide lines to follow this should have been delt with between you and the school. You are your childs best advocate. Don't let this driver get away with these actions your child should feel safe while riding the bus and it sure doesn't sound like this person should be working with kids.

Melissa - posted on 10/22/2009

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I would definatly report her. There is no way that I would let another adult other than myself and my husband to yell at my son!! If it happens again, I would go to the school board and the schools superintendent to try to resolve this. Maybe they can put her on a different route and give your son's bus a new driver. Plue freakin is not a bad word. Yes I know it sounds close to the f-word, and I tell my son not to say it because they sound similar, but he is not swearing. And your son is older than mine (7). See if that works. Good Luck!

Megan - posted on 10/22/2009

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The truth is though, that she or the principal should have either sent a letter home with him or called about his "foul mouth" first, before she got that angry about it. I would be flabbergasted as well.

Cathy - posted on 10/22/2009

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Well I did report this lady and even the director seems to agree because "Sometimes this how they get some kids attention" I'm just flabbergasted!!!

Megan - posted on 10/22/2009

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I think you have every right to be upset. There is a bus driver at my son's school that is very intimidating to the children that ride it. One day she was gloating to the other bus drivers that she had stopped the bus and kicked some kid off in the middle of her route. I thought that was just insane and I was tempted to report her. I would feel the same way you do, that she is trying to save her own a#$. You have every right.

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