My son is made to get in back of the school bus line to access the bus everyday.

Susan - posted on 09/19/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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The school bus driver who drives my 6th grader to school makes my son let the female students get on the bus first even though he is in line first and the female students are not ready to enter the bus. If he enters the bus with his school bag and band instrument he is told to get off and let the female students on first. He is usually the first in line. In fact when the female students see him get in line at the bus stop it is their signal to pack up their gear and get in line.

The same bus driver who drove my son since last year has now decided to teach chivalry lessons and allow female students first access in the morning. It is only in the morning. This is not a school policy, I've checked. This is solely the bus driver's prerogative because she feels she has absolute power over the students and the bus. For instance last year, this bus driver pulled over while four or five students were on the bus to talk to a perfect stranger because she did not like the way this person treated his dog. One of the students was my son.

The bus is scheduled to arrive in front of my home around 4:07 pm (per the school's transportation schedule). It usually arrives between 4:15 and 4:30 pm because the bus driver stops to talk to people and students etc. I complained last year regarding the stranger incident; however, when I complained about the discrimination it has yet to stop.

Yesterday, I could hear her yell at my son to get off the bus from my porch. She then had him sit in the "chicken patty" seat which is reserved for students with bad behavior. While she is driving she lectures my son by pointing out the #4 rule on a chart of rules located at the front of the bus which indicates that a student must cooperate with the bus driver at all times. Today she enforced her "girl's first" rule but did not yell and allowed my son to go to his normal seat.

I feel the school or bus company must have told her not to yell or punish my son but still allows her to discriminate between genders. I'm at my wits end. What is next with this bus driver?

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Nancy - posted on 09/19/2013

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Wow, that sounds like an awful situation for your son. While I'm not opposed to chivalry, I think it's a dying art, and for good reason in some cases (like kids getting on a bus).

If you're first in line, regardless of gender, you shouldn't have to stand aside to let the opposite sex go ahead of you. Not to mention that, in a world where we're trying to teach our girls that they are as capable as boys, isn't the idea of old fashioned chivalry kind of moot?

Have you spoken directly to the bus driver? If so, and if that produced no results, maybe try putting your complaint in writing and sending it to the transportation board and copying the school on it. If nothing is resolved after that, try taking it to the next level (school trustee or MP for your area).

I hope things work out for your son. Unfortunately, what that bus driver is doing is not so much teaching chivalry as she is making him a second class citizen. And her approach to teaching will never help him learn chivalry. It will just make him bitter. Not that I think bus drivers should be teaching anything except the safety rules on the bus, but if she insists on teaching, she should focus on general kindness, not outdated chivalry.

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Lora - posted on 01/13/2014

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Have you found out any legal information about it? It can mark your child, although some seem to think that 'boys don't cry'. And how can the school bus driver get away with it? It might be necessary to go higher up on the
administrative ladder, if the school and bus company do nothing about it.
After all, YOU are the only one, it seems, looking out for your son's welfare in
this case. Maybe you should speak to a lawyer?

Lora - posted on 01/13/2014

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My son is in exactly the same situation! I am wondering if we are living in the same area. I believe it is gender discrimination, and that it is illegal under Federal law. How it works with each state, is the question. Everyone I have ever spoken to has never heard of such a thing! Some girls are not quite ladies in fact, and can often be worse in behavior than the boys. Discrimination, especially in the public school system is taboo. It is
also ''bullying' by an adult. Don't back down, and ask to speak in a conference with the school and bus line. You have a right to see the bus
tapes and audios of any day. That way, you can exactly have a record.
We are still battling with it, as the driver claims otherwise. Moreso that my
son is the bully trying to go in front of the girls. My son will now have a phone camera with tape and audio, so he can document what is 'actually' happening.
As you might have seen on some of the bus videos, the bus driver's don't even step in if a child is beaten on the bus, by another student(s). I have seen it on Youtube. Bullying on the bus comes in all shapes, sizes and ages..
doesn't it?!

Susan - posted on 09/19/2013

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Thank you Nancy. I agree that no matter who is in line first that person should not be treated differently due to gender, race, etc. And this is a negative experience where a person is made to be "courteous". I feel it will have the opposite affect.

Susan

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