For those who may not know it, a few years ago I started driving a school bus so I could easily go to my kids’ sports activities which happened to be scattered across the state and in some cases contiguous states. Despite the fact my children are no longer in high school, somehow I’m still driving. Actually, it’s quite easy to explain. I became very attached to the kids who ride my bus route. I live in a rural area, and most of the kids live “out of town” and have to ride a long time to get to and from school. Some of them up to two hours each way. Many of these students have been riding with me for years and have now spent much more time with me than they have any of their teachers. For the most part, we have had a wonderful time, and I have some fond memories of my time as a bus driver.
Of course there is the occasional misbehavior by some of the kids, but I usually deal with it and move on pretty quickly. Not so for the last day or so when I had an incident on my bus that could have been disastrous. A kid brought a shotgun shell on the bus. Then he and another boy were messing with it, and they managed to make it go off. Miraculously, no one was hurt. The boys are both in elementary school, and one of them is in serious need of some discipline. He’s the one who brought the shell. He’s also become quite the liar. Let me be plain. He’s become a bold faced liar, and it is painful for me to even process that since he’s so young and yet already heading down such a dangerous path. I’ve been patient with him because I consider he has a very bad home situation. But the incident with the shell has me livid at what he could have done to himself and others.
Since two boys are involved in this, that means two sets of parents to deal with. One set is great. I’ve spoken to them, the principal has spoken to them, and they accept that their son messed up. I’m confident they will make a believer out of him, as it were. The other set of parents I have not spoken to yet but the principal has. I’m about to get the call to tell me what’s happening. Here’s what I know about this second set of parents. Everything is someone else’s fault no matter the situation. Their kid is never wrong. Guess which boy has these parents.
Is there any wonder why some kids are little shits? Parents like this boy certainly facilitate it, and they make me ill at times. They posture as if they care, but really, they don’t. They don’t care enough to discipline their kid for his own good. They are the parents who want to be their kid’s friend, and that means the kid’s well being will be sacrificed to how these parents feel about themselves, which means they would never dream of giving this kid consequences.
Of course I’m probably a throwback in how I see discipline because quite frankly, if a kid needs an ass busting, he ought to have one. This kid will get little or nothing done to get his attention. The parents will feel sorry for him that he’s in trouble with the school. Are you ill yet at this scenario I’m describing? I could go on about the willful and selfish blindness of these parents, but I’ll stop. For the record, my kids did get their asses busted when it was warranted, but that didn’t happen often because they were taught early to take responsibility for something they had done, and they realized they didn’t want the negative consequences of their actions.
That’s the end of my rant. I’m not sure when I will be done being pissed off about this. What does help mitigate my anger is my gratitude that no one was hurt.
Here’s a picture of a bus like mine: