I had a bus issue yesterday with my first grader. This is our first year taking the bus, and honestly so far it’s been pretty uneventful. We missed the bus one morning (I don’t know whose clocks were wrong). The bus absolutely will not stop unless they see you there waiting. You must be visibly there for your child to get picked up and dropped off, no exceptions (I’ve had to RUN from the garden to be at the right spot for stopping, and we only have a little half acre).
So, although I was waiting at the end of the driveway for my oldest to get off the bus, the driver (I know he’s a substitute driver this week) drove right by me and down the street. I ran after on foot, but he must not have seen me.
I raced to the school with my youngest in tow to find out where to get the first grader (I tried calling the school but there was no answer). In the school lot there was another driver there waiting with a child, and she said that our sub didn’t have a radio so she couldn’t call him, but the sub *would* bring him back to school and I should wait at the front of the school. When the driver returned, my child wasn’t on the bus. Already, let me tell you, my heart was racing. Even when the bus didn’t stop at our house I was worried. What do we parents do? We dread lost children, kidnapping, molestation and murder. Even though I don’t watch the news much, this seeps in to fill my heart with fear. And I do *not* know this new driver.
Well, the driver said he left my son at my house. “Isn’t there someone there?” he asked. But no… if the child doesn’t get off for any reason you are supposed to go to the school to pick them up. I drove home as fast as I could but the poor child was already crying and locked out and home alone for the first time in his life. I know it was only a few minutes, and I know he wasn’t harmed. But he was scared, I was scared… I showed him where the spare house key is hidden, told him to let himself in and dial 911, and that he could walk next door to the neighbors as well.
I think the sub of all people should have a radio or some way to contact him? And shouldn’t he have just brought my son back to school as they are supposed to? And aren’t they never supposed to leave a child without the parent there to collect them? I guess the sub was from a different town with different guidelines. I wish I’d known what he was going to do.
My sensitive eldest boy is quite upset and doesn’t want to take the bus again until our regular driver comes back, which is fine.
What a scary & stressful day.