A while back I wrote about the adventures we experienced when the regular morning driver had to take a leave of absence and they couldn’t seem to back fill the spot without making the kids miss the first hour of school.
Today’s adventure was with the new morning driver. I don’t think we will be seeing him much longer. It takes a special kind of patience to work with kids with extra-ordinary needs. He doesn’t have it, or at least, enough of it.
At 12:10 today I get a phone call from kiddo’s school therapist. During today’s scheduled session he related a story to her about this morning’s bus ride in to school and he has told her the story. He wants to speak to me directly, because he has been upset all morning, has had trouble concentrating, and no one has listened to the story.
Seems that an altercation erupted between his seat-mate and the younger girl sitting behind them. She was hitting the other boy with a Barbie, a piece fell in to his lap, he retaliated by throwing the broken piece to the back of the bus and she whacked him with her hand. It was at this point the bus driver finally noticed.
This may have been the bus driver’s first time handling something like this, who knows. In any case, he took sides instead of diffusing and allowing teachers to settle when they arrived at school.
My son, not one to see an injustice be done, chimes in with his observations on what the girl did. At this point the bus driver made a critical error in judgement.
He turned to my son and said, “shut up, I’m not talking to you!” I’ll take “Can I have my pink slip now?” for 200, Alex.
The driver proceeds to keep arguing with the other boy. My son chimes in again. Driver tells him to butt out and why was he still talking? The other boy answers, “well, you told him to shut up and that was wrong!”
Did I mention this is all going on while he is still driving down the street, not pulled over to the side of the road?
Driver turns to the other kid and says, “I’m the bus driver, I can do anything I want!” Game, set, match.
Therapist gets back on the phone, says she is on it, will question the driver when he returns for afternoon pick-up, but that a classroom aide has offered to drive both boys home today until we can get all the facts. We agree to have the aide drive him home and we will speak again once she gets more information.
She calls me back to relate his side of the story, which to his credit, matches the boys’ story.
I wish I could call the bus company just one time for a good reason. Today wasn’t it.
I get a call back from the supervisor after he gets all the facts and has a meeting with the driver. We agree everyone is human and makes mistakes. Driver will be giving the whole bus an apology, has reprimand in file, and there are no third strikes in their system.
Everyone is human, everyone makes mistakes, but no one talks to my son that way. A lesson we teach in our house, and reinforce all the time is that we all have a right to be mad, but we don’t have a right to be angry. We all have a right to respect, and that we all have a responsibility for our actions and our words. If he has to abide by them, so does the driver.
I don’t think the driver realizes he has to face me tomorrow morning. I promise not to say one word. There is no need for words when you possess the look.