I want to personally thank whomever it was that came up with the seat belt law for school bus drivers. IT IS A MUST! Well it is a must for anyone driving here in Massachusetts, but it was law for school bus drivers before the general population. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU
Now this has nothing to do with getting into an accident, it has to do with not being able to get out of my seat and bitch slap some mother in front of a school’s staff, her children, and a whole bus load of kids.
I know everyone has bad days. It was an early release which probably screwed with her work day, it was hot, she looked like she was running late, and YEA it’s summer vacation, but don’t take it out on your poor little daughter who is standing in front of you balling her eyes out.
This poor little thing, who stood about three feet tall, got on my bus yesterday. She was visibly upset and I was a substitute driver to make things worse. She put her stuff in a seat and came back to stand next to me all sniffly and sobbing. She and her sister were new to the school and didn’t know what they were supposed to do. She needed to go somewhere but didn’t know that address, only that it was a yellow house and the name of the road. That’s not all that uncommon with the little ones so I told her when we got to that road she could sit up front and we would look for the house together. She was ok with that and went back to sit.
Next minute she was up next to me again crying her eyes out. Her mother just pulled into the parking lot. She’s screaming because now she thinks she is stuck on the bus. The other kids are screaming because it’s the last day of school and that’s what they do. I have a whole bus full of screaming meanies and I can just bearly make out what this little girl is telling me. The mother is driving through the parking lot and can’t find a spot so it looks like she’s leaving, causing a whole new screaming episode.
Meanwhile it’s 150 degrees in my bus and the other buses are starting to pull away. I’ve got the radio mike in one hand telling the driver behind me that I need to pull over, the poor little girl is trying to get down the bus stairs, and I’m signaling an “I know” to a teacher who is running towards me yelling for me to stop.
I managed to get to the curb without the little one falling down the stairs, hitting the mother as she ran in front of my bus, or clunking the teacher in the head with my crossover mirror. When I got the bus secured and the door opened the teacher was yelling. Not at me, but to tell me what was going on, which of course I already knew. The little girls were now both crying and a crowd of admin had gathered around the mother to see what was going on. The girls ran down the stairs and grabbed a hold of her legs. She pulled them off and screamed at them “What were you doing on a bus?” The rest of what she was screaming became a blur. I wanted to grab this woman and smack her up one side and down the other. This one little girl was scared out of her little mind and Mommy Dearest was screaming at her. The teacher looked at me, gave me a nod, and moved everyone away from the curb. I closed the bus door, looked at the bus full of hot, sweaty, hysterical kids waiting to say bye to their teachers, checked to see no one was coming, and pulled away. All I can say is “Thank The Law For Seat Belts” It kept me in that seat.