Today was Joe’s first day of school. He’s already beginning second grade. With a heavy heart, I rushed to get our little guy out of bed and all spiffed up in his special first day of school ensemble..shorts and button down shirt. We fed him a nourishing breakfast and attempted to ease his anxiety about a new classroom and his new teacher. We walked down to the driveway to the bus stop as a family and waited for that big yellow bus together.
It never showed up.
Last week, four days before school started, the bus driver called Dave to say that from now on she would be picking all the elementary kids up at one stop that is up the road from our houses. She said that it is acceptable for elementary school children to walk 1/3 of a mile to the school bus. She says it’s perfectly safe for our seven year old with ADHD to walk 1/3 of a mile on our long, wooded and hilly non-residential road.
David called the head of the transportation department and had a lovely conversation. He was told the bus would continue turning around in the same spot it always has. Problem solved, right?
The bus drivers decided to skip our stops this morning, leaving my little guy (and his entire family) standing at the end of our driveway for 30 minutes. The bus garage wasn’t picking up the phone.
My neighbor drove Joe to school with her son.
When I finally got through to the bus garage, the person on the other end took great pleasure in informing me that the head of transportation never told the drivers or dispatch about the conversation with Dave. His voiced nearly dripped with condescension and pleasure when informed me that the bus will only be driving down the road as far as the “new pick up”.
So as of now, the bus drivers deem our desolate country road safe for a little children to walk on. Our little boy with ADHD, the one who can’t walk up the driveway without taking a distracted right-hand turn into the woods, is mature and responsible enough to navigate 1/3 of a mile walk to and from the bus stop.
I’m wondering which representative from the school drove down our road and determined that the road is safe for children to walk on. Who looked at the woods, lack of homes, hills and lack of sidewalks and said, “Yup, elementary school children are entirely safe on this road.” Clearly it wasn’t the person who wrote “Safety and not sidewalks will be the determining factor for a student to walk to school or to a central bus stop” in the Student Transportation Policy.