Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bus driver saga conclusion (I hope)

Last week was bad. I made several phone calls to the transportation office, including about the incident last Monday. Both Chris and I tweeted to the school corporation, asking if there was anything we could do short of just giving up and driving our son to school.

Wednesday the school district tweeted back with information on who to call to go a step further. So I did.

I talked to the Director of School and Community Services, who listened to our issue and seemed to understand what the actual problem was. She was going to pass all the information to the Director of Transportation, who was supposed to call me back.

The Director of Transportation resigned Thursday. I was not feeling hopeful at that point. Chris came home a little early Thursday to do the after school pick-up (he had to come home to get the car anyway, just timing it for around 4).

The reduction in stress Thursday compared to every other day that week was incredible. I wasn't exhausted and blue at bedtime. I knew the bus hassle was causing me stress but to see it so starkly.....

Friday morning dawned. Eight o'clock, just before bus time, the phone rang. Now, I probably would have ignored it (since it wasn't either of our parents), but I recognized a school district phone number (yeah, it's bad when you've called so much you know their phone numbers).

The Director of Building Operations, who the Transportation Director reports to, was calling. We spoke for a few minutes. He told me he had talked to the driver and agreed that she had no grounds to tell parents what to do with their children. I reiterated my main issues: that she wasn't respecting my authority as the parent, that her claims of being worried about safety were bogus (my kids were safe), and that I felt she was specifically targeting us (she has always seemed paranoid, but I point to a single incident in September where Sam was chasing in the yard, not in the street, and she yelled at him and me but not at the other kid involved or his mother).

I was at TEDxBloomington all day Friday, so I found out when I got home that evening that she changed the route slightly, coming down the other street and actually stopping at the intersection rather than at our neighbors' driveway (about 20' from the intersection). And then Monday the new pattern repeated both in the morning and afternoon. And again today.

I'm pretty sure the change is because of my phone calls. I'm kind of glad. The other mom at the bus stop and I had tried earlier in the year to wait at the stop sign, but the driver insisted on stopping at the driveway. Now we aren't bothering the neighbors by being on their driveway. They've always been very nice about it, but there's no reason to inconvenience them.

Also, if the driver was so concerned about safety, the littlest kids no longer have to cross the street. In fact, instead of 5 kids needing to cross a street with extremely little traffic, only 1 kid does, and she is a 6th grader.

I haven't had to talk to the driver. She hasn't yelled or made comments. She pulls up, stops, lets the kids on or off, continues on her way. This is what it should have been like all along.

I feel so much better this week, not dreading every afternoon. I hope this is the conclusion.

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