At risk of sounding like Bill Cosby (uphill, both ways, five miles in the snow with no shoes), why exactly is it that schoolbuses have to stop at Every. Single. House? Truly, I understand that kids are stupid – er, ignorant, and don’t look both ways and are in all ways in need of supervision, but when I was a kid we had one bus stop at the corner for all the kids in the immediate neighborhood. I was lucky in that it was right across the street from my house, but all the kids in a block’s radius gathered there. They walked a tenth of a mile to the bus stop every morning. If it was raining, they left it to the last minute and brought an umbrella. The bus did not stop at #26 then #30 then #34 then around the corner to #80 and #86. Because the bus stop was across from our house, Mom watched out the window, or came out; other parents as they were available did the same to make sure everybody was where they were supposed to be. Am I to believe that the kids today are less capable of walking a tenth of a mile (well, with obesity rates what they are, that may be so) and navigating to a spot within sight of their own homes? Shouldn’t they be *taught* to look both ways and not to talk to any strangers en route? After there was an accident in which a kindergarten classmate of mine was killed, they installed bus monitors on all buses; the girl had run back into the street to pick up a piece of paper she had dropped and was hit by a car; the monitor was there to ensure that didn’t happen. Makes sense – again, adult supervision needed. While I hate it, I can’t argue with the policy of a bus’s flashing lights and the stop sign that pops out at every stop and no one is allowed to pass the thing while it’s stopped; it makes sense. And I’m not saying kids should have to walk more than a couple of minutes, or ever go out of sight of their house – it would be too easy for a passing car to scoop up some child who walked the same way unsupervised every day. What I am saying is that it’s pure idiocy for a schoolbus to stop at two houses in a row, then skip one and stop again, then skip three and stop again. Pick the one in the middle and make all the kids gather there. Am I also to believe that parents are so unwilling to take turns shepherding them? That doesn’t seem to be the case; at most of the stops at which I’ve had the misfortune to witness pickups, there was an adult waiting with the child(ren).
And yes, I’m writing this because I left two minutes late this morning and got caught behind the &^#! bus. It’s intensely frustrating. Especially when all of the kids meander from their house at the last second, clamber aboard, and make their way to the very back – anything to make the whole transaction take longer. May every one of them be daily stuck behind schoolbuses when they learn to drive.