Ann Arbor school district's new busing policy is wrong
I learned something interesting when I picked my grandson up at the school bus stop (on a recent) Friday. I learned that from now on, if the parents aren't at the bus stop, the child will be told to get off anyway, rather than be taken back to the school as before.
I didn't believe my daughter-in-law when she told me that as we waited. I thought she must have misunderstood. So I asked the bus driver, who replied, "Yes, that's right. As of second grade, we've been told to make them get off the bus." (And then added, "But I won't do it.")
My immediate reaction was horror! I know there are budget cuts and expenses are being trimmed. Already the school bus doesn't come down our street any more; the children meet at appointed places to board. But throwing Junior off the bus?! Especially as our bus stop is in a curve on busy Packard Street, and not at a traffic light. This decision seemed heartless and reckless to me.
Then I started discussing it with people my age.
"Did you walk to school?" many asked. The answer was yes, but there were no busy streets to cross.
And then I started wondering if it wasn't a good idea to let children take more responsibility for themselves. Why back in my day...
But back in my day there were far fewer cars. And more people outside to keep an eye on things and help children across the street. Now everyone is motorized and zipping around at top speed. Few people walk. Few children play in their yards. Outdoors is one vast wilderness... but one fraught with heavy traffic.
I'm all for making children - and people in general - more responsible for what happens to them. Less prone to blaming someone else, or suing for anything that goes wrong. But somehow letting 7-year-olds off on a major thoroughfare with no traffic light just seems wrong. Am I the only one?