Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Memories--Bus Rules

Most of the away athletic and musical events I participated in when I was in high school involved car pooling. But somewhere along the way, the Board of Education decided we could use the school buses. So of course, a few rules were written up.

    The Use of Buses for Athletic Games (1954)

    1. Bus fees, 30 cents for short trips and 50 cents for long trips, will be collected before the bus leaves. There must be a minimum of 35 students in order to use a bus.

    2. After signing to ride, no cancellations will be permitted later than 24 hours before departure. All students signing to ride will be liable for payment of fees, unless a cancellation is made in time.

    3. Students must be ready to go at the time of departure. The bus will not wait on latecomers.

    4. A faculty or adult sponsor must be on each bus, beside the driver [I think this means in addition to, not sitting with].

    5. No moving about when the bus is in motion, no rowdy or boisterous behavior. Windows must not be lowered without permission and then not below the designated point. There must be no shouting or whistling to persons outside the bus, nor should arms or any part of the body be extended from bus windows.

    6. Waste paper and other refuse must not be thrown on the bus floor nor from windows.

    7. The driver and sponsor are to have absolute authority over students riding in the bus. If students wish the priviledge of using buses for transportation to athletic games and other school activities, cooperative and courteous conduct will be necessary at all times.

    8. All students going in the bus must return to Mt. Morris in the bus.
Now compare those rules to the Renton, Washington school bus transportation handbook. Notice the difference in language. The "must" and "must not" has given way to "should" "may" and "is expected." Kinder, gentler--but far more serious problems are anticipated. Lots of "suggestive" phrases--not demanding obedience, but certainly hinting that there would be trouble (rarely specified).
    Your child should appreciate the important part he/she plays in accomplishing SAFE and EFFICIENT district transportation.

    Bus passengers should arrive at the bus stop no sooner or later than five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.

    students are expected to stand a safe distance from the street and avoid activities that could injure themselves or others.

    Safe, respectful conduct is expected of all passengers to insure safety

    Certain activities may result in immediate suspension from bus riding privileges. These include (obscene gestures, pointing a laser, smoking, doing drugs, assaulting the bus driver. . . things we couldn't have imagined)

    For reasons of safety and health and in order to comply with state law and district policies, the following items are not allowed on a school bus: (list included animals, guns, knives, open containers of food, cd players, etc.)
Our list at MMHS went to the students, who were expected to comply; the Renton guidebook was for parents, who are expected to explain the rules to the kids.

How's that working out?
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1 comment:

Gayle said...

Quite a difference. It's very sad that a school bus of today is such a scary place in some districts. Although, my husband graduated from an urban high school in 1972 and the buses there were very scary then, too.