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School bus drivers have a tough job

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Published on Tue, Mar 8, 2011 by BY PAM STEVENS | MANAGING EDITOR

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Watching the video of the Snohomish School bus driver grabbing a six-year-old student by the backpack and dropping her to the ground has made the rounds on local television newscasts of late.

The incident, which occurred on Jan. 20, has brought mixed emotions from parents and non-parents alike.
The young girl was blatantly ignoring the rules and the requests from the bus driver to turn around and sit down, however, the bus driver made a bad judgment call when grabbing the child by her backpack.

The question being asked on different websites is: Who’s to blame?
Regardless of whether or not the girl’s parents should be better disciplinarians or whether the bus driver should have stopped the bus instead of grabbing her backpack, the bus driver has lost his job and the parents are coming under some heavy criticism.

Neither place is where I would want to be.
But let’s face it, bus drivers have a tough job to do and it takes more than just good driving skills to be a school bus driver. At this point in time, let’s learn from the experience we have all witnessed through video surveillance and ensure that bus drivers have the tools they need to deal with unruly students.

Now may be a good time for parents to remind their kids that they need to obey school bus rules and be respectful to their drivers.

I want to go on record that my daughter’s bus driver, Sandy, is one of the best I have known. She demands respect yet shows the kids she cares about them through her warm smiles and friendly hellos. She knows each of the names of the kids she takes to Mount Pilchuck and back again and they love and respect her. Many of them give her Christmas gifts and cards at the end of each school year.

That’s a pretty big feat for a school bus driver.

So, while I don’t agree with the actions of the bus driver in Snohomish, I do believe that most local bus drivers do a great job in a very tough profession.

Kudos to those who transport our children safely each and every day!
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