Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Parents-tell me, is this normal?
I have a kindergartener and a 2nd grader. When the oldest child was in kindergarten, we decided to have my husband take him to school (because I had just had a baby) and he would ride the bus home. I became acquainted and annoyed with the school system's transportation rule. The rule is, if you have a kindergartener come home on the bus, an authorized person must be at the bus stop with their legal ID every single day. If you go to the bus stop to get your kindergartener on the 100th day of school (bus driver has seen you 99 times before with your ID) and you do not have your ID, the bus driver will take your child back to school. Leaving you at the bus stop, probably in tears and leaving your child on the bus, pulling away in tears. This never happened to me but it causes great anxiety for a mother everyday around 2:00pm.
As I thought about this, I thought to myself-1. I am glad that they don't let kindergarteners off the bus alone, that they check and make sure the person is authorized etc (even though they make mistakes all the time) and 2. I have legal custody of my child, it's my child and you are telling me that a stranger (bus driver) has the authority to drive away with my child, taking them back to school, all because I, as the parent, registered MY child for kindergarten and allowed them to ride the bus and forgot my ID one time? This is silly.
Back up to May when I registered my 2nd child for kindergarten. I did some research and found out that there is a waiver that I can sign to have my child get off the bus without the ID everyday. I wanted him to get off the bus with his older brother, we live about 40 feet from the stop, I can see the stop and they can see me. I would be outside, watch them get off, walk about 20 feet to where I would split the difference and all would be well. I wouldn't have to get in my purse everyday, pull out my ID and walk to the stop and sit there for who knows how long. Seems like a good plan to me.
So, I signed the waiver and on open house night, I spoke with the Vice Principal or resource teacher about this, on the first day of school I sent an email to both teachers of my children and I was at the bus stop with my ID just in case.
It's a good thing because they had NO idea about any waiver I had signed. So, I spoke with the bus driver about the situation, showed my ID and went into the house with the children and called the school. They said they would handle it.
It's now the third week of school, the bus driver still calls my son the wrong name and looks like he's confused. Yesterday, I was at the stop (because I am too nervous to not be there and because I like to watch them come off the bus) and the driver told me to come over to the bus. "WHAT NOW!" I thought as I walked over.
He had a copy of the list of people that I turned in to the school that are authorized to pick my child up, like my child's grandparents, my best friends that could help if I was in a pinch. He told me that I had to take one of their names off and replace it with Cason's name. Right. So I should take a responsible adults name off the list and add a 7 year olds name. Ok. And, they also said at open house that if you don't put yourself on the list, you can't pick up your own child.
So, I called the school again to ask if this was correct. After they laugh and agree with me that this is ridiculous, they do some research (talk to the Dept of Transportation) and call to tell me that the driver is correct and they will be sending me a new authorization form to fill out in my handwriting to add Cason and take someone else off.
I forgot to mention that they wouldn't let my sweet little kindergartener get on the bus the first day to come home because his name tag said his middle name (which he goes by) and not his first name. He had to argue and tell them his full name, at 5 years old.
All of this is silly. This is all because they do not want to get sued. How far have we gotten from caring about the children and putting them first because we are afraid of a lawsuit or being fired? Where were the mother's and parents when they decided all of these rules and procedures of our PUBLIC school system? Where are our rights as parents? More and more red tape is added each year. You should see the amount of releases I have to sign to have my child at school.
I am tired of it. I love the teachers that my children have. I really like the school and I think the staff and principal are wonderful. I think they care.
I don't know where the breakdown happened or why I have to go through so much just to have my children return home to my open arms when I, their mother, am physically there every single day.
Who else has this policy?