anyone fought a school bus policy requiring adults to wait with their kids at the bus stop? Last year, a ridiculous bill to mandate this for anyone under 7th grade was floated in Rhode Island and, thankfully (with some help from this blog), it died a quiet death. So often, legislators seem to dream up ways to “save” children from nearly non-existent threats. The unintended consequences, meantime, are enormous: Suddenly, an adult has to be available to wait at the bus stop every morning and afternoon till a kid turns 12!
In the case below, it is not a law but a bus company rule that needs to be dropped. Any advice you’ve got is most appreciated! (Boldface, mine.) – L.
Dear Free-Range Kids: I know I’ve read articles on your site before about school bus or school dismissal ‘policies’ (I put that in quotes because they don’t have actual written policies, just unwritten preferences, requirements, or practices) and I know that some parents have successfully dealt with it, but I don’t know how they did it.
Our school board uses different bus companies – all with different rules, apparently – and one of them has a policy that they will not let any child under 10 years old off the bus without a parent to pick them up. I know of one driver who won’t even let kids out of the bus if the parent is visible and waving to the driver, unless they are actually right at the bus to get their child. This is not some 4 year old Kindergartener, but a student in grade 4. The bus company claims they cannot do it because of ‘liability issues.’ When asked if a parent could fill out a waiver, they said no exceptions will be made. If the parent refuses to meet their child, they will be driven back to their school and if there is no staff at the school around to receive the student, the police will be called.
So what I’m wondering is: how did other parents break through these kinds of barriers to Free-Range parenting?
Cheers, T. Doyle
Cheers indeed. It will cheer me to hear of bus companies seeing the light of reason. – L.