To the editor:
On April 11, my child's bus was in a minor accident. There were no injuries and according to the school, the bus driver was not even aware an accident had occurred until some students on the bus said something. Some of the children were checked out by the school nurse immediately after arriving at school. Accidents happen and apparently these minor accidents with school buses are common, according to who I spoke with in the administration building. My question however is why did I, as a parent, know nothing about this accident until my child came home from school and told me about it?
If you leave your child in the care of a babysitter, wouldn't you expect to be told about any and all mishaps that may have happened while in the babysitter's care? When our children visit friends, wouldn't we expect to be told if they had been in a car accident no matter how minor it was? The school district's argument to this could be, they are not babysitters and they are not friends. This is correct, they are educators, and as such I would expect them to know that parents have a right to know what happens when our children are in their care, no matter how minor.
When one of my children gets in trouble for speaking out of turn in the elementary school, I get a phone call. When my child in the intermediate school had a scratch on her back, I got a visit from children and youth, even though my child had told school officials how she had gotten injured. When my child in the junior high school didn't have proof of her second chicken pox vaccine, I got a call. So why didn't I get a call when my child was in an accident? The answer: It is not the school's protocol to call parents for such a minor accident.
I am beginning to understand why so many parents are putting their children into cyber school. Our school district is taking a lot of liberties with our children and do not seem to fear the consequences. Yet more and more students are going to cyber school each year.
Now the school will probably say, we did what we are state mandated to do. That may be true, however do they not always try to teach our children to go above and beyond what is expected of them? The old saying of, do as I say not as I do, seems appropriate here. I honestly would have thought that given the recent bad press over the little boy who was left in a bus all day in hot weather, that the school would be trying to do whatever they can to make their image look better than that. Not notifying parents when the bus has an accident, regardless of how minor, is not the best way to do that.
I also wonder when we, as parents, gave the school district the right to decide what they can and cannot tell us about our own children. I truly believe it is time for a new school board in this county. One who will actually listen to what the parents of our children want. One thing I want, is to be notified when my child is in a bus accident, no matter how minor it is.