DS was left on school bus
Last Thursday my 8 y.o., 2nd grade DS was left on the bus. The bus runs its route in the morning and then drops off about 1/3 of the kids at his school, then goes to another elementary school and drops off the remaining kids. The bus driver has a "reward system". If you behave well, you get to get off first. He calls off the kids by name to get off. Last Thursday, the driver didn't call his name. He didn't know what to do - he thought he was "in trouble" and had to stay on the bus. When the bus was cleared at the other school and the driver discoverd that DS was still on the bus, the driver yelled at DS and told him he wasn't paying attention and it was his fault. The driver took DS back to his school and took him to the assistant principle. The A.P. also made DS feel it was all his fault.
DS' teacher called me Thursday evening to tell me about it all. The A.P. had not called us, nor had the driver or transporation department. DS had not told us. When I got off the phone with the teacher, I asked DS why he didn't tell us and he started crying and said he was in big trouble. His teacher said she spent the whole day telling him he is not in trouble, but that he was very quiet all day and it "broke her heart".
I am, to say the least, very upset. I called the transportation department on Friday and gave a full report. The low-level person I spoke with said "we'll look into it." I also called the A.P., who was very vauge, evasive, and noncommittal.
Monday I called the transportaion department and got the director's name. I used Ben Dover's "Six Rules of Effective Complaining" and wrote a detailed, unemotional, professional letter. I mailed it on Monday and asked that she call me by Friday.
I am just so upset. I feel like I've done all I can do short of calling the newspaper or TV news. I talked to a friend that has a 5th grader at the school, so she's been dealing with the system longer than me. She said "good luck, nothing will change and they will keep putting you off." DS' teacher is 100% behind us, she feels the district is treating this WAY to lightly. BUT, I don't want to get her too deeply involved and perhaps jeapordize her job. I feel like my fight is with the trasportation department.
Let me also say, I went to a tiny school district with maybe 1000 kids total K-12. In my son's district, there are more kids then in the town where I grew up! I feel like I'm dealing with a big, bloated bureuacratic nightmare.
What I said in my letter is that I want the kids separated by school, with the kids getting off at the first school seated in the front of the bus. I also said that I want the driver to do a walk-through of the bus before he leaves the second school. If DS had fallen asleep and fallen over in the seat, he could have been left on the bus all day, and it was 15 degrees that day. He would have frozen to death in his sleep! I stopped short of saying that I wanted the driver fired or reassigned to a single-school route, even though that's what I really wanted to say. I also said I wanted the transportation director to call by Friday.
Do any of you have ideas - what can I do next, other than calling her on Friday if she doesn't call? I am so angry and upset, and I really do want the driver off that route because DS is now afraid of him. Thanks in advance for your help!