A Connecticut school bus driver was arrested last week after police discovered she had sent more than 1,000 text messages while driving the bus for the Trumbull school district. Even worse, the arrest only came because the driver's daughter, Jennifer Davila, a bus monitor on the bus driven by her mother, was arrested last year for allegedly assaulting a 9-year-old autistic girl multiple times while the girl was riding on the bus. During the investigation, they stumbled onto this, too.
Evelyn Guzman may have just been arrested and released on bail, but for the parents of these children, it's likely a nightmare. After all, who do we entrust more with our children's lives than the school bus driver? And she was texting?
Look, we all know texting while driving is a stupid thing to do. We all know it can have life altering consequences. And yet, some still do it. Dumb as it is when you do it in your personal car, it's 1,000 times more dumb when you're driving dozens of children. Can you imagine?
Last month, in the article linked above, I wrote that a texting father who lost his daughter in a crash shouldn't be sent to jail. And while it may seem like a reversal of stance to say that a father who killed his daughter while texting and driving does NOT deserve jail whereas a bus driver who killed no one DOES, there is a method to my madness.
Texting and driving is a stupid decision no matter how you look at it. I have admitted that I used to do it in the past, though I'm now careful to put my phone in the back seat to remove temptation. Still, even those of us who have done it generally understand that it isn't a smart move and wouldn't do so while we have others in the car, especially when we were transporting other people's children.
The father who lost his daughter paid more of a price than jail could ever be. We can all learn from him. Meanwhile, this bus driver has paid no price. She will just keep on texting and driving and be angry that she was even fired from her job. After all, nothing even happened. She is the exception, right?
The problem, of course, is that she isn't. What she did endangered the lives of dozens of children every day. It also endangered the lives of anyone on the road. She has to pay consequences for what she did.
Besides, it sounds like her whole family is kind of a mess. Maybe jail would do some good and help teach both her and her daughter that you can't treat people poorly (especially children!) and get away with it.
Do you think she should go to jail?
Image via KB35/Flickr