Overcoming 'School Bus Phobia': One Dad's Story

Another one rides the bus?
Thanks a lot, allegedly sleeping school bus driver in Portland, Oregon, you just made our decision a little bit trickier. So far we’ve been driving our darling daughter to kindergarten every morning and then back again every afternoon. Getting there early in the morning, and waiting in the long, long pickup line in the afternoon; idling in place, wasting time, and definitely wasting lots of gas.


We would like to put our daughter on the bus instead, but it seems like as soon as we decide to proceed with it, another school bus-related issue comes up. If it’s not Sleepy up above, it might be the driver who allegedly kicked a sick kid to the side of the road in Orange County, Florida. There was even a kid allegedly assaulted, resulting in a broken arm, on a school bus, by a bus aid.

Not to mention the garden variety fears of our little kid getting harassed or bullied by the older kids on the bus. We don’t really need a news article to link to this, as we both took the bus and experienced it, or saw it, first hand. But, okay, here’s one news article.

The thing is, my daughter really wants to take the bus. Also, it would be way more convenient. I am sure that most of the kids on the bus are just fine. Right?

But this is a challenge for us, the parents of a kid just starting to spread her wings. We’ve never really put her in an all-kid zone, with minimal adult supervision, before. I mean, like ever. Pre-school has adults all over the place, as did her camp. Kindergarten is a big change, but there are teachers and school employees everywhere should something go awry.

But the bus, it’s different. It’s almost entirely kids, with one otherwise occupied adult, who hopefully is awake. It’s just kids being with other kids, and she’d be about the youngest kid on the bus. It would be her first time really on her own, even if it’s just for 15 minutes in the morning.

We’re scared, but we think we’re going to go for it. And give some coffee to her driver, just in case.

Do your kids ride the bus to school?

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