Kids Dropped Off Alone Make School Buses Even Scarier

school busPerhaps it's because on my first day of kindergarten, the bus driver lost my address and drove around for what seemed like hours before finally delivering me to my frantic mom. Or perhaps it's because with one adult (who should be focused on what's going on in front of him or her and not behind) and a huge bus full of kids who aren't even wearing seat belts, all sorts of crazy things can happen. But, I've never really been all that big on school buses.

So forgive me if not one, but TWO recent cases out of Maine in which children were dropped off alone after school don't pretty well seal the deal that my children will never ride a school bus

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In the first case, according station WCSH in Portland, a 6-year-old boy told the school faculty that his aunt would not be home after school and that he should go to the after-school recreation program. Instead of actually listening to him, they put him on the bus instead. When he told the bus driver the same thing, the bus driver didn't double check or anything safe like that, but instead just dropped the boy off anyway.

And he wasn't even dropped off at his home, but rather two blocks away ... in the rain. Fortunately, he was found safe a few hours later, but the things that could have happened are unimaginable. The school apologized and staff members are now volunteering to ride the bus along with the driver each day to make sure kids get home safely, which is pretty great of them, but I still can't imagine how traumatizing the whole incident must have been for the boy and his family.

Then just a few days later in the same town, an 8-year-old girl was dropped off home alone in a similar situation. Her mother, Meaghan Ross, told the station, "I couldn't breathe. I couldn't think straight. I was very upset and concerned." Understandably so.

And yes, plenty of children across the country ride the school bus with no problem every day, and if it was really necessary, I'm sure I would actually give in and let my kids do the same. I know the stories that make headlines make headlines because they're so rare. But for now, I don't need to, and picking my children up and taking them to school are some of my favorite parts of the day. I love hearing all about what they're going to do and have done without the distraction of television or toys. And I almost always remember my own address.

Do your children ride the school bus? Do stories like this freak you out? Has anything like this happened to your child?


Image via woodleywonderworks/Flickr

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