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More about our local school buses

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Column by Jim Clark

As you may have guessed, I’m not a particularly big fan of school buses or school zones. There’s a letter from Kevin Christian of the School Board office in today’s paper, and he’s defending the delays on the first day of school.
All right, I’ll give him the fact that it was the first day, and it may have taken a little longer to get children acclimated to make sure they knew which bus to take on the way home.
Here are a couple of points, however.
First, what’s the excuse for the same thing happening with a different bus near the same location on the second week of school. Monday, I’m heading south on 60th Avenue at some ridiculous hour of the morning, and there’s a northbound school bus stopped not too far north of State Road 200. Its lights were on, and it was just sitting there, and sitting there, and sitting there.
What made it worse was that 60th is a wide road with a median bigger than five feet, so opposite traffic doesn’t have to stop, but there we were, sitting and waiting, because the drivers in front didn’t know the law.
But my frustration doesn’t end there … it really doesn’t even begin there. Last week we editorialized about the fact that the bus stood and waited after children got on the bus at the end of a long dirt road whose terminus isn’t visible from 60th. Even the mail doesn’t go down that road, all the mailboxes are lined up at the eastern end.
As one who feels that government should not be doing jobs that should be the parents’ duties, I have to wonder why these parents drive their children all the way out that dirt road, sit there until the bus comes, wait until it leaves, then go back down the road. Do you realize that in the time it takes to get there and wait, they could have driven their children to school? It would have made the ride more comfortable for the children, and chances are they could have left a little later in the morning … like after sunrise.
I know it’s a foreign concept to some … parents responsible for their own children, instead of government being responsible for them.
I’m proud of my parents. I never rode a bus until high school, and that was only because I chose to go to a regional Catholic high school, instead of the local public school. Even then, I transferred schools after one year, and was within walking distance of my father’s pharmacy, and I walked to him every day, and he got me home. So I know the bus drivers have a tough job, but that’s not my fault, it’s the fault of parents and the school system.
And don’t make the drivers do things like putting arm bands on little kids so they get on the right bus to come home. That should be an aide’s job.
What’s that? You say the buses have no aides? Now that sounds like another whole column.
Jim Clark is the editor of the South Marion Citizen. He can be reached at editor@smcitizen.com.