The school bus is a pretty wild concept. The parents of roughly 45 kids decide to trust one person they’ve barely—or never—met to drive all of the children around town in a huge vehicle.
That driver is tasked with driving safely, following a route schedule and—in most cases—supervising all the kids.
And yet the school bus is firmly embedded in so many parents’ experience sending their children to school. To give an idea, nearly 25 million kids in the U.S. ride the bus to and from school each day.
A stat like that illustrates that the current system must, on the whole, work out.
But, of course, it isn’t perfect.
One mother of Reddit—she goes by fjeofnap on the site—recently shared a story that outlined exactly what not-so-perfect looks like in the world of school bus drivers.
A long drawn out saga eventually culminated with her posting to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
Her post’s title laid out the climax and the fallout of the whole ordeal.
“AITA for reporting my children’s bus driver, which led to a lengthy investigation with suspension and no pay?”
She began with logistics.
“I have 2 school aged kids. The bus drops my children off a half mile away from home at the local bus stop.”
“I signed a paper in the beginning of the school year stating that I do not want my children dropped off without me being present.”
Once the school year was off and running, a couple of kinks appeared.
“The first week she dropped my kids off anyways without me there after she showed up 15 minutes earlier than the bus schedule stated she was supposed to be there.”
“My kids were not the only students waiting out in the rain during this time. There were at least 10 other small children (mostly kindergarten and 1st graders) who were all terrified and soaking wet.”
Week two brought some growing pains too.
“The following week she was 20 minutes later than scheduled. I assumed I missed the bus so I called the bus barn to see where the bus was. They said she should have already come and gone but she hadn’t marked her location and she wasn’t answering her radio.”
“She finally shows up and my kids tell me that the bus driver became angry with a student because she fell out of her seat after the bus driver took a corner far too sharp.”
“Her irritation led to her sitting on the side of the road for 15 minutes, refusing to leave and kept telling the kids if they didn’t smarten up she wouldn’t bring them home.”
Then things got personal.
“Fast forward to last week, I walked with my 4yo to the bus stop because it is a nice day. It’s a half mile away so it’s not terrible, but the bus driver let all the kids off the bus except mine.
“She claims she did not see me standing out there, which is bullsh*t because my kids were pointing to me from the window and I even started walking toward the bus before she took off with my kids still on board…”
“…Making it so I have to walk all the way back home with my 4yo and drive the 6 miles to the school to pick up my children, as she would not turn around.”
So Mom decided to put her foot down once and for all.
“I called and reported her for all of the instances. I honestly thought not much would be done but this has led to her being suspended with no pay while they investigate her.”
“My [mother-in-law] (who I am a caregiver for) has told me that I was over-dramatic and that ‘back in her day they were lucky to ride a bus’ and that I should be thankful they even transport the kids.”
But that response left her feeling a little unsure of her actions.
“I didn’t mean to get her suspended but either way I was tired of her behavior. AITA?”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
An overwhelming majority of comments on the post threw full support behind this mother.
“NTA. You did absolutely the right thing – this woman has no business driving a school bus if she’s leaving children alone in the rain, driving erratically, yelling at students, or sitting on the side of the road when she’s supposed to be dropping kids off.”
“I can’t even understand why she wouldn’t let your kids off the bus. She should be fired. You, [on the other hand], protected the kids – yours and other peoples.” — Fmchslwyr
“Absolutely NTA. In fact you should’ve made a BIGGER deal. She’s punishing kids and terrorizing them?!? Wtf. You should’ve called TWO incidents ago, not this time.”
“I would not put my kids back on that bus if it meant I had to drive them daily myself. That driver has no care or concern for anyone but herself.” — CrockpotHotshot
“NTA. The first incident was ‘okay, that’s maybe not that bad.’ Second one was horrible and it somehow got worse from there.” — HellblazerHawk
“NTA this is freaking child abuse full stop. This woman is unhinged and should be trusted with neither a child nor a large vehicle. Thanks for defending your kids and all those others on the bus. Hope they are all okay and not too scared.”
“People like this seriously make my blood boil, as if it isn’t hard enough to be a kid in 2020 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬” — kc2295
Some Redditors addressed the mother’s guilt about the driver’s suspension.
“NTA – you didn’t get her suspended for two weeks, her actions did. Clearly they thought your report was worthy of looking into. Children’s safety is at risk, you did the right thing.” — lindajohnson202
“NTA. Telling children that she wouldn’t take them home?? That’s messed up and scary for young children. It seems maybe you weren’t the only complaint she received.” — jareed910
“NTA I’m betting this was just the last straw for her supervisors. Not your fault at all, really. This person is clearly not suited to the job, and should be dismissed.”
“It is difficult to find bus drivers, our school district seems to be constantly looking for new drivers. But that doesn’t mean they should keep someone who behaves that way.” — PhoenixRisingToday
“NTA. The bus driver works in a position that requires them to be responsible for multiple children’s lives, if she can not do her job properly she shouldn’t have it” — sappyjoon
A few took aim at her mother-in-law’s (“MIL”) response.
“NTA. The bus driver is doing dangerous and irresponsible sh*t. I can’t believe your MIL actually pulled that ‘in my day we walked uphill to school both ways!’ crap.”
“You don’t leave a bunch of kindergarteners alone in the rain, period.” — lightwoodorchestra
NTA. LOL, MIL giving the ol’ ‘back in my day we walked to school, barefoot, through the snow, uphill, both ways…’ GTFO with that nonsense, bus driver was acting irresponsibly.” — revanchisto
“NTA – I’m sorry your MIL made you question yourself.” — try1988
“NTA. Your MIL needs to button it. It’s none of her business.” — Puffincake-throwaway
“NTA, back in your MILs day black people were probably told to use separate water fountains and made to sit at the back of the bus…”
“…most things in the ‘good ol’ days’ were actually a load of sh*te, what is it with people hating progress.” — Toastie91
There’s no knowing what the replacement bus driver is like, but here’s hoping it’s smooth—and dry—sailing for all those kids from here on out.