I’m grieved.

I’ve been through many situations on this route since I last blogged. But, I’m glad to say by the grace of God, I will no longer return to that route.

Here’s a quick update:

After much verbal abuse, fighting, and threats from some of these kids on the bus, it escalated to the point of calling the police because several of the kids were fighting and the attendant (yes there was only one) tried to break it up and he couldn’t handle it. This event happened last Tuesday (9/8/09.)

During this time, the student who started all of the commotion was totally out of control. He spit from the back of the bus (where he was being held by the attendant) to the front (which hit myself, and two other kids) and of course those two kids retaliated by trying to fight him. He also threatened to beat me up and to kill me! The police came, one of them called the boy’s mother and talked to her. It was so funny to me how they tried to act like little angels when the police were on the bus.

But, it didn’t take long for them to act up again after I was on my way to take them to school. The school was notified, but they didn’t take these things seriously. I think they try to weigh too heavily on their disability.

I cannot believe that boy threatened to kill me and since I take that seriously, I went to my manager and told him I could no longer do that route for fear of my safety. These kids also threatened the original attendant that was with me and she was so stressed, she couldn’t do it anymore. We both wrote these kids up several times and also wrote sworn statements telling of how these kids disrespected and threatened us.

My manager was on my side. He knew of the situation from a few meetings before this one. He called the head of investigations for transportation (he had him on speakerphone) and told him (paraphrase)”I have a driver here who just got a death threat from a student.”

The response from this person was (paraphrase)”Well, did she follow such and such procedures?”

Uh…did you just here what the man said? He said death threat! I thought this to myself.

My manager responds (paraphrase) “So you’re gonna let my driver get stabbed in the neck before this kid is removed?” (visibly getting angry)

My manager then picks up the phone and the head of investigations proceeds to ramble on and my manager rolls his eyes and tells him that he is going to call him back. Now, my manager sees the hypocrisy in this situation and wonders if this was a situation where a driver or attendant threatened a child, they would be removed from the route. He also told me that since I felt my life was in danger, he was not going to force me to do this route.

I have not done this route since then. I also went to my doctor and she took my blood pressure. Because I was so stressed out, she wrote me a note to give to my employer requesting me to removed from this route.

Since then, I’ve done other routes, and I thank God that I’m off. It wasn’t going to get any better, because these kids have gotten away with their behavior with little or no disciplinary action against them.

It took me a while to get my thoughts together to write this, but today my supervisor told me that this morning these kids  were fighting once again on the bus, which lead to the the police and ambulance being called, and a student and attendant admitted to the hospital!

I asked my supervisor what is going to be done about it? He said their going to have a meeting about it today.

I’m angry!

After all those write ups, sworn statements, meetings with my manager and union reps, the head of investigations being informed, police calls and now injuries something is being done about this?

I blame transportation (specifically those who knew about it)  for not taking the numerous situations seriously (especially a death threat!) Why did it get to this point before there was some action taken? It just shows me how much some of those who are leaders in this organization value their employees. They just want a job done! I had to protect myself because they wouldn’t have cared if I got injured by one of these kids.

These kids need to know whose the boss and have some consequences for their actions like suspension or being kicked off the bus permanently. DCPS need to have their disciplinary actions in concrete and abide by them.

I blame the parents for not disciplining these (troublemaking) kids (and giving them the proper medication), despite the fact they have a disability, they clearly know right from wrong. They need to be held responsible and take their kids to school (or find some other way of transportation for them) if they cannot obey bus rules.

I blame the school, because when these things were brought to their attention, they didn’t respond in the proper way. We all are supposed to be working together (transportation and school) to make sure these kids get safely to school. Some of the kids who didn’t do anything on the bus (or bothered anyone) have gotten caught up in the mess!

I’m in prayer for the injured persons and hopefully the culprits get the boot from the bus! I know the kids need an education and need to get to school. But when they don’t want to abide by the safety rules and are causing other kids harm, their needs to be another alternative for them.