Monday, August 17, 2009

JCPS Loses Kindergarteners

OK, that title is a bit inflammatory. But I can't think of any other way to do this.

Basically, a kindergartner, who is probably 5 or 6, was expected to know to get off of one bus on the way home and transfer to another. Apparently there weren't any adults at the transfer station responsible for making sure she got off her first bus and made it to her second.

The driver of the first bus drove the child to the end of her route and put her off the bus. Miles from home. In the company of strangers.


Luckily, she was eventually noticed by another parent and the child knew her mother's phone number. Nothing tragic happened, unless you count a very traumatized mother and daughter.

The story is here.

I hope that the bus driver is terminated and charged with wanton endangerment. I can almost understand not knowing which child gets off where on the first day, but to just leave her at the end of your route is reprehensible.

This, of course, begs the question of why the little girl had to ride that second bus at all. Social experimentation in getting a "correct" mix of students is why. A decades old policy of busing kids across town is to blame.

We've been lucky that our kids all go to a school that's close to our home. But that was probably pure luck. If JCPS decides that my son would better serve the demographics they want by going to school 30 miles away, then he'd be going to school across the county. Ditto for the other kids.

If students must be sent across town to create a false utopia of economic and racial mixing, then let it be children who are a little older and more responsible. That little girl had no idea how to change buses. There should have been an adult at the front of that bus with a list of kids to escort off that bus and put directly onto another bus. Instead the school board expects a child small enough that she still gets a nap in school to know where to get off her bus and which of the myriad of other identical buses to get on.

And she wasn't the only one that had such problems that morning. I heard over the weekend of another child in the East End who was not where she was supposed to be while under the control of JCPS.

If JCPS decides that Baby Bear needs to go across town for his education, I will sell blood to afford parochial school. No child should have to endure hours of travel to school every day. And no responsible educator would put children in a situation where they may very well get lost by the adults who are supposed to ensure their safety.

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