So, we live in a small town with about 2,000 people. I love our town because of this. I wanted to raise my kids in a smallish town that's still close enough to large cities to go the movies, grocery stores, cultural events, etc, without driving 2 hours to do so. I also wanted to raise them in a small town so that they could play in the backyard, and now the front yard that Zachary is a little older, without being so paranoid about the large city issues. Now, that's not to say I think that NOTHING could happen in a small town, but when you look at the police blotter 99% of the police calls are domestics. So at least it's not kidnapping, B & E, drugs, etc.
One of the problems that comes with living in a small town, however, is the lack of funding for school things, such as bussing. We live about 10 blocks from school. Over 2 major roads and several turns. Being that we live "in town" the school board has determind that any student in town doesn't need bussing, they can walk. And the kindergardeners can walk because "there are enough older kids around to watch out for them".
Um, no. My kindergardner will NOT walk to school. I was an older kid once upon a time, and I didn't watch out for the younger kids. And boys are even worse about that kind of thing. We don't really know anyone within the schools either that he could walk with. So, since the beginning of school, I've been taking him everyone morning. In the afternoon though, because it's only 1/2 day kindy, he rides the bus home due to the fact there is no other kids around (and truthfully, they have the buses available).
Today was a 1/2 day for the entire school. Which means for Zachary--no bussing. The school sent home a sheet about 2 weeks ago asking us to check the means for our children to get home during this time and to sign it. I did. Returned it the following day so as not to forget. I would be picking Zachary up today.
I got there before school ended. Parked in the back lot (where the HUGE sign says to pick up kids at), and waited. Kids came out. Got into cars. Left.
I figured, maybe I should haul E inside and go find him. I reminded him this morning that I was picking him up, but while I feel the school and his teacher should tell him where student pick up is, we haven't seen that much initiative from the school this year. So I trekked inside, E in tow.
I round the curve to his classroom and have to go past the office. I hear Zachary sobbing and his teacher standing over him yelling "WHY DIDN"T YOU GET ON THE BUS LIKE YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO?" OMG. I about lost it. I said, to her back because she was facing Zachary and not aware of my presence yet..."Because he's a townie. He's not supposed to ride the bus today. That's why I'm here to pick him up". She immediately looked abashed and started back-pedaling and of course, blaming me for telling her that he would ride the bus. Um, no. Read your sheet again. Seriously, what's the point of filling them out if you're not going to use them!!! So I grab Zachary and start to try calming him. Teacher explains:
"It's been a rough morning and things have been very busy and unsettled because of the parent/teacher conferences etc."
"Zachary is getting sick. Must be having a bad day because of it"
"It's a good thing the kids have a couple days off, we could all use the break from each other. "
I'm mad. Not only did you let my son go out the front doors, if the buses hadn't been leaving you would have made him get on the bus! Pay attention people! They think it's okay for him to walk home because "other kids will watch him" when the freaking teachers and aides don't even pay attention??
I feel sometimes like I'm being overprotective, but seriously, shouldn't some kind of precaution be taken for kindergardners? I don't know like walking out with them to get on the busses? Or directing them to the back doors for their parents?
I know that when Chuck was a kindergardner he ended up missing the bus for screwing around and tried walking home. An older high school girl from his neighborhood stopped and picked him up. In todays day and age though, even in a small town, that doesn't make me very comfortable at all to have a 5 year old walking around where no one knows where he is or what he's doing! Chuck and I have worked opposite shifts for 5 years so that our children are protected somewhat, I expect that when they go to school they will also protect my child. Apparently not.
2 hours ago