Bus Policy McGrath Quoted Doesn't Exist...

Discussions about the town school transportation system.

Bus Policy McGrath Quoted Doesn't Exist...

Postby duffyhouse on Tue Mar 13, 2001 3:21 pm

Mr. Libby, and Mr. Quinn's office have not been able to find anything in writing regarding the policy our Superintendent, Christine McGrath , kept quoting to me last Thursday when my son was left at the bus stop 20 minutes early without an adult present.

And that is my point. If the policy is not in writing, is not universal to all of the Tewksbury schools, and is not in any bus driver training manual, HOW IN GOD'S NAME CAN ANY PARENT FEEL CONFIDENT THAT THEIR KINDERGARTENER WILL BE SAFE ON A TEWKSBURY TRANSIT BUS ?!

A few questions need to be answered:

How do you train a bus driver on proper procedures unless it is written in their manual or training materials? I have many years experience in employee training and development, and my experience has proven, that if it isn't written down anywhere, then how can you hold the employee responsible for their actions? And in this case the actions of an "untrained" bus driver unaware of the rules could prove to be deadly. Talk about liablity!

How come almost every parent I have spoken to, or have had friends speak to, about their understanding of Kindergarten bus drop off policy here in Tewksbury has never heard of the policy that McGrath kept hiding behind last Thursday? BECAUSE IT IS NOT WRITTEN DOWN.

And if such a policy existed, then why when I spoke with Mr. LaFortune, the manager of Tewksbury Transit, the day of the incident, did he keep on apologizing over and over, and state that when the bus driver finished her route, that he was going to "have a talk with her in my office..." Doesn't that statement alone verify that the bus driver was at fault or at minimum, did not use good judgement?

And by the way, at least the school, a Tewksbury Transit dispatcher, Mr. Lafortune, and Mr. Libby apologized-that is more than I can say about our Superintendent.






[This message has been edited by duffyhouse (edited 03-14-2001).]
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Bus Policy McGrath Quoted Doesn't Exist...

Postby Lee on Wed Mar 14, 2001 7:20 pm

Do you know your bus driver's name? Have you ever stepped up the steps of the bus and spoken to this person? I get the feeling that you are angry about more than just this one incident. And I think it is just that, ONE error in judgement by ONE indivdidual. Mr Libby has dealt with it. Ms. Mcgrath is probably writing an "official" policy as I type I'm sure. This busdriver knows a mistake was made. Is there something in writing that will satisfy you yet? I'm not sure what good it will do at this point because you are so angry. I spoke to my busdriver and he says its common sense not to leave a little kid alone. Period. Does this need to be written down? I suppose so, but it might help to be on a first name basis with your busdriver, let your concerns be known, accept an apology and go on with your life!
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Bus Policy McGrath Quoted Doesn't Exist...

Postby duffyhouse on Wed Mar 14, 2001 8:08 pm

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Lee:
[B]Do you know your bus driver's name? Have you ever stepped up the steps of the bus and spoken to this person?

Yes, I know the bus driver's name, it took a few weeks of "good morning, so and so, how are you today" by both me and my son, to get a verbal response from he/she, but we finally did "crack thru that shell". We have given he/she fresh baked cookies and muffins over the months, gave he/she a Christmas present, talked about how big the baby is getting, etc.

I have never had any major issue with the driver before, only with the transit co. ie my son not being picked up on the first day of school, messages I have given the dispatchers re me not needing them to either pick up or drop off my son, messages that the bus driver would tell me later that she never recieved. Communication problems have been the norm with the all my dealings with the transit co.

Re me speaking with the driver, I have thought about it. I see the driver in the parking lot of the school everyday now, but technically, according to a policy that I have yet to see, the driver was doing their job, so what's the use? The driver knows what he/she did, and will have to live with that decision. I would only hope that the next time this driver is in that situation, that he/she will think beyond "policy" and "do the right thing". And that is my goal in going public with this. So that another scared little child is not put into a situation that not only were they not prepared for, but that could have had a very unhappy ending.

[This message has been edited by duffyhouse (edited 03-14-2001).]

[This message has been edited by duffyhouse (edited 03-14-2001).]
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Bus Policy McGrath Quoted Doesn't Exist...

Postby waterjug on Thu Mar 15, 2001 10:19 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by duffyhouse:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Lee:
[B]Do you know your bus driver's name? Have you ever stepped up the steps of the bus and spoken to this person?

Yes, I know the bus driver's name, it took a few weeks of "good morning, so and so, how are you today" by both me and my son, to get a verbal response from he/she, but we finally did "crack thru that shell". We have given he/she fresh baked cookies and muffins over the months, gave he/she a Christmas present, talked about how big the baby is getting, etc.

I have never had any major issue with the driver before, only with the transit co. ie my son not being picked up on the first day of school, messages I have given the dispatchers re me not needing them to either pick up or drop off my son, messages that the bus driver would tell me later that she never recieved. Communication problems have been the norm with the all my dealings with the transit co.

Re me speaking with the driver, I have thought about it. I see the driver in the parking lot of the school everyday now, but technically, according to a policy that I have yet to see, the driver was doing their job, so what's the use? The driver knows what he/she did, and will have to live with that decision. I would only hope that the next time this driver is in that situation, that he/she will think beyond "policy" and "do the right thing". And that is my goal in going public with this. So that another scared little child is not put into a situation that not only were they not prepared for, but that could have had a very unhappy ending.

[This message has been edited by duffyhouse (edited 03-14-2001).]

[This message has been edited by duffyhouse (edited 03-14-2001).]
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

duffyhouse---get over it! get a life! this driver just had a death in the family...how would you function in the same situation. get off your duff and out of your house and spend time with your kid. life is to short make the most of it now because they grow up to fast and if you keep dwelling on the situation it will spill over into your childs life just be happy for a change and not so bitter and angry.
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Bus Policy McGrath Quoted Doesn't Exist...

Postby Lee on Thu Mar 15, 2001 10:39 am

I think duffyhouse has done a great job reaching out to everyone who could have an impact on the policy of kindergarten drop offs and we can thank her for that. I would like to see her move on and I bet she will; when she knows a policy is written in stone Image. I don't blame her for being upset and aggravated, I also want her to know that every parent I've spoken to agrees that this policy needs to be made clear.
I just hope she can forgive her busdriver and allow her child to ride again with his buddies, (I know my kids look forward to the bus ride.)I hope she can reassure him that she has a plan in place and the school supports that plan. Hopefully some good can come from this incident.
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Bus Policy McGrath Quoted Doesn't Exist...

Postby duffyhouse on Thu Mar 15, 2001 11:46 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lee:
" ... every parent I've spoken to agrees that this policy needs to be made clear."

That is just what I would have hoped would come of this.

"I just hope she can forgive her busdriver"

I already have.

"... and allow her child to ride again with his buddies...
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I hope he can ride the bus again also-he LOVED it and I am sure that that is what got him out the door every morning. His teacher even says he talked about the bus all the time and draws a lot pictures of it too.

You are right-I am will move on with this.

And thanks for your support, Lee. We have "spoken" before on this site and I have respected your opinions and help before, and I hope to continue to do so.
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