Reader-submitted: Bullying on the Bus

opinionTo whom this May concern, My daughter has been going on the bus for a couple years now, and until now there hasn’t been any issues that I was aware of. However, over the past several months, my daughter has been refusing to go the bus in the morning and would make up different excuses every day.

Finally, after pressing her for the reason if her refusal to go with the bus, she confided with me that the reason she had been trying to avoid it was due to multiple bullying incidents which had taken place and which left her the victim.

The incidents weren’t just name calling and the other more typical girlish type of behavior, but in fact even got physical at times, she related. I told her I fully understood her concerns and told her I’d address it appropriately, which I’m in the midst of doing.

I understand placing blame in the bus driver is neither productive or right, as he was hired to drive the bus and not continuously look in his rear view mirror in order to stop fights.

However, I do believe that there should be requirements for some form of monitoring on the bus either electronically or via an actual adult person.

Thank you.

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  1. Had a similar situation. I called the administrator of the school and he was very effective in taking care of the issue immediately. Had no need taking it further in my situation, it’s a good place to start.

  2. Ask your daughter if she knows the name of the girl, and contact the parents. If they are defensive and not responsive at all, then call the school and be on top of them till the situation is corrected. That usually fixes the problem. No parents wants their kid banned from riding the bus because of bullying.

  3. why dont u have the kids that were bullying, punished?! ur daughter knows who hurt her, so tell the principal…these things spread, so if the bullys were punished severely, no one on that bus will be bullying again!

  4. terrible….the bullies MUST be persecuted. its against the law to bully, its a CRIME. stop it now and punish them and send a strong message to all bullies-boys and girls-it will not be tolerated, its a tremendous hurtful aveireh, its against the law, they can damage a kid FOR LIFE, and no parent should have to be moiychil a bully if their kid is affected by it..
    the next problem will be, everyone will call your daughter a rat, fink, snitcher, tattleteller, loshoin hara-nick…just be michazeik your daughter and follow through that the bullies get their fare harsh punishment….U’BEEARTA HARA MEEKIRBECHA.

  5. my daughter has been complaining too of this problem. she says since they are on one of the last stops, no one lets them sit in their seat and they end up standing every day. they tried talking to the principal about these machers that take a whole seat for themself, but nothing changed.

  6. I have to agree with the suggestion you confront the parents. I was pushed into the bushes on the way home from school in 5th grade by this guy Pete. My Mother went over to Pete’s house that afternoon and spoke to his mom. It never happened again and Pete miraculously become my buddy the next day at school.

    Parents need to know what their angels are really doing once they walk out the door.

  7. Bus Monitors on all girls buses, parents will divide the cost of the monitors and to get them home safely after the last stop. it is being done by a school now and is working great. it really is a small amount for the entire year.

  8. Bus drivers and/or bus monitors aren’t the solution. Everyone is too afraid of getting sued or losing their jobs to actually do something. If you want my advice, I would either contact the school or get my kid trained to defend themselves.

  9. Never address this issue with the aggressor’s parent(s) alone. Always involve the school administration first. If the school is not responsive then and only then should you call the parents. Parents in general will be defensive when accusations are levied against their children, and as a result the outcome is usually not what you would have hoped for.
    Also, All BOE buses are required to have cameras on board that is recorded and saved for a short period of time. The footage of an incident can be requested (by supplying the route number, date and time of an incident within 24-48 hr of occurrence) by the school administrator for review by appropriate person(s) to determine corrective action by the school administrator.

  10. Bus Drivers should not be responsible for monitoring the school bus as it is very dangerous to drive the bus and watch so many children. In the school we do not leave any kids unsupervised for even a minute and some reason we feel it is safe to leave children unsupervised for up to an hour on a school bus!! there are so many stories of bullying on buses and other unsafe and inappropriate behaviors. I believe that every parent should chip in as part of tuition for an adult bus monitor. This will solve the solution even though it does cost money. But this is safety issue so money should not be a factor…

  11. Just want to say you must feel so horrible as a mother to watch your daughter suffering like that, it is so so painful!

    I hope that you can resolve the situation soon and that your daughter grows up happy, productive, healthy, compassionate, Torahdike, and successful.

    Hugs from a mom to a mom

  12. My son told me countless times, that a certain kid was bullied on the bus. Kids were saying really mean things….I decided to call the school to let them know and take care of it. I couldnt bear to hear another thing about this kid being bullied, even though he wasn’t mine.

  13. Why do the schools allow a bunch of kids to spend so much time unsupervised on the bus? Would they allow such a thing during shook hours? There is always a teacher supervising kids by recess, I hope. I think the schools should make sure there is adult supervision on all busses. To control everything that goes on on the bus.

  14. Any child who bullies another child should be punished and one way to do that is to not allow the bully on the bus for a week both to and from school. This can be a real wake up call. And any parent who claims their child couldn’t be the bully, well I do apologize but please look, here is the video footage from the bus.

    Why should the bullied be so upset s to not even want to go on the bus to school?

  15. I agree that bus monitors are a must at this point. There is too much trouble going on these buses and they are not all being driven by responsible drivers unfortunately. 2 years ago, my primary aged son went missing…for 3 hours…until he was discovered sleeping in the back of the bus by the driver. The driver was supposed to check the bus for sleepers after each route, but didn’t…causing panic to myself, the school, and the bus company. If there was a monitor, then problems like mine and the ever annoying phone call from the school…”your child missed the bus home” would be a thing of the past, not to mention the endless discipline problems could be addressed immediately by a responsible adult. I would gladly pay extra to guarantee the safety and supervision a bus monitor would provide.

  16. Unfortunately bullying is a reality in our society. There is no escaping it and victims may or may not relate episodes as such until much later after extensive internal damage has already occurred. Transporting to and fro is another option to consider. The benefits include bonding time with children and of course safety.

  17. Its always a good idea to ask your child(and wait for an answer and not be on your phone!) how his/her day was and how the bus ride was. This can give them an openning to share if something happened. I found contacting the principal resolved bullying on the bus and no further action was needed. I would not suggest calling the parents.

  18. Funny how this story is so close to the “teens at risk” story. Sure, the bully is wrong, but treat her the wrong way & in 10 yrs u’ll be wondering why shes a hi-school dropout dressing the way she does. The bully is bullying cuz shes in pain. Find out why. Dad lose his job? Mom not feeling well ? Patents busy w/ newborn twins ? It could be anything. Do NOT scream at her parents in front of her. ( & i cant believe im wasting my talent in dumb, boring management positions). Good Luck.

  19. my daughter was bullied on the bus. i informed the school and teachers (Hebrew and English) as soon as I was informed and it was taken care of right away. parents then called to apologize and the whole 9 yards.

  20. Hi – I am the national director of PABCOB (parents against bullying children on busses) and I am in touch with the White House on this concern and it’s my understanding that Obama wants to organize a summit hopefully on this matter by mid April.

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