Several Schools Opt Out Of Thanksgiving Evening Busing – Other Schools Expected To Follow

[UPDATED 10:00 AM THURSDAY] A school official has confirmed to TLS that several schools today have officially decided to decline busing for Thanksgiving evening. Despite there being a contract in place for the busing for the private schools, the schools felt it was the right thing to do for the bus drivers.

At the time of this posting, 6 schools have already confirmed that they have pulled out.

Other schools are discussing their options, and are expected to make a decision over the next day or two.

The school official also told TLS, that the bus company who services his school, has called to thank him on behalf of the bus drivers.

According to a recent TLS poll, approximately 65% were in favor of giving the bus drivers off for the Holiday busing.

UPDATE: 7:00 PM. An official form another school has just confirmed that they will also be opting out of the evening busing.

UPDATE Thursday 10:00 AM: During a meeting between the Mosdos last night, it was agreed that most Mosdos will be opting out of evening busing, to accommodate the drivers. Several Mosdos have also opted out of busing completely. Some Mosdos have not yet agreed to give up the busing.

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69 COMMENTS

  1. Why is bus service then any other business which has the option of deciding to be open or closed? These drivers knew good and well that when they signed their contract that they will have to work on this day. Nobody forced them to take this job!!

  2. it is almost all women that drive these buses, you know they have to cook and clean, get everything ready, but who cares, the schools that opt out thank you for the buses drivers ( no I am not a bus driver ) just an american

  3. Rabbosie, although we have every right to request bussing as per the law due to the extreme safety issues which our children face when there is no bussing- we need to give in.

    Yes they get off all the days we have off for our holidays, and yes the contracts state that bussing must be on the 2 holidays coming up which was part of the bid because of the drastic traffic and safety issues which arise especially that it’s dark when most of our kids get out of school. But sometime being right is not worth it.

  4. I salute TLS for singlehandedly changing our great town for the better. This would never have happened without TLS bringing this issue to the forefront.

    This is a lesson for us all. We each have the power to change the world for the better (in our own way).

  5. @ #3, when I took this job I was told no weekends and no holidays, and we haven’t had to work our holidays but this year all because men took a temper tantrum our holiday is now ruined, and we will not be getting extra pay for this either.

  6. to #7 yes we do get off when you have off for your holidays, but we also have public schools we drive. get your facts right on what a bus driver does

  7. excuse me to number 3 i am a driver and we absolutly did not know we would have to drive you need to get your information straight before you make a comment. if we knew then we would have had the option not to drive for the jewish community. now we know better

  8. To all the parents and community that are standing behind the bus driver. Thank you from our hearts and family. For those of you who think bus drivers just get in a bus and drive please read this. we are exposed to fumes on a daily basis, loud noises. thousands of germs,and we have to manervue these buses around lakewood and ill add most of us do it with a smile because we chose this line of work because it allows us to work and be a mom. Most of these drivers love their job and do not want conflict, the children are all very much a delight, very respectful and polite. i have been driving for years and they moms and children have always treated me and my bus friends with dignity and respect. I want to know what changed this year.

  9. i am a bus driver in lakewood. When the jewish schools are off we lose half our paycheck for not working. some drivers work public and jewish schools.. We respect your Holidays even though are paychecks are cut in half and we cannot collect unemployment .There are other religions all we are asking is that your jewish community respects your hoildays and religion and beliefs as well as we do yours. If THIS HAPPENS NEXT IT WILL BE CHRISTMAS AND THATS A SHAME.

  10. I pray that someday we will all come together and celebrate this wonderful country. If you are an American citizen and value your freedom – show some respect for July 4th and THANKSgiving in appreciation for the opportunities this country affords you.
    I am 1/16 American indian.

  11. Are we also going to decline shopping in Shoprite or getting gas at our local gas stations?
    While I understand why thw bus drivers don’t want to drive, I think that its part of their jobs. What about all the yidden that have groceries and need to work on Purim and erev pesach-are we going to demand that the stores give them the day off?

  12. i am also one of the drivers, we were never told we had to work on our holidays….. also like the other driver said we loose half our pay for the jewish holidays .I LOVE my job and the children that i drive . all we are asking for is 1 day not 10. Also they carpool the boys to boys to school on sundays why not just this one or two days a year. thank you very much to the schools who have opted out of transportation.

  13. @ #11, it’s not a done deal as of yet so when I get a definate that I will be able to spend MY holiday with MY family, then and only then will I say a heart felt thank you.

  14. i am a bus driver in lakewood..and i was a little upset that i had to work but i now want to thank the jewish community for pulling together and doing the right thing.we do care very much about the children we drive in lakewood and their safety is our top priority.THANKS AGAIN I DO APPRECIATE YOUR INCONVENIENCE.

  15. im proud to serve the company and community that i work for..i find great joy in knowing that i have a hand in getting all our children public and private to school safely and on time every day off the week !!! and i also know from having great access to the jewish community that as a whole yous are a fair and compassionate people who once your word is given is never broken. although for me it personally is not mandated i did volunteer to come in to drive my run , because i will not let my employer down or his manager who i consider friends . but more over i will not let my boys your children down because they didn’t cause this , i will be there for them , smiling faces all every mourning .

  16. All businesses should be closed at least two holidays per year…Thanksgiving and Independence Day! Both of these are NATIONAL holidays not religious~ these two hoildays are celebrated to recognize the freedoms
    that people fought and died for to have.
    ALL people in AMERICA-wether a citizen or not should spend time on these two days to say a big Thank You for the freedom that they do have to live freely and peacfully in this great and diversere land!

  17. #22..your welcome..and if you have a school aged child in lakewood..i no doubt have been their driver.i love my job and jay is the best boss ever.

  18. Oh I forgot something! There are other days that should be added to the list of days that businesses are not open. Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day and even New Years Day!!
    And before you ask…YES, I do not go to stores or restaurants on those days! Truthfully!!

  19. it’s good to see kindness and understanding.
    for those who think the bus drivers should”just be happy they have a job” i am sure they are, however they were not told when hired that they would work on holidays.

  20. While I appreciate the great work that the drivers do, I don’t get why they should be different than the employees of Macys or Walmart.
    I work for an overseas company and I sometimes am woken in the middle of the night to work on something. Do I like it? NO! But I realize that it’s part of the job.
    The only thing that I don’t understand is why the drivers didn’t know about this before they accepted these jobs. I think that the bus companies should have let them know that they’ll have to work on these days. At least for next year the drivers can’t say that they didn’t know about this.
    I say shame on the bus companies for not letting the drivers know about this before the year.

  21. I am sick and tired of hearing from these “closet” anti-semites telling us how to spend the holiday. What would you like us to do? Spend time with the family? We do that. Reflect upon the wonderful democracy we live in? We do that. Eat turkey? Many of us do that too. So, if you want to complain about having to drive on a holiday, I understand. But who are you to tell ME how to celebrate Thanksgiving? And how on earth do you know that I don’t celebrate the holiday in the privacy of my home? If I walk around dressed like a turkey and screaming “gobble, gobble” then you will be less of a homophobe? We now see your true colors… And they surely aren’t the tolerant ones of red, white and blue…

  22. Because they get off on all of the Jewish Holidays which is a lot more than the non Jewish holidays. September thru June has AT LEAST the following days off..
    Rosh Hashana- 3 Days
    Yom Kippur- 2 Days
    Sukkos- 11 Days
    Chanuka -2 Days
    Purim- 2 Days
    Pesach- 10 Days
    Shavuos- 3 Days

  23. Although on a personal level, I feel bad for bus drivers that would have to drive on a holiday, however thinking about the serious danger involved in all those children being brought to school by car is a scary thought.
    On a different note, should we maybe give all the janitors, kitchen help and cleaning ladies that work in the schools on a holiday? Would that mean closing the schools totaly due to the lack of help? How about the crossing guards? Have they been forgotten???

  24. #3- I have no idea where you get your information from. Your statement is 100% incorrect. As of 2007 the BOE stopped all transportation on a few holidays (Thanksgiving being one of them). It wasn’t until some time last week that talks of providing transportation on these holidays was mentioned. If this problem was brought to their attention back in June, then the BOE should have informed all bus companies to notify their drivers of the possibility having to work on these days. It wasn’t. Maybe two weeks is ample time for you and your family to alter their plans, but for the majority of us bus drivers, it is not.

  25. 1. Thank you to the bus drivers who deal with our children when they are their least pleasant (early morning and after school). Thank you for working for fairly low wages and no health insurance. Thank you for working at-will jobs where you have little say over the days you work and can be fired for no reason.
    2. Do the girls need to go to school or can we just send the boys (and cut down on the number of busses) ?
    3. Can we all give chanucah/holiday gifts to these drivers ( e.g. a homemade card and a batch of cookies)?
    4. It’s very hard for people, on all sides of an issue, to look beyond our own wants/needs/perspective. Let’s challenge ourselves to do such.

  26. Ray Rossi is really sticking up for our community he really is very fair to lakewood not like that cop from Jackson. One thing I wish we learn is the fact that everything we do gets analyzed by the whole world. Why did we need this publicity? Why couldnt the schools pull out before this made headlines? Even though the scholls may be right about their position contracturaly there is still somrthing called p.r.

  27. I wish they would do the same in Monsey, but the drivers should be compensated with more than Pumpkin Pie. It is their holiday and they deserve overtime pay. I for one would gladly pay an extra fee to have my kids on buses on non-jewish holidays. It is not only one day it is about 10 days during the year.

  28. Absolutely support giving the drivers the day off…but I am struck by how completely un-american it is to dictate to anyone which holidays they should be celebrating.

  29. Thank you Donna & all the wonderful bus drivers out there that service our diverse community! I really hope that ALL schools opt out of afternoon bussing to give the drivers holiday time with their families!

  30. the drivers should have off for the day and all schools should be closed.
    The other days schools should be closed is Veterans day and Memorial day. On another note no driver deserves extra pay for doing there job.
    End of conversation.
    I applaud the private schoolswho understand the sensitivity to this matter.

  31. Last night did any one here jack on 101.5 he was Great such a kiddish hashem he made wow jack thank u I wish we all knew ur reall name to thank u publicly did anyone else hear jack on 101.5???????

  32. I feel very badly that parents and children must find alternatives to busing. Millions of folks work on Thanksgiving and Christmas, hotels, restaurants, airlines, convenience stores, gas stations, etc. and we are grateful that these services are available. Why would you take a job knowing that working holidays was a possibility. The private schools should not have to make concessions just because they do not observe these “holidays.” I grew up in Lakewood and my first Christmas after I moved to Brick, it was strange to not wake up to school buses running, lol. I give a lot of credit to the parents for being inconvenienced for these whiney drivers.

  33. We love our bus drivers! They are so friendly and reliable, rain or shine. If you appreciate your bus drivers, give them something nice for the holiday! Show you DO like and appreciate them and this isn’t about being petty!

  34. In regards to the latest controversy over Thanksgiving busing, I would like to raise one very important point. While I understand and appreciate the myriad of issues involved in this sensitive issue, there is one nagging aspect that bothers me. Almost all of our Mosdos have a Rav or Rosh Hayeshiva that provide guidedance on all of their chinuch questions. In fact, many parents first check who the Daas Torah of a school is, before choosing to send their child there. In many instances the schools Daas Torah is consulted on other issues as well such as which fundraising events are appropriate. With so much at stake, I would like to knkow if each school has asked their daas Torah before making this decision? Yes, they may have a solid argument why busing is necessary, and it may even be right, but did they ask before pressuring BOE members to approve it? There is too much on the line with this issue to allow a few administrators of our schools decide for all of us as a Kehilla.

  35. who do i complain to when i have to work on my holidays.who do i compain to when i have to beg and negotiate getting off early on my holidays. who do i complain to when i have problems when i leave early on early fridays.who are the walmart and target workers complaining to when they have to work on Thanksgiving.In these hards times when jobs are few and far between,the boss is the boss and we do what we have to do. We don’t have to like it. We certainly do not have to get anti semitic about it.

  36. And Happy Thanksgiving to all that live In The USA .
    Part of it is appropriate for American Jews to celebrate Thanksgiving. American Jews have a great deal for which to be thankful. America has been more than just a safe haven for Jews. Joseph Lieberman’s candidacy for vice president of the United States is testimony to the acceptance of Jews in American society. In the long history of the Diaspora, Jews have never been as prosperous, organized, influential and accepted as they are today in America.

    Furthermore, “giving thanks” has always been an important part of Judaism, from reciting blessings after meals to the pilgrimage festival of Sukkot. Since Biblical times, the ancient Israelites celebrated Sukkot by bringing a portion of their fall harvest to the Temple in Jerusalem as a sacrifice, and then gathering with their families in booths (commemoration of their forty years of wandering in the desert before entering the Land of Israel) to feast on their portion of the harvest. Some even believe that the original Thanksgiving meal of the Pilgrims of New Salem, Massachusetts was a copy of the Sukkot festival celebrated by the ancient Israelites of Jerusalem.

  37. Lakewood is a very unique town to live in. The issues are just going to get worse rather then better unless we all understand everyones needs regardless of religion and race.
    This is why the scoop is so important to all of us that care about issues. We are all lucky we have a place to vent and speak our minds.
    Regardless of religion there are a two American holidays that all schools should be closed, Memorial day and Veterans day. Being a senior and Jewish we all know what these two days mean to our brothers and sisters who were killed or in a concentration camp. We must show all the world we will never forget and respect the people who saved our families.

  38. just a thank you for letting me and my family spend part of the day together. It is so greatly appreciated. I love driving all the children around Lakewood and the parents of my kids are very nice to me each and everyday. You’ve warmed my heart.

  39. To #33 – How would you feel if you were made to work on one of your religious holidays? Thanksgiving is a NATIONAL holiday celebrated by many Americans. Missing one day of school is not too much to ask – after all how many do the students miss in Sept. & Oct. for religious reasons (and the students and employees should be allowed to take off their religious holidays!). Yes, people do work — those who do essential services. Bus drivers are not essential. All stores should be closed on Thanksgivng – I personally would never shop on Thanksgiving!

  40. To #63, the schools that opted out are; DOR/Bais Shaindel/Bnos Bracha/BOC and YTT. One of my schools is BOC and I want to thank you very much for your kindness from the bottom of my heart. My girls are fantastic, and so are their Moms, we always have so much fun on the way to school singing songs and telling stories, this is a wonderful thing.
    BUT, I did volunteer to drive another run in the morning to help out. I will be home by 9:00 to start my Thanksgiving Dinner.
    And yes we were not told about driving until just last week, that is why everyone is in such an uproar. Even the classified ad for the job says no holidays and weekends. If a change was arranged in June we should have been advised accordingly.
    Anyway, HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL 🙂

  41. Why is it such a danger for parents to bring their kids to school? While an inconvenience, it is done elsewhere in America without such a hullabaloo. If parents are dangerous drivers, doesn’t that show a bigger area of concern that our communities should be focusing on?

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