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Secondary school bus - wwyd

(102 Posts)
MadamPatti Fri 24-Mar-17 15:14:02

My son is in year 7 and gets a school bus to school. It's about a 40 min journey. It's normally utter chaos on the bus. He hates it but has no other choice. The behaviour seems to have got worse lately. For about the last four weeks there has been a water fight on the way home, Probably started as part of the bottle flip challenge, but with no lids.

I monitor the situation as best I can, my son and his friend won't join in and try to discourage others.

Yesterday, he was hit by several flying bottles, and when he stood up to get off at his stop he fell over on all the water. Another older child said if he hadn't got up by the time he needed to get off, he would stomp on him. Son arrives home in tears, not for the first time.

I just don't know what to do. I am aware that kids of this age need to sort things out themselves. Also, I wouldn't class what goes on as bullying, as none of it is personally directed at him. Yesterday he was just in the way. Virtually everyone on the bus seems to be involved. Son can be a bit serious, with some tendencies to exaggerate, and if he knows he's in the right he refuses to back down.

Are these essentially low level behaviour problems sufficiently serious to inform school?? He's not being bullied in my opinion. I think that at secondary they need to learn to sort things out for themselves a bit more and I don't want to overreact. WWYD??

Thanks

DramaQueenofHighCs Fri 24-Mar-17 15:28:19

Of course you need to inform the school! shock
Oh, and it most certainly is bullying, even if not direct!

GetMeOut Fri 24-Mar-17 15:29:12

It sounds more like a safety issue and I would report it to the school. How can the bus driver concentrate properly with that behavior going on ? You don't need to name names and I wouldn't tell your son that you are reporting it ( in case it does get out and then he could be picked on ).

DramaQueenofHighCs Fri 24-Mar-17 15:29:39

Chances are the bus company will also be informing the school if they haven't already. My DS takes a primary school bus and we get general 'bad behaviour' letters for less than what you've described.

haggisaggis Fri 24-Mar-17 15:43:33

Our council sends us a letter every year which states what will happen in the case of bad behaviour on the school bus. It can result in school bus passes being withdrawn.
We've had no issues at secondary (as far as I can gather, they all board the bus, plug in their earphones and that's it!) but there was sometimes bad behaviour on the primary school bus which resulted in letters home (and a lecture at school from the head teacher).
I would certainly inform the school but I expect they will already have been made aware by the bus company.

gleegeek Fri 24-Mar-17 15:51:52

Oh crikey. That brings loads of unhappy memories back! I hated the school bus all the way through secondary.
Definitely tell the school. They need to read the riot act!
The behaviour on our bus was so bad that we were regulatory taken to the bus depot to clean the bus. It felt very unfair as I wasn't involved yet had to be late home due to the hoologans. I always tried to sit near to the bus driver as I felt unsafe travelling...
Your poor ds... no advice but commiserations...

noblegiraffe Fri 24-Mar-17 16:05:42

There should be CCTV on the bus and as the kids will be in school uniform, the school will be able to sanction them for their appalling behaviour. Definitely report it.

MadamPatti Fri 24-Mar-17 17:23:58

Hello all,
Things have all come to a head a bit this afternoon and he's now insisting he's never going on the bus again. It's more of the same, plus he was hit on the head with a full water bottle and he slipped in the water and hurt himself. I've already phoned the school. I need to speak to the deputy, and it might be Monday by the time he returns my call.

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts, I'll update on Monday or when I hear something.

Ta1kinPeace Fri 24-Mar-17 18:38:40

As a short term measure, he needs to sit downstairs at the front where he can see the driver.
More to the point, WTF are the bus company doing?
YYY to asking a member of the SLT to get onto the bus in the morning before the kids get off (unexpected) to check the state of it.
And to requesting that a teacher rides home on te bus on random days.

Badbadbunny Fri 24-Mar-17 19:32:59

Far too common I'm afraid. My own son uses service/public buses so there's no issue with his journey as there are few school kids on it. (Although he does have to get up and leave the house ridiculously early to get it as it's a long walk each end and a very infrequent bus timetable. He could have an hour longer in bed and use a dedicated school bus virtually door to door, that covers 3 comps in the town, but just refuses!).

My cousins have no choice but to use a school bus as there simply is no alternative public transport and they both regularly complain about it being a war zone. The school use a private coach hire company, and last year, the firm pulled out and refused the renew their contract citing the bad behaviour and damage, safety issues, etc. They now have to use a different coach hire firm from another town!

It IS the school's problem. Don't be fobbed off by the excuse given by cousin's school that they can't do anything outside the school gates. It's bullying, no question about it. Bullying ruins kids' school lives which has a knock on effect for qualifications, careers and social lives even into adulthood. It needs addressing and the school are the ones to do. Don't let them get away with it.

HPFA Sat 25-Mar-17 07:00:53

Kids being noisy on a bus is a low level behaviour problem. Throwing objects around so people can get hurt doesn't sound at all low-level. I've heard of kids on DD's bus being banned for much less.

Saucery Sat 25-Mar-17 07:05:30

I'm surprised the bus company hasn't informed the school - perhaps they have and the school are ignoring their responsibility to act.
After behaviour nowhere near as bad as what you describe all the pupils on DS's bus were told they would not have a service if it continued and letters were sent home asking us to make this very clear to our DC. They also have Yr11 and 6th form bus monitors.

user1490123259 Sat 25-Mar-17 07:52:07

This is a nightmare.

It is absolutely nothing to do with the school, and the school staff will be dealing with horrendous behaviour all day every day, and are likely to have a complete breakdown if forced to attempt to control behaviour on the buses too.

I would push for the cctv to be given to the head so individuals can be identified, parents contacted, and the bus company can then ban them.

it might only take a couple of children banned for a month once, for the message to get through.

The alternative is to call the police over specific incidents, being hit with a full bottle of water is definitely assault.

I have every sympathy, because I know how awful it can be on the school buses.

user1490123259 Sat 25-Mar-17 07:53:32

the school are ignoring their responsibility to act.

it isn't the schools responsibility at all, it is nothing to do with them. Some schools may choose to act, but they don't have to.

FreshHorizons Sat 25-Mar-17 07:56:58

Complain! There is no need to put up with it.
My son's school sent a letter home stating that anyone misbehaving would lose their place & the parents would have the responsibility of getting them to school- it worked. Helped by the fact that the bus company were not prepared to put up with it.

FreshHorizons Sat 25-Mar-17 07:58:27

Of course it is the schools responsibility! Make them take it. Make waves.

FreshHorizons Sat 25-Mar-17 08:00:58

It is so simple- if they get a school bus they need to sign a behaviour agreement saying they understand that if they break it they lose their place.

AveEldon Sat 25-Mar-17 08:04:22

Who provides the bus? The school or the council?

user1490123259 Sat 25-Mar-17 08:12:37

Of course it is the schools responsibility! Make them take it. Make waves.

of course it isn't. Don't be ridiculous.

You won't get anywhere by trying to force the to do anything.

personally, if any manager tried to make me take responsibility for the school bus, I would simply leave and take a job in a school that didn't do anything so stupid.

The school might be able to help, and might want to help, and might choose to help, but attempting to "make" them is just going to back fire on you

FreshHorizons Sat 25-Mar-17 08:17:47

It worked for me. Always complain.
From the bus drivers point of view it is distracting and dangerous. If I was driving I would inform the school that I couldn't do it unless they removed the trouble makers.

FreshHorizons Sat 25-Mar-17 08:20:57

I really don't get the 'not the schools responsibly ' when it is so simple- tell the parents of the trouble makers that they will have to get their own child to school and it is sorted. Parents don't want either the inconvenience or the expense. They can't complain because it is made clear that their child can have a seat if they behave appropriately.

FreshHorizons Sat 25-Mar-17 08:22:32

I wouldn't send my child to a school where they were going to abdicate all responsibility.

GreenGinger2 Sat 25-Mar-17 08:24:07

There were some issues on our bus re kids at one of the schools. 2 schools on 1 bus. Parents of kids from both schools complained re behaviour involving children from one school and it was dealt with very severely by the head and pdq. There have been no issues since.

Why on earth wouldn't a head want to know and sanction such behaviour?confused It makes the school look bad and teaches the children participating that it is ok to behave like that.

Op it is bullying and poor behaviour. I'd send a detailed e-mail to the head with a log of all incidents.

user1490123259 Sat 25-Mar-17 08:27:43

you need cctv, a child can't make a "detailed log".

GreenGinger2 Sat 25-Mar-17 08:29:42

We managed it when my child was bullied at school- time,place,incident and witnesses.

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