Friday, March 11, 2011

Violence was endemic on Jefferson Co. School bus before driver got assaulted

Facts are dribbling out in the school bus driver assault case I blogged about on March 4, 2011.

It turns out conditions on this bus are out of control far beyond anyone’s worst nightmares. reports that this one bus “had about 150 incidents of fighting and other misconduct this school year alone.”

I’m beginning to understand the frustration of the parent who assaulted the bus driver. says some of the 150 incidents don’t sound too serious, but others are way out of line. The Fox story indicates this bus has a history of physical assaults by students. Apparently, those are not being resolved.

Furthermore, this one bus route is not unique.

Fox says that papers released by the Jefferson County Public School District show students are getting bullied and fighting on other buses, too.

The really sad part of this specific school bus’ story is the only reaction from the district has been to put cameras on this bus.

Oh, Yeah, the district also claims they are working with families to ensure students know bus riding rules. However, it surely doesn’t look like the district worked too well with Chesica White, the mom who assaulted the bus driver.

The Fox41 team doesn’t provide details about how the district indicated parents were supposed to interact with this problem. Were parents encouraged to get on the buses at stops to send kids a message about behaving? Kids do react when parents’ eyeballs start falling on them.

Was the bus driver interfering with a parent who was just trying to insure children were getting the message?

Maybe not.

However, as details emerge, it’s getting easier to understand the frustration this parent must have felt about this totally out of control bus where her seven-year old was being bullied. The facts – 150 incidents apparently not getting fixed – may play really well when White’s assault case comes to court.

It’s also interesting to read some of the reader comments to the article. There are a whole lot of problems with busing in Louisville, and it apparently takes an extraordinary number of incidents to move the district to take even minimal action.

Maybe sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander. Perhaps the judge should just penalize White by installing a videocam in her home and getting her some counseling on parent behavior on the bus. After all, the school district seems to think that is just the ticket to handle violence.

And, maybe, the judge will see the much bigger implications in this case and start hauling some Jefferson County Schools people in as accessories to the crime.

After all, thinking you can coop kids up in a bus for long rides with inadequate supervision and then turning a blind eye as the inevitable incidents of serious trouble mount has got to be somewhere close to child abuse.


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