Readers Write: Busing Changes Shouldn't Be That Challenging for Anyone
Although I was aware that there were some issues with making busing changes with many schools, it wasn't until my five-year-old was left at school for a full hour past her dismissal waiting for a bus due to a change I requested that I realized just how bad things were.
Let's put it this way. I appreciated that the school was willing to make that change for me at the last minute and for a few days only. I work full time and in this case, I was not going to be home for my daughter so I made other arrangements. What I did not appreciate was the fact that though they agreed to get my daughter where she needed to go, they didn't bother to tell me that she wouldn't be getting there until well past the time she was expecting her to arrive. They did this simply because it was inconvenient for them to make the change earlier, given that she was going to her grandmother, who lives past 18th Avenue. Their claim, which they tried to foist on me when I complained was that buses don't go there. That is ridiculous and unfounded. We all follow our bus routes, so we know when to be there to take our kids off the bus, and the buses go beyond 18th Avenue as Boro Park has expanded past 18th Avenue already, and it seems to me that there isn't a school in Boro Park that doesn't have students that come from further out.
My neighbor told me she heard the same excuse when she needed to a bus change for her seven-year-old son's school as well. They refused point blank to change his route for the day just because it would have meant going past 18th Avenue. I don't understand this stubbornness. I work full time and then some to pay my tuition. I am there when the school needs volunteers for their events. I am there when the school needs a class mother. I am there because we are in the business of being mechanech my children together. The least I can expect is that the school is there for me too.
So what I don't understand is why is it so hard to accommodate parents who need their kids to cross that imaginary Mason-Dixon line when there's a bus change outside the old boundaries of Boro Park? Off course, this is not something that all mosdos have an issue with, but even the few schools that do are causing untold stress to families who are not trying to take advantage of any system but just trying to make things work while juggling a tremendous amount every single day.
My complaint is not only that, but I would also like to know why schools think it's okay to tell parents that they didn't need to inform them their child won't arrive at the expected time. If they're going to be at least a full hour late, the excuse that I was given that my child "was safe in school," so I had no reason to worry, is ludicrous and thoughtless.
Are we mind-readers? Are we just supposed to let things go like that? Do they think we are so overwhelmed that we won't miss our own child when she doesn't show up even after an hour or more?
In brief, this message is for all those schools out there who can't be bothered to accommodate parents and who therefore cause untold agmas nefesh to our children and to us as parents and those whom we ask to be caregivers, in this case an alta bubby when we need to make a bus route change for whatever the reason.
We are supposed to be partners in the chinuch of our children, so stop driving us mad, and make sure the bus stops here!
Boro Park Resident