I really do like people who work for the government. Federal, state, and local level--those are my kind of people. Used to be one myself. BUT--and this is a large, dimpled one I'm talking about--I've got a bone to pick with contracted out employees.
As you know from my recent blog, my kids started school a couple of days ago. They were going to be riding the bus this year, for the first time ever. That has changed. The first day, the bus was twenty minutes late picking up, and over half-an-hour late bringing the kids back home. Okay, first day run throughs and all that. I get it. However, the second day, the bus simply never showed up. Here we all were, parents and neighbor kids, waiting for 45 minutes before I got frustrated enough to put my kids in the car and drive them to school myself. What if I'd been heading to work and dropped the kids off at the bus stop, as some parents do? They'd have been stuck, that's what. Right then and there, the DH and I decided we would pick them up that afternoon and make them car riders until the school could get their act together. Apparently, the bus never showed up again today, so good thing we did.
What happened? No one seems to know, although the rumor is that the bus driver pulled over to the side of the road, parked the empty bus, and walked away from it. She just quit, an hour before she was scheduled to pick up our kids. If this is true, I have to question her sanity. What kind of a person does something like that, leaving dozens of kids stranded with no idea how to get to school?
Rumors were flying about the nature of the hiring process, and now a bunch of parents want to know exactly what sort of background checks do these people we hand over our kids to before and after school have to go through? Added to that was the news of a fourth-grader being run over by a school bus driver in the city. All of this on the same day. Same contractor? I don't know. However, to me, the school district made a promise to provide for the care and welfare of our children when we put them on that bus. IMHO, the fact that they not only had no idea what had occurred when frantic parents called them up, nor could devise a satisfactory answer to the question "Will my kids be able to get home this afternoon?" is just not good enough.
Makes you want to join the PTA and get rowdy, doesn't it?