The Courier-Journal ran an article on March 2, 2011 about two women – or as it later turned out, a woman and a 12-year old child – who dragged a school bus driver off of her bus on March 1, 2011 and then beat her. That assault left 19 other students on the bus – without any adult on board – with the engine running.
Clearly – if the Courier has it right – the behavior of these unidentified women is outrageous.
But, don’t be too quick to judge only these two women.
The Courier also says that JCPS transportation director Rick Caple admits this bus route had disciplinary problems and that some parents were upset with the driver last week over bullying on the bus.
That raises some questions:
• Did the bullying continue after parents complained?
• Did the assailants file the complaint, or were they aware of a complaint already filed?
More information came out today in WHAS’ web site.
The fight broke out as the 12-year old tried to get on the bus to find a younger brother. WHAS’ report indicates there is a dispute about what happened after that.
The school district says everything was caught on a school bus security camera. Since that tape could be crucial to either the prosecution or the defense of the mother involved, it remains to be seen if this video is released or subpoenaed.
The Courier’s first article does provide enough information to tell that this bus route runs from Stopher Elementary School, way out on the East side of the school district, outside of the I-265 loop, to the downtown intersection of West Broadway and South 24th Street, where the assault allegedly occurred. Mapquest plots a route between those points that is 21 miles long, which would make this bus route one of the longer runs in the district’s crazy busing plan.
So far unreported: what was actually happening to the young son of the woman involved? Was he being bullied? Did it stop after parents complained? Was the mother one of those who complained?
So, maybe some other folks need to be in the dock when the 12-year old and her mom face the consequences of their actions.
Co-defendants might include:
• Those in the school system who hear complaints about bullying and do nothing (which also violates existing law and definitely is a problem that was extensively discussed last week in the House Education Committee meeting).
• Those in the school system who think a single bus driver can safely navigate inner city Louisville streets all the while riding herd – completely alone – on a bunch of youngsters who are being bored to tears by excessively long bus rides.
By the way, some of the buses in Louisville seat a lot of kids, maybe 50 kids plus. No teacher in this state is willing to take on a group of kids that large, alone. Why would we expect bus drivers to do this?
Louisville’s out of control busing plan is so large that there probably is no way the school system can afford to put an extra adult on each bus as a monitor. But, without extra adult supervision, chaos on the buses, especially given the long rides being forced on these students, is inevitable – and it’s happening.
So, the “rest of the story” here may be that the whimsy of forced busing for diversity has run into the reality of human nature of children and the fact that the busing for diversity plan simply cannot afford to provide adequate supervision of children trapped in such situations. That does not excuse the attacks that occurred, but it does raise the issue of whether those attacks were provoked when others didn’t do their jobs.