Author Topic: Please help me draft an email to the Principal  (Read 8798 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5785
Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« on: March 05, 2013, 05:47:33 PM »
It's actually a busing issue but I don't have any contact info for them, so I thought the Principal would be the next best thing. I'm suffering from a head-cold and a moderate case of "Angry Momma Bear" right now so I thought I should run this by you all before I send it. Please edit as needed.


Mr. Principal,

I'm contacting your regarding the bus driver that subbed for UsualDriver on the afternoon of March 5th. I became concerned when my sons, DS11 and DS9, were more than 20 minutes late getting home after school. When I met them at the stop they explained that they had a new driver who didn't know the route and had not only showed up to the school late (apparently they were the last kids to be picked up) but took much longer than usual to drive the route. I understand that sometimes last minute subs need to be brought in and they won't necessarily be familiar with the routes. I have copied down the number for the bus barn and if there is ever another instance of the bus being more than 10 minutes late I will call them, that is not a problem.

There is a problem, however, with the way the substitute driver spoke to DS11. As I said the driver was not familiar with the route and apparently she asked him to sit up front and give her directions. He said there were a few times he accidentally gave her a wrong direction and she yelled at him. DS9 confirmed that her tone was "really mean" and she was yelling. At one point DS11 told her to take a turn too early or late and she yelled "You need to get your directions straight!". Another time she asked him, as she turned down a road where there is one stop, if she was supposed to turn around at the end of that road. She hadn't yet let the kids that live on that road off so he told her no (he thought she was asking if she should turn around immediately) and then, after she let the kids off, she asked if she should continue straight. At this time DS11 told her "No, now you turn around." and she yelled at him again, saying "I asked you if I was supposed to turn around on this road! Why did you tell me not to and now you're telling me to turn around!" Finally, as she was heading away from that stop, she asked if she was supposed to continue straight. When DS11 told her yes she mocked him, asking repeatedly "Are you sure? I asked you before if I was supposed to go straight and you said I was but you were wrong! Are you sure I go straight this time?"

The driver's attitude is completely unacceptable to me. I understand that a substitute may occasionally need help from the older kids, the boys said the sub they had on the morning drive needed help, too, but he was very nice and patient. DS11 was upset when he got home. He felt it was partly his fault that they were so late because he'd given the driver bad directions and mad her angry. I don't know who else to contact about this matter so I thought it best to bring it to your attention and ask that you look into it.

Thank you,
Jen
(I'll use my full name)

LadyL

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2833
Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2013, 05:59:16 PM »
Your version is long and somewhat confusing because of too much detail. Here's a pared down version.

It's actually a busing issue but I don't have any contact info for them, so I thought the Principal would be the next best thing. I'm suffering from a head-cold and a moderate case of "Angry Momma Bear" right now so I thought I should run this by you all before I send it. Please edit as needed.


Mr. Principal,

I'm contacting your regarding the bus driver that subbed for UsualDriver on the afternoon of March 5th. My children were late coming home from school because they had a new driver who didn't know the route. This driver asked my 11 year old son to sit up front and give her directions. Since obviously he does not drive, he struggled to give her the type of directions she needed, which prompted her to raise her voice at him, saying things such as  "You need to get your directions straight!" After he gave her a set of directions, she replied in a mocking tone and repeated "Are you sure? I asked you before if I was supposed to go straight and you said I was but you were wrong! Are you sure I go straight this time?"

The driver's attitude is completely unacceptable to me. <insert what you want done here>

Thank you,
Jen
(I'll use my full name)


Roo

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 115
Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2013, 06:08:09 PM »
Original version is simply far too long:

Dear Principal,

I'm aware this is likely out of your wheelhouse, but I lack the contact information for the transportation department and wish to make a complaint regarding the substitute driver for my childrenís bus route, normally handled by [regular driverís name and route/address/some sort of identifying info, because the principal will have exactly zero idea who you are talking about], on the afternoon of 3/5/13.

The driver seemed completely unfamiliar with the route and relied far too much on my older son for directions. She lost her temper several times in the duration of their conversation, raised her voice, and spoke to my child in a manner I find unacceptable. [examples here, if you really want]

I would like some clarification regarding the policies for substitute drivers; surely they have the directions for the route and all pertinent information regarding the passengers readily available? Or the ability to communicate via radio to another adult in the transportation department? Iím very uncomfortable with the notion of my childrenís bus driver relying on children to navigate.

Thank you for your time and attention, etc.

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5785
Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2013, 06:11:50 PM »
Thanks, I figured it was too long (I'd already deleted an entire paragraph! LOL) but you know how it is when you're mad and you want to get it all out there. I'll do some paring.

oceanus

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 693
  • pronounced o-see-ANN-us
Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2013, 06:18:34 PM »
Mr. Principal,

I'm contacting your you regarding the bus driver that who subbed for UsualDriver on the afternoon of March 5th. My children were <20 minutes>late coming home from school because they had a new driver who didn't know the route. This driver asked my 11 year old son to sit up front and give her directions. Since obviously he does not drive, He struggled to give her the type of directions she needed, which prompted her to raise her voice at him, saying things such as  "You need to get your directions straight!" After he gave her a set of directions, she replied in a mocking tone and repeated "Are you sure? I asked you before if I was supposed to go straight and you said I was but you were wrong! Are you sure I go straight this time?"

The driver's attitude is completely unacceptable to me. <insert what you want done >

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5785
Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2013, 06:29:26 PM »
Mr. Principal,

I'm contacting your you regarding the bus driver that who subbed for UsualDriver on the afternoon of March 5th. My children were <20 minutes>late coming home from school because they had a new driver who didn't know the route. This driver asked my 11 year old son to sit up front and give her directions. Since obviously he does not drive, He struggled to give her the type of directions she needed, which prompted her to raise her voice at him, saying things such as  "You need to get your directions straight!" After he gave her a set of directions, she replied in a mocking tone and repeated "Are you sure? I asked you before if I was supposed to go straight and you said I was but you were wrong! Are you sure I go straight this time?"

The driver's attitude is completely unacceptable to me. <insert what you want done >

Oh thank you for catching those errors! I've used these suggestions and some from a friend, how does this sound? It is important to me that he understand that my son was upset, felt responsible for their lateness, and felt the driver was mad at him personally for the directions so I've tried to get that across.

Mr. <Principal>,

I'm contacting you regarding the bus driver who subbed for <Driver's Name and route #> on the afternoon of March 5th. My sons, DS11 and DS9, were more than 20 minutes late getting home after school. The driver was not familiar with the route and asked DS11 to sit up front and give her directions. He struggled to give her the type of directions she needed, which prompted her to raise her voice at him, saying angrily "You need to get your directions straight!" After he gave her another set of directions she replied in a mocking tone "Are you sure? I asked you before if I was supposed to go straight and you said I was but you were wrong! Are you sure I go straight this time?" He was upset when he got home and felt responsible for how late they were.

The driver's demeanor toward my child is unacceptable. Iím also very uncomfortable with the bus drivers relying on children to navigate; surely they have directions for the route and all pertinent information regarding the passengers readily available, or the ability to communicate via radio to another adult in the transportation department? I appreciate your attention to this matter.

Thank you,
Me


oceanus

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 693
  • pronounced o-see-ANN-us
Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2013, 06:35:12 PM »
Mr. Principal,

I'm contacting your you regarding the bus driver that who subbed for UsualDriver on the afternoon of March 5th. My children were <20 minutes>late coming home from school because they had a new driver who didn't know the route. This driver asked my 11 year old son to sit up front and give her directions. Since obviously he does not drive, He struggled to give her the type of directions she needed, which prompted her to raise her voice at him, saying things such as  "You need to get your directions straight!" After he gave her a set of directions, she replied in a mocking tone and repeated "Are you sure? I asked you before if I was supposed to go straight and you said I was but you were wrong! Are you sure I go straight this time?"

The driver's attitude is completely unacceptable to me. <insert what you want done >

Oh thank you for catching those errors! I've used these suggestions and some from a friend, how does this sound? It is important to me that he understand that my son was upset, felt responsible for their lateness, and felt the driver was mad at him personally for the directions so I've tried to get that across.

Mr. <Principal>,

I'm contacting you regarding the bus driver who subbed for <Driver's Name and route #> on the afternoon of March 5th. My sons, DS11 and DS9, were more than 20 minutes late getting home after school. The driver was not familiar with the route and asked DS11 to sit up front and give her directions. He struggled to give her the type of directions she needed, which prompted her to raise her voice at him, saying angrily "You need to get your directions straight!" After he gave her another set of directions she replied in a mocking tone "Are you sure? I asked you before if I was supposed to go straight and you said I was but you were wrong! Are you sure I go straight this time?" He was upset when he got home and felt responsible for how late they were.

The driver's demeanor toward my child is unacceptable. My son was upset, felt responsible for their lateness, and felt the driver was mad at him personally.  Iím also very uncomfortable with the bus drivers relying on children to navigate; surely they have directions for the route and all pertinent information regarding the passengers readily available, or the ability to communicate via radio to another adult in the transportation department? I appreciate your attention to this matter.

Thank you,
Me

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5785
Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2013, 06:37:32 PM »
Mr. Principal,

I'm contacting your you regarding the bus driver that who subbed for UsualDriver on the afternoon of March 5th. My children were <20 minutes>late coming home from school because they had a new driver who didn't know the route. This driver asked my 11 year old son to sit up front and give her directions. Since obviously he does not drive, He struggled to give her the type of directions she needed, which prompted her to raise her voice at him, saying things such as  "You need to get your directions straight!" After he gave her a set of directions, she replied in a mocking tone and repeated "Are you sure? I asked you before if I was supposed to go straight and you said I was but you were wrong! Are you sure I go straight this time?"

The driver's attitude is completely unacceptable to me. <insert what you want done >

Oh thank you for catching those errors! I've used these suggestions and some from a friend, how does this sound? It is important to me that he understand that my son was upset, felt responsible for their lateness, and felt the driver was mad at him personally for the directions so I've tried to get that across.

Mr. <Principal>,

I'm contacting you regarding the bus driver who subbed for <Driver's Name and route #> on the afternoon of March 5th. My sons, DS11 and DS9, were more than 20 minutes late getting home after school. The driver was not familiar with the route and asked DS11 to sit up front and give her directions. He struggled to give her the type of directions she needed, which prompted her to raise her voice at him, saying angrily "You need to get your directions straight!" After he gave her another set of directions she replied in a mocking tone "Are you sure? I asked you before if I was supposed to go straight and you said I was but you were wrong! Are you sure I go straight this time?" He was upset when he got home and felt responsible for how late they were.

The driver's demeanor toward my child is unacceptable. My son was upset, felt responsible for their lateness, and felt the driver was mad at him personally.  Iím also very uncomfortable with the bus drivers relying on children to navigate; surely they have directions for the route and all pertinent information regarding the passengers readily available, or the ability to communicate via radio to another adult in the transportation department? I appreciate your attention to this matter.

Thank you,
Me

Perfect, thank you!

*inviteseller

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1821
  • I am Queen Mommy
Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2013, 06:38:54 PM »
As a veteran of school bus issues I feel your pain, but I would cut it down a bit :

Dear Principal,
     Today my sons (names) had a substitute bus driver for the afternoon (bus number).  While this is not a problem, the bus was 20 minutes later than normal due to the driver not knowing the route.  She requested my older son sit in the front and give directions, and while he tried his best, this is not something he is used to doing and had trouble.  The driver then got frustrated and angry with my son which upset him unnecessarily.   I would like this to be addressed immediately as no student should be responsible for the driver not knowing a route and berating a child.  I would appreciate a call from either yourself or head of transportation within the next day to discuss further details of the conversation between the driver and my son and what will be done to make sure this never happens again.
Your name
Your phone number

Even if this is a substitute, they should still be either given written directions to follow or should have called the transportation department when she was having trouble. 

kckgirl

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2876
Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2013, 06:42:03 PM »
I like *inviteseller's version. Can you go on the school district web site to find contact information for the transportation department? If you can, that would avoid the delay that will happen when you address it with the principal, who really won't have any recourse but to turn it over to the transportation people anyway.
Maryland

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5785
Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2013, 07:04:02 PM »
I like *inviteseller's version. Can you go on the school district web site to find contact information for the transportation department? If you can, that would avoid the delay that will happen when you address it with the principal, who really won't have any recourse but to turn it over to the transportation people anyway.

I only have a phone number and I don't trust them not to just say "Yes ma'am, we'll look in to it." and blow me off. I've had to contact the school twice before* and I've been very impressed with how they handle things. I don't necessarily expect to hear back from him other than an acknowledgement that he received my email and will pass it on to the appropriate person and I'm happy with that. I'm working under the assumption that the powers-that-be don't realize the driver is such a grump and now they will. If the kids have this driver again and she's a grump again I'll take it further up the chain.  ;)

*The first time was when another kid on the bus wouldn't stop touching my son's head even though he repeatedly asked the kid to stop and asked the bus driver if he could move (she let him but the other kid moved, too, and kept touching him). I wasn't able to speak with the driver because the toucher got off after my kids and DS didn't want him to overhear a complaint. I emailed DS's teacher and she wrote back that she'd look into it. The next day DS said the other boy was moved away from him and there were no further issues.

The second time they had a music sub who went off on a random tangent about how you shouldn't bully other kids because one of them might come to school with a gun and kill you and your friends. They were 4th graders! I emailed his teacher again and got replies from her and the school counselor. She wasn't allowed to tell me exactly how that played out but I was led to believe that the teacher likely won't be subbing at the elementary level again and definitely wouldn't be discussing her personal views on bullying.

oceanus

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 693
  • pronounced o-see-ANN-us
Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2013, 07:07:09 PM »
Quote
a music sub who went off on a random tangent about how you shouldn't bully other kids because one of them might come to school with a gun and kill you and your friends. They were 4th graders!

 :o Yikes.

katycoo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3728
Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2013, 07:40:19 PM »
OK.  I'm jumping in here in partial defence of the bus driver.  I'm in AUstralia so things are likely a bit different, but just as background info, I want to tell you how it works for DH.

Each route a bus depot operates is listed in a book of left and rights.  They don't have a map, just a list of directions which oretty much says left on X street, continue down X street for 5km, right on Y street...
Occasionally he will be transferred onto a route with very little notice, so there's no time to review the L&Rs ahead of time with a map.
They don't know where the stops are.  They rely on street markings and passengers signalling.
It is VERY difficult, if not completely unsafe to look at the lefts and rights while driving.  If a wrong turn is taken, it is almost always the passengers who let him know.  The route can get quite messed up if a wrong turn is taken as buses are pretty difficult to turn and cannot go dow every street.
The radio cannot be operated while driving.  And DH cannot place a call through.  He can place a notice that he wants a call from the radio room.  They then call back and DH has to pull over before he can talk to them.  The wait time for a callback is usually 5-20 minutes.
The side mirrors on a bus a notoriously easy to knock off.  You can't be looking too closely for street signs, and neglect to see every signpost, street light, branch, high vehicle, or telepgraph pole coming up next to you.  Lose a mirror, replacement bus needed.

So,  asking a kid for directions - reasonable.  Especially if there's no adult to ask.

Raising her voice adn getting angry at the kid for not being perfect?  Unacceptable.

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5785
Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2013, 07:57:46 PM »
OK.  I'm jumping in here in partial defence of the bus driver.  I'm in AUstralia so things are likely a bit different, but just as background info, I want to tell you how it works for DH.

Each route a bus depot operates is listed in a book of left and rights.  They don't have a map, just a list of directions which oretty much says left on X street, continue down X street for 5km, right on Y street...
Occasionally he will be transferred onto a route with very little notice, so there's no time to review the L&Rs ahead of time with a map.
They don't know where the stops are.  They rely on street markings and passengers signalling.
It is VERY difficult, if not completely unsafe to look at the lefts and rights while driving.  If a wrong turn is taken, it is almost always the passengers who let him know.  The route can get quite messed up if a wrong turn is taken as buses are pretty difficult to turn and cannot go dow every street.
The radio cannot be operated while driving.  And DH cannot place a call through.  He can place a notice that he wants a call from the radio room.  They then call back and DH has to pull over before he can talk to them.  The wait time for a callback is usually 5-20 minutes.
The side mirrors on a bus a notoriously easy to knock off.  You can't be looking too closely for street signs, and neglect to see every signpost, street light, branch, high vehicle, or telepgraph pole coming up next to you.  Lose a mirror, replacement bus needed.

So,  asking a kid for directions - reasonable.  Especially if there's no adult to ask.

Raising her voice adn getting angry at the kid for not being perfect?  Unacceptable.

I'd completely agree if this happened on a bus with middle or high school aged kids, but this was only elementary aged kids. She asked my DS because he was the oldest and he just turned 11 literally days ago. Fortunately he's ridden the same bus for a year and a half and ours is the last stop so he's familiar with the entire route. That said he still goofed up a time or two because it made him nervous to be responsible for guiding her, which was only compounded by her nasty attitude. I wonder what she would have done if he wasn't there? There needs to be instant radio communication or GPS routing or something. I can see needing to ask the kids where along the route to stop but the kids make it sound like she didn't even know what the route was.  :-\

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21349
Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2013, 08:13:27 PM »
Even if it is a high school senior they can try to help the driver but she shouldn't be giving them flak for mistakes unless he is getting a paycheck.