Author Topic: Please help me draft an email to the Principal  (Read 8850 times)

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luvmyboys

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2013, 08:29:11 PM »
We have had some extreme issues with my son's bus.   I not only contacted the principal, but I also copied the superintendent and the head of the transportation department.   Good luck, I hope this never happens again.

katycoo

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2013, 08:29:19 PM »
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.  :-\

She'd probably have pulled over a number of times to work it out and run very very late.

I don't disagree for a minute that a better system is needed.  But if there isn't one available, the driver has limited options.

Your poor son.  He did his best.  She should have been grateful for his efforts.  I understand that it might have been frustrating but its not his fault.  And she certainly shoudn't have put him under such pressure.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2013, 09:37:54 PM »
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.  :-\

She'd probably have pulled over a number of times to work it out and run very very late.

I don't disagree for a minute that a better system is needed.  But if there isn't one available, the driver has limited options.

Your poor son.  He did his best.  She should have been grateful for his efforts.  I understand that it might have been frustrating but its not his fault.  And she certainly shoudn't have put him under such pressure.

Agree with Katycoo. I don't think it was rude for the bus driver to ask your son for directions. But it was rude to berate him for getting them wrong.

Roe

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2013, 09:43:50 PM »
The fact that asking an elementary student for route/directions is the best option a sub driver can get is worrisome.

JenJay

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2013, 10:32:44 PM »
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.  :-\

She'd probably have pulled over a number of times to work it out and run very very late.

I don't disagree for a minute that a better system is needed.  But if there isn't one available, the driver has limited options.

Your poor son.  He did his best.  She should have been grateful for his efforts.  I understand that it might have been frustrating but its not his fault.  And she certainly shoudn't have put him under such pressure.

Agree with Katycoo. I don't think it was rude for the bus driver to ask your son for directions. But it was rude to berate him for getting them wrong.

I don't think it was rude that the driver needed to ask an 11 year old how to navigate her route. I think it was poor planning on the part of whoever is in charge of assigning subs. I understand that they may need to send a driver who isn't familiar with the route but having to rely on the kids is a bad idea. It's happened before and while I admit I didn't think it was ideal, it didn't bother me until now, because she was nasty about it. DS said the morning driver needed his help, too, but he was patient and nice and they were only about 2 minutes late getting to class. It happens.

The Principal asked me to call the transportation director for our area tomorrow and he thanked me for bringing this to his attention and said he will speak with the director as well.

Coley

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2013, 07:19:15 AM »
The fact that asking an elementary student for route/directions is the best option a sub driver can get is worrisome.

POD. OP, I hope the transportation director is receptive to your concerns.

CakeEater

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2013, 04:14:13 PM »
I'll go against the grain and say that I thought your original letter was fine. I thought the length gave you time to explain that you weren't holding the school responsible, and what all the issues were.

The pared down versions are fine as well, of course.

MorgnsGrl

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2013, 04:34:13 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.  :-\

Plus, what did they do, describe the route to her in vague terms and hope for the best? Did she not receive written directions? If she had, she could have asked one of the older kids to sit behind her and read them to her. It's ridiculous to think that the transportation department would put a driver on a bus and say, okay, go drop off all these kids! with no further instruction. I'm sure the driver was stressed but that's no excuse for treating a student like that.

miredrose326

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2013, 05:37:17 PM »
I can tell you that if a bus driver ever put my 13 year old daughter in charge of getting anyone to the right house, including herself, they would never make it. I can't imagine putting that much responsibility on the shoulders of a child and then yelling at them when they make a mistake.
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sammycat

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2013, 10:20:11 PM »
I'll go against the grain and say that I thought your original letter was fine. I thought the length gave you time to explain that you weren't holding the school responsible, and what all the issues were.

The pared down versions are fine as well, of course.

Ditto.

EnoughAlready22

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2013, 08:52:16 AM »
I'll go against the grain and say that I thought your original letter was fine. I thought the length gave you time to explain that you weren't holding the school responsible, and what all the issues were.

The pared down versions are fine as well, of course.

I agree.  I think the whole story needs to be told, not a watered down version. 

Sharnita

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2013, 10:35:25 AM »
I think the longer version does water it down. It adds so many details thst they distract from the real issue.

JenJay

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2013, 11:50:44 AM »
I went with a shorter version that included a lot of the editing suggestions.

The Principal replied to my email that same evening and asked me to call the transportation director the next day. He also said he'd call them as well because he shared my concerns. Unfortunately school (and school offices) were canceled due to snow so I wasn't able to call. I had planned to call yesterday but I received another email from him very early, saying he had forwarded my email to the director and had spoken to her, so I decided to leave it at that. If there are any further issues I'll call her but I think it's covered for now.

Yesterday the boys told me they had yet another substitute driver, and she again needed a bit of guidance, but she was really nice and knew most of the route. DS9 told me that right before he got off the bus he stopped and said to her "You're a lot nicer than the lady we had before. She yelled a lot!" I asked him what her response was and he said "She didn't really say anything, just smiled at me." I can imagine.  :P

gramma dishes

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2013, 12:28:19 PM »
It may be that the substitute really wasn't called in until the very last minute and didn't have time to run the route herself in advance and also wasn't provided a map with specific instructions and illustrations as to which turns to make and which corners to stop at to let kids out. 

I wonder if just possibly she thought that maybe your son was intentionally misdirecting her.  That doesn't excuse her behavior of course.  But I do wonder.  Not YOUR son, but there are kids out there who would do something like that thinking it was funny.

Twik

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Re: Please help me draft an email to the Principal
« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2013, 12:48:31 PM »
Yes, but an adult driver shouldn't expect an 11 year old to be able to describe a full bus route. So, there would really be no difference between deliberate and accidental misinformation.
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