32 answers

Bus Problems

My son is 5 years old and just started riding the bus for the first time in December. He loves it and we are just two miles from the school, so he is last on and first off, but there are a few kids that have brought to my attention that a lot of kids are picking on him because he is little and hit him on a daily basis trying to make him cry. I realize kids can be cruel but it is getting out of hand. I don't want him to think he is being punished by taking him off the bus but I am unsure how to get the bus driver the help he needs to regain control of the bus. He tries very hard.

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I ended up taking my son off the bus. I spoke with his teacher and her and I both noticed it was taking a toll on his behavior at home and at school. She of course had no idea what was going on and was grateful to find out the situation which helped explain some of my son's behavior. In the end the circle of blame between the school and transportation was one I wanted off of! My son isn't going to wait for them to figure this out.

Featured Answers

As a bus driver, I do not tolerate that behavior. Unfortunately, sometimes the child being pick on does not tell me what's going on, so unless I catch it, the parent is the one to bring it to my attention. Even though I'm driving, I am aware of what's going on. But, the more crowded the bus, the more noise and commotion there is to drown out any bullying. I would talk to the bus driver and see what his or her response is before taking him off the bus permenantly.

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I hate to tell all of you this... but when my oldest started school, I had the same problem. Back then, he was my first and only child. I was raising him to be "nice". I taught him that fighting was not acceptable in any way, shape or form. Boy oh boy did I sit up some nights and regret those 5 years of guidance. Those boys on the bus picked on him because they knew he was peaceful and nice. When the bus system did nothing about it and the school system did nothing..

I told him.. if they push you again or if they make you feel scared, punch one of them. I told him that he needed to hit one of them ONCE and they would all back off. He couldn't do it. Week after week he would get off the bus crying. I wanted and wished that I could BE him for one day and make all of those kids stop hurting my son.

Finally, one day...the school called ME! My son had laid a punch on one of the boys on the bus and they needed ME to come in for a conference with the other parent!! My timid, shy son hits someone and THEN they do something?? Wow!

So, we had the conference. The principal knew how non violent my son was (is). He said that he didn't even want to have this conference because he knew what had been going on. The parent of the bully was just as much of a bully (at first).

She started yelling at me. In the most monotone, flat voice I could muster, I said "Your son has been bullying my son for three months. He had it coming." She looked shocked. Her child started crying. She asked him a few questions and he finally admitted it.

He had been lying. apparently when he had been questioned in the past about bullying my child, he said that he was NOT bullying him. When my son was asked if he punched the kid, he admitted it. Yes, another value we hold dear is truth, even if it's uncomfortable for you. So, because they took the other kids word for it for those three months, he had never gotten in trouble. This is why it had taken the admin so long to DO something.

One good thing did come of it. The other kids finally saw that my son *might* get up and hit them (which to this day, he tells me was the worst feeling in the world, he felt bad the minute he did it). He has had no other fights because of it due to his ability to carry himself, knowing that he can and will if needed. It's 12 years later and I am sure things are a bit different, but still. A karate class here or there probably would have the same result. It all boils down to your nice child having some courage inside. Just in the way he carries himself.

I've raised my younger child much different. With the same values and he knows the rules. Same as his brother.. no hitting no fighting, treat people the way you would like to be treated. But with an amendment: You can hit someone if they hit you first. My youngest has never come home from a fight. He's never come home with dirt all over him from being pushed into the grass at the bus stop. It's because he has that inner confidence and he carries himself that way. My older child stopped being picked on and he has plenty of friends too. That one punch changed his life.

Kids are cruel, but even the bullies are still just kids and just as scared as the children they are picking on.

Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful

Bullying is a tough issue, especially when this is your little guy's FIRST experience with independence in this way. This must stop immediately, and while it is great that you are sensitive to the efforts of the bus driver, it is his BOSS that needs to intervene and both help him take back control and get him training (AND perhaps ride with him for a while). This is not a case of 'telling' on the driver - this kind of bullying is now against the law and in violation of school policy (it is the hitTERS who might have to get off the bus!)

In the meantime - letting your son know that he has done nothing wrong and that you may have to get him off the bus for a while to keep him safe can help him know that adults will take care of him. What if YOU rode with him a few times? You might want to get more info- www.thechildtoday.com is the website of a counselor/educator who has done marvelous work regarding bullying and how to address it; "The Social Inclusion Approach." There are some articles on the website which are interesting, and he has CD's which have helped me and my son very much with this issue. There is also a book called, "THe Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander" by Barbara Coloroso, which is very interesting and generally helpful. (I found Kim Payne's work to be far more immediately applicable to my younger son, and helped me to frame the issue is a thoughtful and caring way.) Both of these are available at Indigo Forest, The Holistic Family Center in Ann Arbor.

3 moms found this helpful

I'm not sure where you live or if this is even a possibility but the bus company I used to work for here in Kansas keeps the videos of what happens on the bus for about 2 weeks after they are made before taping over them. You as a parent should be able to call the bus company or transportation department and request to view the video tapes to see what's happening on the bus. The school principal also can request to see the video to get to the bottom of what's going on and the driver SHOULD BE writting up the kids that are bullying your son on displinary forms for the school to handle the problem.

Bullying has always been a problem in schools and has just started being taken seriously in the last few years because of the school shootings that have happened across the country. My children's school has a zero tolerance policy for bullying. Does it stop it from happening? No, but it makes it easier for us as parents to hold the school accountable for doing something about it when it happens to one of our children.

I hope you are able to find out which kids are doing the bullying and make them accountable for what they are doing to your little boy. Bullying really effects children's self esteem more than we know.


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Sorry to hear this! I don't really know what the solution to this problem is but have your talked to the bus driver yet? He has to have some control over what goes on with the kids on the bus and should take a little more action to address the situation. If that hasn't gotten you any where maybe talk to the principal of the school he goes to and see if they have any suggestions or can address this with the kids that are bullying your son. How is your son dealing with this situation? Does he seem scared or upset or doesn't want to ride the bus? I would really go with what your son is telling you and his reaction to the situation and take it from there. It might not be a bad thing to take him to and from school if it's that bad. I wish you lots of luck! Don't give up!

2 moms found this helpful

As a school bus driver myself, I can understand your concerns. I don't know what town you live in but here in Shelton, we have our kindergarteners sit in the front behind the driver so they feel secure. We also have a process for writting up children who cause problems on the bus. That write up goes to the principal of the school and the board of education. They are taken very seriously and if the problem persists the problem child will be suspended from the bus. If there is that much of a problem on your bus,it seems to me that the driver needs a monitor or aide. You must contact the board of ed and the bus company and bring this problem to their attention. Your child deserves the same respect as all the other children on the bus. Please let me know what happens.

2 moms found this helpful

I was sad to read this post. I'm sorry your child has a bully on the bus. Did you mention it to the bus driver? Can your child sit behind the driver instead of near the bulling kids?

Personally, I would take my child off the bus before it gets worse. I would tell my child I think it's time I take you to and from school for awhile and let it go from there.

Thank you for being a concerned parent, we need more out there.
I'm sure the bulling parents don't know or don't care :(

1 mom found this helpful

I just caught your post for the first time. It's one thing to have your child removed from the bus....but it may not be the end of the problem if the bullies are in the same school...maybe in the same class as your son. (((and if not in his class this year, maybe they will be next year.))) I think it's best to go after the bullies to stop them altogether from doing this to him again or to other children. Report it to the police, the head of the school, the head of the bus company, and if you can call their parents to let them know, do so. You might even what to call your local newspaper to do the story in their paper but first call a lawyer and see what your son's rights are. These bullies and their parents need to be taught a lesson.

1 mom found this helpful

Problem is: One bus driver that needs to be concentrating on driving - and no responsible adult supervising the children.

My nephew had same issue when he was a preteen and finally stop riding the bus. I myself rode the bus through my school years and saw so many things.

If he can be off the bus - that is wonderful. My children do not ride the bus and I am so thankful. It is a wonderful free way for kids to get a good education but it can be a dangerous place too - have you seen the news?

If you get a chance, please take the time to discuss positively the situation with the school and the bus driver of so it does not get out of hand with someone else.
Sorry this happened to your child but good for you for keeping an ear out and listening to your child!

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