67 answers

School Field Trip

My 2nd grader wants to go on a field trip with his class tomorrow. But the class is taking a school bus to get to the destination. Before I even had kids I swore they would never go on a school bus. I don't believe they are safe. I have clearance from the principal to drive my son to the destination. But he wants to ride the bus and says if he can't he would rather not go. I am fine with him not going but only if he really doesn't want to, not just becuz of the bus/car thing. There will be lots of other field trips this year and this will come up over and over. Advice for an over protective mommy??

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your advice. Most of it was the same: That I should send him on the bus and go along. What I had neglected to mention in the post is that there was no way I would NOT accompany him and also that I have zero interest in putting myself on a bus. If it's not safe for him it is not safe for me. Thing is, I am a single mom, so if something were to happen to him and to me, that leaves my 5-year-old without a family. Yes, of course I know the dangers of everyday life. But I do think that my car is safer than the bus for 2 main reasons: 1. My kids have state-of-the-art highly expensive car seats in my car. 2. I am driving. So if something does happen I have only myself to blame. One kind woman responded, she is a bus driver herself: She states that the center of gravity is higher on the bus and therefore the bus is far less likely to topple over. That is the exact opposite of ture, unfortunately. The higher center of gravity is WHY the bus is more likely to tip.
That said, I decided to just drive him this time and check out the bus before we left. My mom indicated interest in accompanying him on the bus in the future (tho I will have to decide next month). We have 6 field trips this year to get thru.
So what did we do? The teacher described the field trip, to a fire safety place, in school yesterday and my son came home terrified and said he didn't want to go. So I think we will continue to pick and choose and decide on individual basis. I truly appreciate all the advice and will certainly be back for more!
For now, both kids slept in and are watching Curious George! Have a great day!

Featured Answers

I'm a teacher and we take field trips all the time. I agree with the other posters...let him take the bus. He will be just fine. Kids are cruel and you don't weant him to get teased throughout life for being a "mamas boy".

1 mom found this helpful

Hate to say this but you are going to have to let go a bit, taking a bus on a field trip is a great way to start learning to be independent. He will also be singled out because he is the only one not taking the bus because of a fear that YOU have.

Can you be the parent helper and ride the bus with the class? I feel the same way as you. I have a first grader and have insisted that me or one of my closest friends (and fellow nervous Mom) be the parent helper for every field trip. I really wish they would do away with the practice, but until they do, maybe try my solution.
Good Luck.

More Answers

M.,
I used to drive a school bus and believe it or not. A school bus is safer for your child to be on them then your own car! And if you are going on this trip with him then you will be on the bus with him. If this is his first time on the bus he will have a blast with all of his friends.Just let me bring up one question. Do you stop at every railroad crossing before going over it and open up your car door or window to listen for a train before you cross it? Do you follow the speed limit at all times? Bus Divers go thru more training then most people know that they do and if it wasnt for my back I would still be driving that bus. I so miss being with the children. I takes a special person to drive a bus with 70+ children. Believe me he will be safe. Good Luck with your choice. I know it is hard because he is your child, but believe me he will be safe. Look it up on the internet on how safe riding on a school bus is. You will be suprised.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M., I am unsure you have a faith, but this is one you need to put in God's hands. Just like sending your kid to school everyday, you need to pray that HE keeps him safe. My kids love the bus too. That is their social time. You need to worry about them more when they get older...and I am not talking about bus accidents. I have heard horror stories of what kids have tried to get away with. I would be more concerned about the supervision the kids are getting than the bus driver. Why not go on the bus yourself and be the room mom.

1 mom found this helpful

I am the mother of a 20 year old with Down Syndrome. The bus issue comes up most of the time when, out of convienince, My husband and I decide that taking him home from an event we have gone to to cheer him on for Special Olympics, would be easier than riding home without him, and going back to the school to pick him up when the bus drops him off there. Your son simply wants to be one of the guys. He wants to be with his peers. The kids MAY ( NOT for sure) be making fun of the fact his "mommy" has to drive him every where. If this hasn't come up yet, it will.( talk to your son and ask him)
My husband and I most often let him ride with his friends, and only drive him when we are pushed for time now. Mike appeciates this...and says so.
Mike has been taking the bus ( state law in my case) since he was 3 years old. In all this time..there was one incident in which a teenage driver bumped the bus. No one was hurt. In the same span of time, I have been rear ended, sideswiped, and backed into 7 or 8 times. I have NOT ( I am proud to say) caused one accident. I was hurt 3 times.. Fortunatly Mike was not. There are many more Auto accidents than bus accidents.
Ask to check out the bus driver's driving record if you feel the need. But let your kid..be a kid. Love him like there's no tomorrow. Guide him to be a strong, honest, young man. But let him be a kid with friends and peers.
Good luck..and give the kids an extra hug.

1 mom found this helpful

It would really be best if you let your son take the bus. Not doing so is eventually going to make him feel "left out" and different from the rest of the class, not to mention that he will miss out on great life experiences. I was a teacher for 7 years prior to having my daughter, and I did have a parent once who did not let their child go on field trips because of the belief that buses aren't safe. First of all, parents need to realize that a field trip is part of the curriculum, not just an optional "fun day" off from the classroom. Secondly, school buses ARE safe. There is no way that they would be allowed to transport millions of kids to and from schools every day if they weren't. If it will ease your fears, do some research on school bus safety. I know the feeling of wanting to protect your child 24/7, but the bottom line is, you have to let go a little in order to create a happy, self-confident, well-adjusted child. You have a much greater chance of damaging your son's emotional and social development by doing things like not letting him take a bus to a field trip than you do of something happening to him while on the bus. Best of luck and remember... him riding the school bus is your fear, not his.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm a teacher and we take field trips all the time. I agree with the other posters...let him take the bus. He will be just fine. Kids are cruel and you don't weant him to get teased throughout life for being a "mamas boy".

1 mom found this helpful

This is what I just read...
"According to recent official school bus accident statistics, 1,450 people have been killed in school bus related accidents since 1990. Of these fatal accident victims, 67 percent were the occupants of other vehicles involved in the school bus accident, 25 percent were pedestrians or bicyclists, and nine percent were passengers in school bus-type vehicles.
These school bus accident statistics translate into: Approximately 27 school aged children die in school bus accidents every year. Seven of these are passengers in a school bus and twenty are pedestrians. Of these twenty pedestrians, fourteen are killed by school buses and the other six are killed by other vehicles involved in a school bus accident. More than one half of all pedestrian fatalities involve a child between the ages of five and seven."

So on average, 7 children per year die from being a passenger on a school bus. Compare that to how many children die per year from being a passenger in a car with expensive car seats and a careful parent driving them. It doesn't compare. Car accidents happen because of other drivers, not just you. When a bus accident happens because of another driver, the children in the bus are fine..the children in the car are not. Your fears are completely unsound and seem to be rubbing off on your child. I find it hard to imagine a 7 year old boy that would be terrified of fire trucks and firemen. It seems that he has picked up your fears and wants to make you happy, or has already taken them as his own.
I know your field trip is over, but reconsider for the next one. Your child is missing out and will most definitely be made fun of throughout the years if you continue this.

1 mom found this helpful

Let the kid go on the bus. He'll be fine. I have a friend that is a school bus driver and let me tell you--They go through such extensive training and testing that if they are not qualified or pass ALL the tests, they are not going to get the CDL.

Get on the bus with your kid and have a good time

I know you had tons of resoponses and read your addition to your initial ?. Just remember that you inflict YOUR insercurities on your children. Do you want them to be 20 and afraid to do something and so in turn they run to you and never have a life. I know it seems like quite a leap, but it starts with something as small as riding the bus. I rode one everday in school and then as a teacher on all the field trips my kids went on. They are safe and fun for all! Please sit back and see what your fears are doing to your kids. I know it is not easy, but anytinng could happen at anytime even when you are in control.

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