Waking up at six in the morning, the typical high school upperclassman will have logged about seven hours of sleep after a long day of work and study. Half awake, half asleep, he or she will trudge to the bus, claim their seat, and sink in to relax for just a bit more before starting –
“The dolphin is the coolest fish that can beat up a elephant!” The scream of a rowdy child jars the bus.
While most passengers on the bus system do not encounter children in elementary or middle school who display an extreme level of disregard for others, high school students are almost guaranteed to have some sort of contact with less than ideal kids.
“Kids are very disrespectful,” says Mike, a high school senior, “but recently the kids on my bus have gotten better.”
Michael, a high school senior, describes his general bus experiences as fine. However, he remarks that the kids on his bus frequently leave their trash on the bus and are not very respectful. Shaun, a high school senior, also describes the bus system overall as effective, saying it “gets me home, gets me to school.” He also mentions that the elementary and middle school students on his bus are also very disrespectful.
The bus system does have measures in place to address this issue. Bus monitors, stationed on every bus, are responsible for ensuring the safety of students on the bus. In addition to supervising each students’ individual bus safety, bus monitors also provide extra attention to the younger passengers. From cleaning up after students to keeping the younger passengers in check, the bus monitors are some of the unsung heroes in the typical school day.
However, some of these bus monitors may not be as effective as they could be. The fact that small kids on the bus end up disturbing others as regularly as they do is partially due to the lack of power or authority that the bus monitors have.
“Bus monitors do their job,” says Shaun, a high school senior, “but the kids don’t listen.”
While it could be simple to hold the kids responsible for their disruptive behavior on the bus, there are other influential factors that are just as culpable. Among the potential sources of are the other students on the bus, such as other middle school students and high school students. Surely, the stray words of a high school student could easily make their way into a nearby elementary school student’s vocabulary.
James, a high school senior, says otherwise. “Well, I don’t really like how little kids swear a lot and high schoolers get blamed for it, well it has some merit to it,” says James. “But like for my bus for example, the little kids on it are super foul mouthed and we have only 3 or 4 high schoolers and none of us cuss.”
Given the circumstances caused by elementary school students sharing the school bus with high school and middle school students, the problems caused by this combination of age groups could be addressed by having separate buses for different grade levels. However, these matters are not nearly serious enough to be dealt with in such a way.
“I’m not complaining,” says James. “This is the most efficient way to transport students, economically and environmentally. I mean why should we prepare three busses that all go to the same spot at the same time just to separate students by grades?”