Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Was I too aggressive?

So...last Friday my son came home from school and told me that his bus had been pulled over that morning by two policemen. The bus driver wasn't speeding...they were looking for guns. Yes, GUNS...on a bus full of Elementary kids. While I am grateful that they were being cautious..I am very upset that I had to learn of it from my 1st grader. I feel that I should have been notified by the school district, which I wasn't.

Well, after trying to (unsuccessfully) get some answers this week, I finally wrote an email to the school superintendent and CC'ed it to the head of the transportation department. There's a part of me that thinks maybe I was a little harsh, but theres a part of me that also says the school district was in the wrong. What do you think?

Below is the exact email I sent, with, of course, some identifying details left out for safety purposes.

Dear Mr. XXXX,

My name is Angela Smith and I have a 7 year old son enrolled in 1st grade at XXXXXXXXX Elementary. He rides bus # XX from our home to school every day. Last Friday, March 28, 2008, he told me that on his way to school that morning, his bus was stopped by two policemen who proceeded to board the bus and search everyone's backpacks for guns. As I am sure you can understand I was taken aback by his statement and I continued to ask him if that really had happened. He informed me that it had, in fact, happened and even showed me where the bus had been pulled over. I checked with other parents and asked other students as well if this had happened and I was informed in the affirmative. We, as parents, received no notice regarding this incident. This troubles me as I feel it is something that parents should have been made aware of. This was a bus full of Elementary students. While I am grateful that this seems to be a tale erring on the side of caution, I am very upset that I had to learn of this from my 1st grader. I am sure that I am not the only parent who heard about the bus being pulled over and searched for guns by their child. I feel that we, as parents, should have been notified of this from the school district.

I have called the County School District offices and have gotten no answers regarding this issue. Everyone that I have spoken with seems to have no knowledge of this, and I am referred to the transportation department. When I call them I get no answer, and I have tried several times.

I hope that you will be able to answer my concerns and that I can have your assurance that if this does in deed happen again, that parents will be notified by the school district and not by their child. My son was understandably a little bit scared and confused by this. I am more flabbergasted than anything that the school district did not feel this to be of enough import to notify parents themselves.


Angela D. Smith

2 Totally cool people said::

Chantel said...

What? Heck ya I'd be ticked...I'm just an Aunt and I'm ticked. Demand answers. Who was this guy and what right do they have to search backpacks? You should press this until you get all the answers you want. Cush

Marci Knecht said...

You were gentle compared to how I would have reacted. I would have showed up at his office in person demanding an answer.

Unless they had a reason to suspect that a child on that bus did indeed have a gun, then there was no reason for them to have stopped the bus. As a parent, I would expect that they would have some sort of rules and procedures in place regarding such things, and that an official notice would have been sent home from the school that day explaining why it had happened.

If you don't get a reply from him by email or telephone within the next few days, I'll pay him a little visit....