Perhaps An End to Bus Stops As We Know Them

Every school day, the Houston Independent School District sends out 800 school buses to transport about 35,000 students, picking them up from 2,100 school bus stops along the way.

And as anyone who hasn’t been home schooled knows, time spent waiting at a school bus stop can sometimes be likened to being trapped in the seventh ring of hell.

Up till now, it’s been pretty much a free-for-all in the no-man’s land between home and actually stepping aboard. You can’t fight on the bus, and you can’t fight at school. But outside of those spheres of influence, whacking and bullying have been tolerated.

Apparently no longer. On Monday, HISD trustees will vote on a proposal from the superintendent to expand the district’s code of student conduct to take in bus stops.

“Most of our kids are very well behaved, but we also get reports and concerns from parents about some students at school bus stops who try to fight or disrupt other students. We’re simply not going to tolerate that. A school bus stop should be the same as being on a bus or at school – those who want to cause problems for other students should be dealt with quickly,” HISD Superintendent Dr. Abelardo Saavedra said in an e-mailed press release.

If the board approves Saavedra’s plan, the punishments dealt out could range from in-school detention and removal of school bus riding privileges to reassignment to an alternative school for repeat offenders.

Not explained in the press release: Who’s going to police these bus stops, break up the fights and escort the miscreants to justice? Or will we just rely on quick thinking kids with cell phone cameras to document the abuse? -- Margaret Downing

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