Yesterday I drove down to the bus stop to pick up my girls from school. Because of the layout of our neighborhood our closest bus stop is 4 blocks down an incline and I end up driving in order to not hear the complaints of walking home uphill with heavy backpacks. Anyway, the bus technically is scheduled to arrive at 3:20 but always comes at 3:30. However, I always head to the bus early because of my paranoia at the thought of being late to pick up my kids. Turns out that yesterday the bus came extra early and when I arrived at the bus stop, I could see the bus pulling away and leaving a large group of little kids UNATTENDED.
Legally, the bus driver is not allowed to leave kids at a bus stop alone, especially since there are kindergartners in this mix. So when I pulled up and saw ten little kids, including my own two, with no parents anywhere around, I got mad. I asked the kids if there had been any parents at the bus stop when the bus arrived. They said yes, there had been a few parents who had picked up their kids and left in their cars and one who lived in the apartment building behind the stop. I was astounded. It explained why the bus driver left. He saw parents there so he left to keep his schedule. But it doesn't explain why the other parents would have left too. I parked my car and waited 15 minutes for their parents to show up because the thought of leaving little kids unattended is unthinkable to me. This is a particularly busy corner with alot of traffic. I never leave the bus stop until I see that all the kids have been accounted for and I would hope that someone would do the same for my own kids. To see that a bunch of parents had not done this simple and important courtesy makes my blood boil over. I am grateful that I happened to arrive when I did but I wonder what would have happened if yesterday had been one of those days I decided to pick the girls up from school instead of the bus stop? When I showed up, the 6 and 7 year olds had already thrown down there backpacks and were running around wild in the grass and into the parking lot below. I shudder to think what might have happened if they had run unattended into the street.
So I am going to have some choice words to say to the parents of the kids that left. One of them is a nanny, but that is no excuse. All adults have a responsibility to keep children from harm. This could have been a dangerous situation and for the adults to abandon the children was irresponsible and selfish. I can only imagine their thoughts. Hey I was here early to pick up my kid, they should have been too. That's just wrong. Maybe they didn't think that, maybe they were too engrossed in their own schedules to even look around to see or care about someone else. Honestly I think that is just as bad. I am disappointed. I am mad. They should have known better.