As a parent coach, early childhood educator, and a former school teacher I am completely appalled and discouraged by the way the bus drivers where the Fekalb County Georgia left children in the cold on a cool morning when they didn't show up for them. I chose not to write this blog until this evening because I wanted to find out how they handled the issue on Friday before I put my two cents on the net.
So, now that I know they did not go back to work on Friday I am going to share with you my thoughts. I think it was severely irresponsible, selfish, and very dangerous for the bus drivers to just simply not show up. We have not yet heard the stories of what happened to children who ended up waiting for however long before they were either picked up by their parents or went back home. What really concerns me is that they can just leave high schoolers and middle schoolers out on their own but elementary school children as young as 5 years old. Apparently this was something that with decided to be done and they could have chosen to say we're not showing up for work tomorrow. They could have released it to the media WSB in particular so that parents would be warned that their children would be stranded out in the cold on a public street, or at home alone. In my opinion every bus driver who did not show up for work that day should lose their job. Not because they went on strike it is completely their right to go on strike. But, because and this day in age when children are followed to school by predators, are abducted while waiting for the school bus. And while parents trust that their children will be picked up in a timely manner to ensure their safety these bus drivers broke contract not with the school district but with the parents and the children. These people can no longer be trusted to put the safety of our children first.
I seriously doubt that they will fire all four hundred of these people because they're skills are unique and driving a school bus full of children is not a job many people can step into.
However if I was a parent of a DeKalb County child who was left out in danger while the bus drivers went on strike, I would be demanding some serious repercussions for these bus drivers. Not only would I insist that the school district did not give them raises I would insist that the school district fine the bus drivers 5% of their pay until they paid back the county the amount of tax dollars lost by them not showing up for work. Then make automatic that all four hundred of those drivers not be rehired for the 2018-2019 school year.
Atlanta is one of the cities that fight off sex trafficking of children every day these drivers by not showing up for work and not picking the kids up put them in the kind of danger that is completly unacceptable for any person who has responsibility of caring for and respecting our children. They could have come up with a way to do this where the children would have remained safe but instead they wanted the shock value of children being left out in the cold. I'm very angry and I don't even live in DeKalb County know how these parents feel but I would be extremely angry at what these bus drivers did to the children who live in my city.