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Thread: Overreacting? Male bus driver and aide for DS preschool

  1. #1
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    Default Overreacting? Male bus driver and aide for DS preschool

    Last year DS went to SNPS and has one more year there before kindergarten. He will attend the 6 wk summer program starting Monday. Last summer, he had this aide, who was very nice and DS liked him...but it was with a woman bus driver. This year, he has the same aide but a male bus driver. I don't know, but it makes me uneasy with all the things that go on these days. I really have no reason to worry (at this point) other than paranoia. I know it sounds bad but I wonder what man would make a career out of driving a bus. (no flames please). I know there are men out there working two jobs, etc. I can totally understand it for a senior but this aide is in his 50s. I never had any reason to second guess him before other than my preconceived ideas. It's just that when he's paired with another man, it makes me nervous. I guess I could get a feel for this situation the first day and always pull him out. At 4, I guess I could introduce the stranger danger thing to him. He just doesn't seem to have a concept of people being mean or dangerous yet.

    I know there are male bus drivers all over but, for the summer program, they put all the kids together on the buses and there are several who are non-verbal. DS is very verbal but I just know he doesn't know what's "inappropriate." Am I being paranoid??? DS LOVES the bus and would be very upset if I told him I was taking him to school and picking him up. What do you think?

  2. #2
    Julie L is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default I think you are over-reacting! (m) ...

    In all my years of school and summer camp, I think that probably 75% of all my drivers were men. Women drivers were definitely the minority. We don't have school buses in my town, but my kids have taken buses to camp for 3 years and their drivers were always men. It never even dawned on me to be worried about it.

    I know the inclination is always there to worry more about a SN kids, but we have to try to relax! If the driver made you uncomfortable in any way, that's a different story. But, to be suspicious of a bus driver just because he is male is overkill in my book.

    Don't worry ... ds will be fine!!!!
    Julie
    Last edited by Julie L; 07-06-2007 at 10:54 AM. Reason: tone

  3. #3
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    Default My ds had a male bus driver all school year...

    and alot of the year, until I started complaining, he had no aide. I really liked his driver, who by the way thanked me when I started the complaints about no aide. He wanted the best for "his" kids. Mos of the drivers around here are men. You should always meet the driver and get a feel, but I don't think you should worry just because his driver is a man. It'll be fine!

    Hard not to worry, isn't it?
    Hugs!
    Kathie



    Quote Originally Posted by deenie1
    Last year DS went to SNPS and has one more year there before kindergarten. He will attend the 6 wk summer program starting Monday. Last summer, he had this aide, who was very nice and DS liked him...but it was with a woman bus driver. This year, he has the same aide but a male bus driver. I don't know, but it makes me uneasy with all the things that go on these days. I really have no reason to worry (at this point) other than paranoia. I know it sounds bad but I wonder what man would make a career out of driving a bus. (no flames please). I know there are men out there working two jobs, etc. I can totally understand it for a senior but this aide is in his 50s. I never had any reason to second guess him before other than my preconceived ideas. It's just that when he's paired with another man, it makes me nervous. I guess I could get a feel for this situation the first day and always pull him out. At 4, I guess I could introduce the stranger danger thing to him. He just doesn't seem to have a concept of people being mean or dangerous yet.

    I know there are male bus drivers all over but, for the summer program, they put all the kids together on the buses and there are several who are non-verbal. DS is very verbal but I just know he doesn't know what's "inappropriate." Am I being paranoid??? DS LOVES the bus and would be very upset if I told him I was taking him to school and picking him up. What do you think?

  4. #4
    anniemc2000 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default My FIL drives the bus for SNPS

    He retired in his 50s and still wanted something to do.....the town needed more drivers, and it has worked out well for him. He is in his 70s now, and he likes it because he can come home for a few hours in between driving. They are very strict with his position and he has to re-certify every 6 months. Once in awhile he will act as the monitor on another bus.
    I would be reassured that there were 2 adults on the bus, but, that said, trust your instincts too. Maybe ask to meet the driver/aide ahead of time and see what you and ds think. Is driving ds yourself an option for you at all? It's pretty split at dd's school, half take the bus and half are driven.
    Good luck!
    Ann

  5. #5
    Restless is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default I understand where you are coming from, but

    the fact that it's 2 adults w/ your DS doesn't bother me as much as if it was just your son and the driver. I think that it's actually a good thing for the driver as well that there is another adult/person in the van with them.

    FWIW, when my DS was in Special Needs Preschool for Speech Issues (he couldn't speak or be understood), the school wanted to transport him in a mini-van w/ a male driver - I said absolutely not - At the time, hew as being taken to school in a little yellow school bus with other kids, and a "grandma" bus driver...it was actually a motivating activity for him because he loved riding the bus. The school was changing the transportation because of an issue that the afternoon parents were having...Anyway, I was concerned about my DS being the only kid in the van, and unable to tell me if there was any problem (inappropriate behavior, driver running into the convenience store for cigs or coffee, etc). I was prepared to drive him to and from school if they didn't contine the yellow school bus w/ "Grandma" at the wheel...maybe I'm overprotective, but that's how I felt about the situation. In the end, he got to stay on the bus

    Also, check out Amazon - I got a lot of great books about stranger danger, inappropriate touching, secrets, etc. Your DS is old enough to start discussing this, so if he ever is in a sitution, he'll know it's wrong and what to do.

    BW

  6. #6
    pepperlc is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default I don't think it would bother me

    is the aide a woman?

    karen

  7. #7
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    Default Thank you so much

    I hope I didn't offend anyone. I really do feel like it's a respectable job - I mean, they are responsible for getting my son to/from school safely! My concern was more with the male aide being with the male bus driver. His aide was the same man as last time and I've never had any reason to doubt his integrity but still... I don't wonder about the drivers as much as the aides (that's when I wonder why a man would want to do that job).

    Also, we had an incident with one of the bus companies in this town because a high school kid was dealt drugs by a bus aide. I guess that has my radar up. The two people who transport DS during the year are the "grandma" types and they've been wonderful. These men for the summer might be great too. I have no reason to think otherwise except my own paranoia. I would just feel more comfortable with a woman too - kind of like having a nurse in with a male Dr. gyno appt.

    DS is in this preschool for some minor speech issues but his speech is pretty much on target at this point and feel like he would tell me if something happened. He still tells me when this kid pushed him last summer or if someone didn't share! I just need to have "the talk" with him. I guess I'll talk to him and get a feel for the driver.

    Thanks for putting my mind at ease. I thought I was overreacting but I wanted to make sure. I know that over the summer they put all the kids from the school together and some are totally non-verbal, I fear that makes them more of a target. I would hate to think of any kid being taken advantage of like that but I know it does happen. It's a shame we have to be wary over every soccer coach, ice cream truck driver, etc...

    Thanks again!

  8. #8
    angeleena is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default

    hI,
    I JUST WANTED TO say that I totally understand your paranoia.

    There are SO MANY sexual predators out there that it is unbelievable when you find out about it. (sexual predator lists are now online for most states i think)
    I ordered a paper copy of the list in our city, and I was just amazed at how many there are, even in my neighborhood. Literally thousands in my city, and i know less than 1 of 10 gets caught....so do not feel bad about being paranoid, you are just being cautious.

    Of course, out of the thousands of men on the list, there are like 3 or 4 women.

    Being raised catholic, and after what has gone on with the catholic church and priests, I now always question motives.

    We have an ice cream cart man on a bike, in his 50's that rides by here daily and both dh and i wonder why would a man in his 50's be doing a bicycle ice cream cart? He has the "look" too, so that does not help.

    Anyway, go with your gut.

    -Angi

  9. #9
    angeleena is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default ps

    ps.
    my cousin is a male bus driver, who does not have a wife and kids, but loves kids.

    he is a great guy, and i do not think he is a perv.

    i wish he could find a wife and have a family though. (know any women in their 30's/40's that like a guy who lives out in the country in Oregon?)

    He also vounteers and reads to kids at school.

    Anyway, I should have mentioned that before....

    -angi

  10. #10
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    Default Bus picked up DS today - update

    The aide is the same guy as before. In his 50s and rather disheveled, but nice. The driver seemed very young - maybe a college student? That kind of threw me. I tried making small talk and he seemed a bit nervous but I think it was my own paranoia. I'll see how it goes as the days/weeks go by - see if I can get some more personal info out of this guy. DS was the second kid on the bus this morning and was so excited to go back to school. I can always tell him the bus doesn't come to our house anymore but I'd hate to do that without cause because that's part of the fun for him.

    I called the bus co. today and asked what type of checks they go through. He said it's very extensive - fingerprinted, criminal record check, drug screening, etc. I feel a little better but we'll see.

    Thanks again to all who responded...

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