should elementary schools (long)....

…have some sort of after-school emergency line? Or at least someone there to answer the phone in case a child didn’t get off the bus and no-one seems to know where said child is?

OK here’s what happened,I was on my way to pay a bill (and other errands) when my friend calls me on my cell.
He tells me that his daughter didn’t get off the bus (he also informed me that the school is not answering their phone and asked if I could help him find her(he has no car)

Of course I drop everything and say “yes I’ll drive by the school on my way and look around then I’ll be right up”
So I get to the school and look around at the kids playing in the field and dont see her. so I decide to enter the school and talk to the first person I see (he’s got a visible “staff” card on his person)

I tell him the situation He says “follow me” so he informs other teacher/staff members that are sorta milling around chatting in the rear portion of the bldg.
They start looking around for “emergency numbers”(from what I gathered #'s of the aid who escorted her to the bus and her teacher) This goes on for a good 15 min.

Then one female staff member says “follow me” she’s headed to the secretary’s(sp) desk(who’s gone for the day) to find those numbers. We get there and guess what? the phone is ringing, it’s my friend calling. They wouldn’t have picked up the phone if I hadn’t stopped by.

Long story short, a truck pulled up to his house and dropped off his kid(her friends Dad) about the time I made it to his house to go looking for her.

Later he tells me that when he talked to the principle about an emergency line for such incidents the principle told him: “we dont have funding for such things” and “when the kids get on the bus our responsibilty ends, its the bus companies responsibility”

My questions :

a)is it asking too much to have a number to call in case these things happen?(say, the aid’s # responsible for escorting children on the bus)

b)based on what the principle said, does that sound like the right attitude to take on such matters?

c)shouldn’t they have some sorta emergency “routine” for this? Because from what I witnessed they didn’t have their sh*T together.

You mention that the busses in your district are run by a private bus company, right? I’m not sure how that would work as I’m not familiar with it, but in the districts I’'ve been in, the busses have been run by the district. Bus drivers are employees of the school district.

I worked briefly in the district transportation office last year and if something similar exists in your district I suggest thats where you direct your calls. Schools can’t know if a particular student got on a particular bus on a given day. But the district office might at least be able to radio the bus drivers and see if any of them have your child on their bus. Its not a great solution, but its something. And you should always be able to reach someone in the transportation office as long as busses are out.

Thanks.

The staff/teachers seemed like they didnt really know what to do.
(I didn’t, I dont have kids)

The whole time I was thinking “what if she doesn’t show up?” I was worried sick.

I was just about to tell my friend “ok its time to call the police” when the truck pulled up.

Something like that has happened to me and my neighbors a few times. Our kids were being quiet so the driver forgot they were on the bus and kept going. We were worried like crazy. Tried calling the school but there was no answer. So, yes the school should have someone there. It is a private company that runs the busses, but if the school is putting my children on the bus they are still partially responsible.

We got our kids back an hour later.

Find out who your school board member is, call them and raise these concerns. This is precisely what they are there to hear and address.