Helicopter Bus Stops?

8 Jun

I found myself behind a school bus today while out driving, which is always a slow drive and to be expected, but this bus stopped at every house in the neighborhood. At least that’s what it seemed like. Drive ten feet…stop. Two more houses…stop. A few more houses…and…stop.

Gee, I know these were grammar school kids but can’t they all walk through their own neighborhoods…at all…any more? One stop in the middle of the neighborhood, everyone get off and then walk down the street to your own home? No?

Even all of the parents were waiting outside of their own respective houses for their own respective children. Couldn’t they all gather at one central location? If they were afraid to let their children walk 100 yards through their own residential neighborhood? Wouldn’t the exercise, as little as it would be,  at least do everyone some good?

Is the world that dangerous now? In suburbia even?

I can hear my parents now exhorting us about how they would have to walk 5 miles to school each day when they were young…and uphill both ways! Even when I was a kid buses wouldn’t pick you up if you lived within 2 miles of school, so some parents would actually drive their children to school, rather than let them walk all that way. It was scandalous! But still most children did their own walking. Crossing guards would get you to the side of main street that your neighborhood was on…then it was up to you to wend your way, on foot, up hill and over dale to your own driveway and house.

Now? It’s hop off the bus and the Play Station is only one lawn away! Hooray for modern times!

I know I’m old now…but does this happen where you live too? And is it a positive trend…or just too much of a good thing?

7 Responses to “Helicopter Bus Stops?”

  1. jacquelineobyikocha June 8, 2015 at 11:33 pm #

    GP, I hope I can call you that? This seems to be the trend nowadays and truly a worrisome one. I walked to school as well when I was younger and my parents did not have to sprout grey hairs worrying themselves to death about my getting back in one piece. Nowadays, our values seems to keep dropping at alarming rates and crime against children on consistent rise; so one cannot really blame the parents. I however advocate for a common meeting point as against stopping by every yard.

  2. avwalters June 9, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

    Look at the kids. Are they engaged in their neighborhoods, or are they hot-house kids. Are they plump? Do they move fluidly and with confidence? I’m old school–over a mile to school each day, on bike or on foot. Like most, we were a one car family, so rain or shine, you found your way to school. We were part of the neighborhood. We could tell you, in a heartbeat, where other kids lived and what school they attended, where the dogs were (and whether they were friendly, where fruit trees were located, who had new pets, and where any new homes were being built (or renovation.) We belonged. If these bus-babies go inside and live in front of a screen, then this is no good. I guess it’s up to the parents.

  3. Cendrine June 10, 2015 at 3:31 am #

    I drove a school bus for a year and we didn’t have door to door service even for the kindergarten kiddies. It was central stops, often city transit bus stop, and parents congregated there to wait for their babies.

  4. MrJohnson June 10, 2015 at 5:05 am #

    I wonder if having to drop the kids off in front of their home is due to some legal matter.

  5. Carol A. Hand June 10, 2015 at 5:09 pm #

    My neighborhood is probably different than the one where you live – the street in front of my house is filled with children walking to and from the elementary school a block to the west and the high school four blocks to the east. And in summer, it’s a children stream to the nearby park and many families stroll by. The only school bus that ever stops on the street is for the one child who goes to a distant school that accommodates his special needs. But it’s relatively safe even though it’s on the poor side of town, with churches and elder apartments. Other neighborhoods in this same city are not as safe. Even so, it’s not like the small town where I grew up . Everyone knew their neighbors and watched out for each other. Decades of messages to be afraid of strangers, just go shopping because happiness and acceptance demand the latest gadgets, have eroded the connecting fabric of communities. I don’t think this is unintentional. It’s easier to manipulate people who are isolated and alienated.

  6. gladysacosta June 18, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

    As I read this I think about the campaigns for regulating the amounts of sugar in soft drinks, the fitness movement by our first lady and other agendas to get our children to feel better about themselves and overall healthier. I also hear my mother’s voice echoing in my mind, “I walked a mile to school and I am still here.” We probably heard this from elders in our families. Our children first and foremost need to feel and believe that they me safe. We need to work together to make sure that drivers don’t roll stop signs, run through red lights and simply speed in areas where children are present. Yes, we need to get kids to move and walk more. But we also need to work to get to know our next door neighbors again and do less texting and start talking to each other. Thanks for your post. Thanks for stopping by Poemattic.

  7. Human Being on a Journey! July 15, 2015 at 3:17 am #

    I agree that it is sad. I cringe when I get behind a bus. I am not that old, and I survived walking to school. We had to cross a major highway. I will admit a few mornings if we were running late – my brothers and my friends and I – we would close our eyes and run hoping a big truck was not coming. Guess what? we survived! We did a lot when we wee kids – and we are still alive to tell the stories! I cringe when parents will not even let their kids go outside because they have to keep an eye on them at all times. We do have to cut the cord a bit on this. Trust your kids! I agree that there should be central pick up, not every single house!

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