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Bus Driver Unfairly Loosing Job. Help.

Stacey1
June 20th, 2005, 09:56 AM
I wanted to know if anyone know the labour laws, or school rules regarding school bus drivers.
I drive bus because that is the only thing I can do to make money, and be with my kids at the same time.

I ask this because, I have driven bus for 3 yrs now. I moved to a new company this year due to moving. I have been having major problems with on girl on my bus (grade 7 or 8). She is very disruptive, and verbally abusive to me. She has been written up (something that happenes if you misbehave on the bus) several times, and has already been removed from the bus once for calling me a stupid fat bitch, the mother was called and told. I have had this girls mother stand in the middle of my stop calling my foul names and giving me the finger.

My office and the school are aware of this. The mother has also tried to force her way on my bus, and when I closed the doo in her face so was pounding on the door, screaming at me.

My dog Zepher died 2 weeks ago, she was hit in our driveway by accident. Well I guess this girl found out and was instigating another student to say something to me. He did, he asked me "Hey Stacey, how's you dog" he didn't say it in an inquiring way, it was said to be mean.

The principal was told, I was told there was nothing he could do to her because she didn't say it herself. I told him she was going to be put in the front of the bus he said that was fine, and if she did anything to me again she would be put off the bus, I told him to expect a problem after school, (this girl will fight with me about the colour of the sky).

Sure enough she had a fit, refused to sit up front, and stormed off the bus AFTER calling me a fat ****ing bitch.
My office was told and the school notified. I was told the principal would be waiting for me after my run at the school.

I show up and guess what, he wasn't alone. No,he had the mother with him. I am not suppose to have contact with the parents unless my boss is there, The school know's that. He said we would be less then 5 min, the mom just wants to see me. I felt very uncomfortable, the mom was right peed off. She didn't want to hear her girl was a trouble maker, (the principal agreed with me that morning) she basically agreed with her daughter saying that to me, She screamed that I had no business talking to the school about her kid, she was under 16 and a minor. I told her that's not the way we work things. If I have a problem I go to the school or my work, and they take care of it. Well, she wanted none of that. Remember, this whole time the principal is sitting there saying nothing. Then this mother is freaking on me and he gets up and LEAVES
the room. You heard me right. He left me alone with this woman. Well I had had enough. I told the mom I would not be picking up her daughter if she was at the stop She is screaming at me that she pays her taxes and I could bet my life her daughter would be on the bus in the morning. I told her I wouldn't pick her up. These people don't seem to understand the bus is a privilege, not a right, and if you misuse that privilege you lose it.
As I left I saw the principal in the hall talking to another teacher, I told him I would be back to see him the next day.
I called my office told my boss I walked into a ambush and didn't like it. She understood, when I told her what happened she said we don't have the to remove a student, the school has to do it, and they didn't.
I was told I had to pick her up. I said NO, so I don't get to do my run.
They will be talking to the school today to see what's happening, but I don't think they are going to kick her off.

So I would have to do my run with this girl verbally abusing me (don't forget about her mom to), or I lose my run.

What do you think.

Right now I refuse to drive while she is on the bus.

Eleni
June 20th, 2005, 10:21 AM
I dont know what country you are in, but here in ontario canada you can refuse to work if the working conditions are unsafe.
from the sounds of it in the least the girl is verbally abusive to you, as well as the mother, and I would venture to guess they wouldnt be far off from physical abuse if it were left to contuinue, on that grounds you can refuse work on the grounds of safety till your supervisor remedies the situation, meaning a new route or that child removed from your route.


however I dont know how it works where you are, best bet is to call the labour board and explain the situation and they can advise you of your best course of action


Eleni

Melinda
June 20th, 2005, 10:38 AM
can you go to the school board and plead your case? Keep a detailed diary of each insult, incedent etc that happens on your route. I feel sorry for that girls quality of life if she's raised by a mom like that...makes you wonder how she'll turn out.

Daisy's Owner
June 20th, 2005, 10:39 AM
That sounds like a horrible awful situation. It's too bad you are not getting any support from the school or your own company. It's not too hard to tell the rotten apple doesn't fall far from the rotten tree.

I think your best bet is to contact the labour board and find out what your options are. I think I would probably do this sooner rather than later. I can see this situation getting much worse before it gets better.

Good luck.

Stacey1
June 20th, 2005, 11:11 AM
Believe it or not I live in Ontario, and theis is a CATHOLIC school we're talking about..

I have refused to drive BECAUSE I worry it will get worse.

My stand is I have kept records of all incidents and it is 4 pages long the problems I've had with this kid.

I probably could take another run, but who's to say this won't happen again. I need to know I will have someone standing behind me if I have another problem on another run.

Keep in mind I am 27 yrs old, so I am not that much older then the high school kids I drive. I have kids on my bue from JK-12. This girl often pulls these stunts when the little kids are on the bus, not to mention my 5 kids age 2-9.

Eleni
June 20th, 2005, 11:15 AM
I think if you were offered another route you would be obligated to do so.

the labor law as far as I understand it only states that the employer has to correct your working conditions, meaning they can either kick the kid off the bus, or reassign you to a new route


If you refused the new route the labor law probably wouldnt protect you and you risk loosing your job.

i could be off, but thats my understanding of it

Eleni

Stacey1
June 20th, 2005, 11:24 AM
Does anyone know if the principal can be held responsible for putting me in that position in the first place. Like I said, I thought it was going to be a 5 min chat about this girls behavior on the bus.

Also even if I was to have another run, what about this girl? Is she to be allowed to run loose on the buses saying whatever she wants to whoever she wants. I fI was to take another run then she is still a BIG problem for someone else.
Some of you may say that's not my problem, and you would be right but I feel the school should be doing something about the PROBLEM, not taking me off my run because I refuse to be verbally abused.

Luba
June 20th, 2005, 11:41 AM
Hi Stacey

I'm sorry you're in this situation and for the loss of the dog.

Myself, I have come to know that the more you pay attention to and give attention to these kinds of situations the more they 'stink'

I would let it roll of my shoulders and back, though what they say is hurtful it is also ignorant. Thus, see it that way. There is no hope in educating these people or trying to change the way they are....so it's best to just let it go.

Ofcourse you can make a big stink about it, you can defend yourself and try to do something but in the long run it's your emotions and nerves that suffer.

We all run into idiots like this and I find the less attention you give to them the better. No matter what parents usually always stick up for their kids and if the parents donate time or money to the school in any way the principal will guess what ....probably stick up for the parents.

I hope it is smooth sailing for you from here on out....but remember the more you ignore it..sometimes in the beginning the more they may torture you with words until they realize it doesn't phase you.

Best of luck.

Safyre
June 20th, 2005, 11:53 AM
www.workrights.ca that website is actually the only other forum i go to and post on.
Please don't take any of this as harsh, just trying to get the facts out
The princible cannot be held responsible. You stated that your boss from the bus company has to be there to have contact with a students parent. You knew that, and chose to go into the meeting anyway. Therefore, you were responsible for your own actions. SHOULD the principal have done that? well, no. but, the ESA doesn't cover what ppl SHOULD have done ;-)

I don't know if this would be covered under unsafe working enviroment. You would need to call 1-800-268-8013 Occupational Health and Saftey.
Ontario does not have legislation on violence in the workplace, so I am unsure if that would be covered.

Under the ESA, if you decide not to take a new route, or to discontinue doing your current route, you can be considered as having quit your job.

Employment Standards Act (http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/Statutes/English/00e41_e.htm)
Health and Safety (http://www.gov.on.ca/LAB/english/hs/)

There is one more website that I can't find right now, I'll post later with it, it gives a great description on Health and Saftey requirements.

Luba
June 20th, 2005, 11:59 AM
I just wanted to add one thing...it surely shows you where the kids get the behaviour from though doesn't it!

Just a thought, if you're not having any assistance from your employer and you're under stress you could always see your doctor and go on stress leave.

In the meantime, would you consider looking for a job being a driver elsewhere, another school board?

The reason I say this, is if you're facing problems over this and not getting anywhere, I wouldn't want to remain employed somewhere like that.... afterall what if there were something more serious, who would you turn to for help?

Just something to think about :D

raingirl
June 20th, 2005, 12:09 PM
YOu don't by chance work for Stock do you? I don't know if they have extended their work up that way. My parents are both bus drivers. My mom drove for stock and basically had the same problem. Her manager just gave her another route. THey put a man on the route with the problem kid, and the kid had no problems with him. Aparently she has problems with women only.

Unfortunately, the way these contracts work for the schools, is the school board is paying for the service, so you have to pick up the child. I really think that the school has no say in the matter though, and you should deal only with your employer, not the school, and your employer should be bringing the concerns to the school. These are set runs (as you know) and the school board will not make itself look bad by removing the child from the bus. I think the only option is to change your run. If the next person has problems as well, then maybe they will do something about it.

I also agree with Luba, she is probably just doing it because she knows you will react to it. When did this start? How long have you been doing this run? Did it just start happening randomly or from the beginning?

At least this is the last week of school right?

Stacey1
June 20th, 2005, 12:51 PM
You are all right of course, but I will fight them anyway.

I have been on this run since Sept 04 and have had problems with her since Sept 04. She has already been removed from the bus once for a week for calling me foul names. The next step was removal for good.

I just found out they will not take this kid of the run. When I was asked if I wanted another run, it was only until we heard what was going to happen to this student. Well we have, and I was told I could drive my run with her on or not, it's my choice.

I told her she was basically saying I should do my run and close my ears to what this student says to me.

She said it was my choice.

Don't forget it's not just me hearing and seeing everything this girl does, it's the whole bus. She doesn't talk, she screams.

I was not offered another run for the remainder of the year.
I also found out there is another driver refusing to drive for the same reason.

"Raingirl" Where did you guys live when your mom worked for Stock?
I moved from Stittsville and use to drive for them. I might know your mom!!!
I have to say I never had a problem with stock "that I couldn't handle", then again I've never had both sides against me at one time.

raingirl
June 20th, 2005, 01:17 PM
My mom used to drive for Stock in Toronto. Now she is a TTC subway driver.

It really sucks what the kid is doing. She is obviously doing it for attention and nothing else.

I am a big advocate of the ignore factor. if you don't react to anything she does, then she may stop.

What I would do is put together a small "manifest" explaining something like this:

To the parents of this bus. There is a child, who will remain unnamed, on your child's bus that has been using derogatory remarks including swearing around your younger and impressionable children. The child has been asked to stop, and even been removed from the bus for their behaviour. The school is refusing to do anything about this behaviour. If you do not wish your young children to be around this vulgar behaviour, please contact the principle and ask that they look into this situation immediately

Or something like that. It's free speech right? Don't say anything slanderous, only use words/phrases from reports done on the child. Make it short/sweet and to the point, and give a copy to the kids as they leave the bus. I'm sure the parents of the smaller kids (you said some are as young as kindergarden!) would love to know that there is a child swearing and such on the bus and the school board is doing nothing about it.

Stacey1
June 20th, 2005, 01:27 PM
You make some VERY good points. I wish I had thought of the letter thing myself.
Unfortunatly we are not allowed to hand any personal letters to the students unless approved by the office or school. Which I can assure you they would not approve.

I have tried ignoring this kid, but believe me she will just get the whole bus wild, (for some strange reason the kids listen to her and will be willing to get in trouble) I normally have the patience of a saint (I have 5 kids) But there are alot of small kids on the bus and I will not stand idealy by with this kid acts like that.

I am not a big believer in ignore it because, as a mom of 5 I know that doesn't work.
This girl will just keep picking until she does get a response from someone.

This girl has also thrown stuff at other kids, and horses around with other kids on the bus, until someone gets hurt then they want me to do something about it.

CyberKitten
June 20th, 2005, 01:46 PM
My only connection with this issue is having served on a school board for more yrs than I care to remember. Bus issues were common and usually, the union (CUPE in our case) represented the driver. What about your union? Surely they would launch a grevience against the Board? I am not sure where you live tho and I know in some cases (we did that in some instances as well), school buses are contracted out to independent contractors who pay much less than the School Board would - and the working conditions are not as good either. So I do not know what your situation is.

Other than that and depending on whether this child is considered one with special needs - in which case the Board could contract with someone else to transport her - you should speak to someone in your union, the person at the School Board office (Transportation Officer? - the terms are different depending where you are), and ask them to handle it. If you work for an independent contractor, you may have more problems.

The school principal (and whoever at that school who is responsible for busing - most schools typically assign someone that task and it is not one people usually want, often it is the vice principal) - should also deal with the child. Her behaviour problems need to be looked at as well - and I guess my background would lead me to ask why is she acting out? What's going on at home? How can the school help her and by extention you?

The mother sounds like she just wants to look the other way which is not a good sign if things are to change tho.

Anyway - talk to someone in charge and see what they can do. I am not sure you can unilaterally just opt not to transport this child. You could ask for an alternative mode of transport for her? If she IS dangerous, the school and then possibly the school board, must take action.

Stacey1
June 20th, 2005, 02:58 PM
This girl is no "special needs"child, she does have some anger issues though.
Her mom tought her that I'm sure.

I do not have a union where I live so I think I will be fighting this on my own.

Cyberkitten, when you worked for the school board, and you had a problem like this what would you guys do.

Keep in mind this girl has caused problems since Sept, has already been removed from the bus for 1 week for calling me foul names, and was told if it happened again she would be off for good.

I have had the mother show up at stops ans start banging on my door while swearing at me, and also standing in the middle of the street giving me the middle finger.

This student was told to sit in the front seat, if she disagreed with it she could have got off and seen the principal, she chose to call me names instead.

Then her mom came to the school and wanted to see me. The principal called and told me to go to the school not telling me the mom was there until we were walking into the office. It was not a nice encounter.

The school will not do anything, but they do admit that they would not tolerate that if it was said to a teacher.

CyberKitten
June 20th, 2005, 04:09 PM
I did not actually "work" for the school board. I was a member of the Board - meaning we hired the CEO, teachers, principals (or at least the human resources committee I was on did). We also had to deal with greviences from the union as I noted before.

On many occasions, there were problems brought to the Board similar to the one you describe. Either the union representatives met with the Board on behalf of the driver or it was parent driven - the parent might have been complaining about a driver. We had to look at every side of the matter and try to reach an acceptable conclusion for everyone but with the interests of the student and our employees in mind.

This child sounds like she may have anger management problems though if she is not a special needs child, there must be something the school can do to help her and her family - referal to a psychologist for example. Then again, if the parents are the cause of the problem, that may be difficult. Who knows what kind of things may be going on at home?

She must also be causing problems in school - I am sure her behaviour on the bus is illustrative of how she acts in school?

If you are employed directly by the Board, (and I know there are several boards in Ottawa) and even private schools have Boards of Directors - you could approach the Human Resources committee or its counterpart or surely the Board has someone in charge of Transportation issues. I would actually talk to that person first and then go the higher level of the Board. What about the other bus drivers? Do you help each other in these situations given that there is no union?

I hope this helps!

Stacey1
June 20th, 2005, 04:23 PM
It is my understanding the school is also having problems or has had problems in the past with her.

They know she is a problem that is why I don't understand why they say I have to put up with it.

I sent my boss a 4 page letter about this girl and all the problems I've had with her and her mom. After she read it she said she put a call into the board and was waiting to hear back from them. So hopefully they will remove her themselves. :thumbs up

CyberKitten
June 20th, 2005, 04:31 PM
I somehow doubt they will remove the child - they likeley have few rights to do that unless she is suspended for something she did and another child was injured or the police are involved. It depends on what their suspension and discipline policy is - and they problems so seem to be getting worse, sigh!! They may issue an ultimatum for her to change her behaviour on the bus and if worse comes to worse, may have to transport her in another matter.

With our Board, a parent could ask for a different mode of transportation but unless the student had special needs or was ill, it was the responsibility of the parents to pay for the alternate arrangments. Even teachers are not likely to have a student removed from their classes unless it is very severe behaviour.

melanie
June 20th, 2005, 06:33 PM
i think you shoudl have every right to dismiss this girl, esp for your own peace of mind and safety. no one deserves that crap when trying to do a job, and for your physical safety it is important.

a bus driver here was stabbed in the head with a knife by a teenager the other week, the kid got charged but you can imagine he will get off. the bus driver was in a right state and had heaps of stitches, but he is brave and has gone back to work.....

i woudl stick to my guns as far as you can on this one...

Jackie467
June 20th, 2005, 06:54 PM
Unfortunatly we are not allowed to hand any personal letters to the students unless approved by the office or school. Which I can assure you they would not approve.

Could you maybe put the letters in their mailboxes or on their doors when you'r not working. The school can do nothing about that, especially if you do it anonymously, even if they thought it was you they could never prove it.

Or maybe you could right a letter to the local newspaper and see if they will put it in, many parents would probably see it there and would then likely call the school.

glasslass
June 20th, 2005, 07:20 PM
School buses here are equipped with video cameras. They are a terrific deterrent when kids know their actions are being recorded. And, they provide proof of what actually is happening. The driver is protected, as well as the students. In a dispute, the facts are right there.

Stacey1
June 21st, 2005, 09:32 AM
We have cameras here to, but we're not allowed to put them on the bus without every parents permission
Trust me not all these parents want their kids behavior caught on tape because, then they can't fight it. :evil:

Stacey1
June 21st, 2005, 12:34 PM
I was just checking out the work place health and safety site, and say that a person CAN refuse to work if they feel it is unsafe physically, or EMOTIONALLY which would be my case. My boss was going to leave things alone (meaning the kid stays on the bus) until I sent her all the history I have with this girl on paper. WOW it was 4 pages long. I last heard she was calling the board to discuss the issue.
I do think if nothing happens then I might go to our local paper and see if they would write the story.

If the board does nothing, then they are more or less saying they condone this type of behaviour from there students. I just can't wrap my brain around that.
My kids go to catholic school, and I am pretty outraged that they would get away with this kind of behaviour. The one differance being I would never allow my kids to talk to someone that was and get away with it.

Then again I teach my kids, if you want to be respected then you must show respect also. :angel:

lilith_rizel
June 21st, 2005, 06:33 PM
The way I see it, that girl is putting everyone in danger, because you are distracted while driving!!!! Where I come from, behavior like that, gets a kid kicked off the bus PERMANENTLY!!!!

MegShawnMom
June 22nd, 2005, 09:37 AM
Who do you drive for?

Stacey1
June 22nd, 2005, 10:18 AM
I don't really want to say who I drive for right now, but I will say it is in Ottawa.

I thought if a kid verbally assualts someone at school (the bus is part of the school) there was a 0 tolerance for it. I glad to see they make exceptions when it's done to an adult!!!!

Are you glad to know "your child" is safe from verbal abuse (it's questionable now) but us as adults are free game to verbal abuse from these kids.

Something to think about.... :sad:

Stacey1
June 23rd, 2005, 10:58 AM
Hey Guys,

Just thought I'd drop a line to let everyone know "I Won" this kid is off the bus starting today. :thumbs up

Just goes to show you, Sometimes when you yell louder then the parents you can get what you need. ;)

Thank you everyone who helped me with your thoughts, and comments through out this whole ordeal!! :)

kandy
June 23rd, 2005, 12:42 PM
That's great! I am glad you fought it and won. Where I live if a kid was doing that on a bus, they would be kicked off the bus for good and it would be the parents responsibility to get them to school. My kid got suspended from being able to ride the bus for 2 weeks one time - I can't even remember what he did - but it sucked trying to get him to school every morning! The school bus here is a privledge and if you abuse it, you lose it!

CyberKitten
June 23rd, 2005, 09:56 PM
Glad to hear you won. The pediatrician in me has to ask tho - (and I know this is not your responsibility) but is this child receiving any help of any kind? I wonder if the parents realize their child has the beahvious probs she does - I just think that while certainly this is wonderful news for you - and for the children on the bus she was likely rude to as well - I wonder who will help her. No child becomes this way overnight!! I hope the parents and the school board will live up to their part of the bargain of providing her with a good education AND the help she obvisously needs! Otherwise, they will be dealing with her again and she will terrorizing others. Her parents did not sound as tho they would be the most receptive so it is all kind of sad in a way, sigh!!

But at least your life will be easier!!

Stacey1
June 24th, 2005, 07:28 AM
I have said to many people, I DON'T blame this kid, I blame the parents. :evil:

I honestly don't think the mother thinks there's anything wrong with her daughter, that being said I don't really see this kid getting much if any help in the future. :mad:

I see this girl going through a very hard 4 -5 yrs of school. :o

Cactus Flower
June 24th, 2005, 01:46 PM
is this child receiving any help of any kind? I wonder if the parents realize their child has the beahvious probs she does

You're joking, right? The parent that bangs on her school bus door, cursing and standing in the road giving Stacey the finger????

Stacey, I just read this thread, and was going to suggest you maybe have the police waiting for this girl, ready to give her a good talking to (scare), and threaten to file a report for harassment with them.
But I see the problem has already been taken care of! Good news!