December 7, 2013

Letter: The ultimate losers

— A recent school bus/police incident produced no winners, only short and long-term losers, but who cares if it goes away quietly?

Short term, the Dalton Police Department and some officers suffered embarrassment. If handled constructively, as seems to be the case, this can be a valuable lesson. A bus driver left a job, but drivers who care about cargo and road safety — as this driver seems to — are very much in demand. The school saw no need for disciplinary action. Therefore, parental confrontation was dodged and blissful parents remain. Bus-riding kids who led and participated in this incident of disrespect for authority now feel empowered; these will be heard from again.

Long term, those involved who may feel they won, have only dodged this bullet. There has been no winner. Empowered, undisciplined kids from the bus are likely to flex their mouths and muscles in the classroom, not only hindering their own achievement, but also hindering the learning of others. School officials will likely be forced into parental confrontation sooner or later. Parents will ask, “Why my child?”

Caring parents of the kids on the bus probably already have “that feeling” if their kid was involved. All parents can demonstrate how much they really care by insisting upon a review of audio/visual recordings from the bus. Uncaring or blissfully ignorant parents will wonder why their child encounters the police again in the not too distant future.

Those children involved, but undisciplined, as the “incident” quietly goes away will be the ultimate losers.

Frank Barnes