The Bus Video

Well, Day #12 brought to my class the Bus Video.  Apparently this is a video that all students in our school district are mandated to watch.  Which means even my little ones get to watch it, even though they a)almost never ride on buses, and b)don't understand most of what is presented in the video, largely because they a)almost never ride on buses.  They also don't understand it because it is clearly not geared toward your general preschool audience.  The video talks about the amount of feet that you have to stay away from the bus while waiting for it to arrive, and how you must use the "restraint" system properly, if there is one.  Oh, and how there is to be no arguing, fighting or other forms of harassment on the bus.

Obviously, in the face of such developmentally inappropriately presented information, my little ones slowly drifted away from attention mode, instead starting to randomly and spontaneously offer up personal stories of motorcycle rides and past birthdays.  They shuffled, they squirmed, they starting touching their neighbors.

Until they got to the part about hypothetical emergencies on the bus.  For example, the highly unlikely scenario of the bus driver getting sick or even passing out on the bus.  For this part, they showed Sally Bus Driver slumped unresponsive over the steering wheel.  They then proceeded to tell where the students could find the special If-the-Driver-is-Sick-or-Otherwise-Incapacitated Emergency brake.  Fortunately they did not show the bus careening and swerving down the road as Sally Bus Driver was unconscious, but they really did not need to - the effect was virtually the same.

"Ooh!  What's wrong with the bus driver?"  My kids perked right up.  "Whoa.  She's sick."  Not surprisingly, they were glued to the screen.  Just as this attention shift happened, the video moved to the "highly improbable" scenario of a bus crash.  (I think they prefaced this by again telling the viewers that traveling by bus is safer than any other form of transportation.  And then said something like, 'But just in case...").  They then showed a picture of the a bus over on it's side, surrounded by emergency vehicles. 

Suddenly, all 24 of my little ones were staring in varying degrees of horror at the crash scene.  "What happened?"  "What's wrong?"  "The bus crashed!", and then "All of those people are going to die."

Which sends the teacher automatically into Mend Mode.  "No one is going to die.  Those people are just pretending to have a bus crash.  They're just pretending to show you how to be safe if something went wrong.  No one is going to die."  And so on.

So, who knows what stories went home today about the bus video today.  And it remains to be seen what residual effects will surface on the day that we really do ride a bus for a field trip.

And that's what happened on Day #12.

Barbara  – (9 September 2010 at 12:16)  

I remember laughing with other teachers as we dealt with all the weird things the district or state wanted us to do because every one in school had to do it -- and it never struck any of the powers that be how stupid some of those requirements were for pre-K. But I could never have written about it in as amusing a fashion as you do. Love your talent. Mom

Sarah  – (9 September 2010 at 14:37)  

The state of Texas now requires all students -- I'm pretty sure pre-K through 12th grade -- to see the same video and have a bus safety day TWICE a year. Seriously? Take up instruction time to see the same inappropriate video? Yes, one should laugh to keep from crying. Ridiculous -- but, yes, it took some good stories home for your kids...

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