When was the last time you thanked your student's school bus driver?

I have driven a school bus for Decatur Public Schools 61 for over 12 years. Due to the changes in contracted companies and differences in values, I am sadly stepping away from my job. I know as soon as many reading this see the words “bus driver,” they think negative thoughts about all the wrong doings of any bus driver that has ever crossed their path.

But when was the last time you said something positive? When was the last time you let our district leaders know when you have seen or experienced a driver who has gone above and beyond?

I know from first-hand experience how difficult this job is. You have good days and bad days, but no two are ever the same. It’s easy to condemn the driver for bus being late, driving erratically, your child getting in trouble or fighting with another child. But have you imagined yourself in that position? I know most public opinion is not positive of us, but we are people, trying to make a living just like anyone else. The majority of us are there because we truly care about the kids.

I loved knowing my students could wake up every morning knowing that I was going to be there on their bus on time. I provided a stability some kids rarely get. I may not have been verbally appreciated, but if I ever did miss a run, they sure let me know they realized I was gone.

With all the negativity surrounding the bus drivers and the awful reality of the union contract negotiations, I promise it would make your driver's day if you thanked them next time they pick up your kids. 

Jamie Frederick, Decatur


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