Bullying on the bus

By: Meilan Solly
LEESBURG, VA- It’s 3:59 p.m., almost time for the buses to pull out of their lanes and begin their ride home. There is only one thing blocking you from a quick escape after a long day at school. Several students are standing up in their seats so they can talk to their friends, despite the bus driver’s repeated shouts of “Sit down!” The students pay no attention to the driver, and a few even imitate her strong accent, yelling the words back. You watch silently as other buses go and yours stays rooted in the same spot.
At any given time, young children and teenagers are bullied. They are intimidated with threats, physically hurt, verbally abused, or made to feel inadequate. However, a bullying issue that does not get as much attention as teenage bullying is the harassment of adults. Those adults include busdrivers.
If someone were to Google “bus drivers bullied”, the first page of results has headlines such as Back to school: Foil those bullies on the bus, and Melissa Ritchey says school bus driver bullied her son Cameron. There are plenty of articles about teenagers bullying their peers while on the bus, and even some about bus drivers bullying kids. But it is almost impossible to find an article about students bullying their bus drivers. Is this because it never happens, or because people downplay the issue?
Gina Edivan, a freshman, says that some kids make fun of her bus driver’s accent. She is not sure if that is bullying, but decides, “Possibly, because some of the kids are being sort of mean to her.”
Bus drivers make their way into the news because parents accuse them of allowing bullying to occur on their buses. While many students may think that making fun of their driver is amusing, it is important to remember the definition of bullying: any behavior that focuses on making someone else feel inadequate. What is fun for one person is not necessarily fun for another.