Schools are known to have issues with bullying, but the ways children get transported to and from school can also create a negative environment where children are bullied. A negative experience on the bus, especially for a young child, can change their entire outlook on school and education in general.
When children do not feel safe on a bus to school, then it is much more difficult for them to feel safe at school. Feeling insecure also affects attendance, participation, and the development of healthy peer relationships. Sometimes, in order to avoid such bullying situations, children will go out of their way to avoid their attackers, which can put them into even more dangerous situations. For example, one five-year-old boy was so distressed over being bullied on the bus that he chose the dangerous route of walking home alone from school despite not knowing how to get home and being so young.
There has to be another way.
There are more stories with important lessons pertaining to bullying on school buses and the different methods teachers and parents have devised to put a stop to this prevalent problem. Bus driver Cindy Clausen does her part by encouraging the good she sees in others.
Clausen goes out of her way to recognize students for their positive actions on her bus. Clausen’s Bus #50 in Princeton, New Jersey happens to have two angels plus a boy who greatly benefited from them in its seats every school day.
Jorge and Annaliese were two students on the bus who always went out of their way to make sure that Jackson, a boy with disabilities, felt welcomed and accepted. Jackson has trouble walking and often entered the bus with sadness, but Jorge and Annaliese knew how to make him smile and brighten his day.
The two children always made sure to sit next to Jackson if he was sitting by himself. They encouraged him with tasks like picking up and carrying his own backpack and never made him feel badly for being slower than other kids.
Clausen wrote a letter to Jorge and Annaliese’s parents describing what a wonderful gift their children are to her bus and especially to Jackson. The encouraging letter can be found below.
It is encouraging to know that Clausen is so aware of how children are treating each other on her bus. Sometimes it just takes an observant adult to step in and change the environment to one that encourages the kindness these children have shown.
It is great to see parents like Jorge and Annaliese’s parents being praised for their dedication to raise thoughtful children. Not only are the children themselves inspiring, but the extra effort Clausen took to personally thank parents is an excellent example to all to recognize the good we see!