Thursday, October 09, 2008

Oh, how times have changed.

Two weeks ago, I was a chaperon on Miles' preschool class field trip to Cook's Orchard. Although Max has had many field trips since starting his schooling, I was never able to be a parent volunteer because I had my little Miley. Well, seeing as how little Miley is now getting on to be school-age, I can now tag along. The day was sunny and crisp and perfectly fall, and we all loaded onto the big yellow school bus. This was wildly thrilling for Miles, and I felt a strange flashback to high school climbing up the steps. We settled into a seat (Miles kneeling to see over the seat, and me, with my legs twisted sideways and my knees crushed into the green plastic seats.) and even I felt a twinge of excited anticipation and the bus rolled out. I was chatting with Miles about the bus, and how "awesome" it was when I noticed this above the front window.

Now, I sure as hell don't remember that from high school. I know it's been around eleven years or so, but c'mon, it's only been eleven years or so!! Do bus drivers nowadays really have a big problem with bodily fluid? I know, I know, we have to be careful in this day and age. It just gave me a laugh, is all. A funny little choked-in-the-back-of-your-throat kind of laugh. The kind where you look around at all the other adults on the bus and think "How can they not notice this??". I took this shot and passed my camera to my friend Jen, who smiled and shook her head (probably thinking I was a lunatic or a sicko). Am I the only one who thinks this is creepy??

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There may not have been kits on the bus when you were in school, but teachers have had cleanup kits of one sort or another ever since the first notice began to be paid to the AIDS issue, back when I was teaching at Mt. Greylock and later at Wahconah. Now it's just kind of standard procedure everywhere to have a bag with rubber gloves, plastic bags, etc. issued at the beginning of the year. In all these years, I've never had to use them once--although I did just one time have a girl throw up in my class, but she was thoughtful enough and lucky enough to make it to my already bag lined trash can, so while it was unsettling to everyone else, there was no "bio-hazard" involved. In a way, being prepared to clean up such things is kind of like having to wear seatbelts in your car. With luck you never need them.

Of course, while school buses may have cleanup kits today, unfortunately most still do not have seatbelts! That's another issue that bugs me a bit when I think about it. Parents, by law, have to be sure their kids are belted in, in the back seat of their own cars, but must trust to fate that in a school bus accident their kids won't be thrown out of their seats! Meanwhile, the reverse side of the "parental authority / school authority" issue is highlighted by the contrast in the ways that health issues are treated. The school needs official signed parental permission to dole out tylenol to students, but can help arrange abortions to those same students and are forbidden to even notify the parents of any details of the pregnancy, related health issues, or the procedure itself. We do live in strange times! MOM