How would you like to see a news story on television about a bus driver who had an accident, sending 13 children to the hospital? You’d rather watch a sitcom, right? Alright, what if while they were telling the story, the bus driver’s name was the same as yours? Whoa, that’d wake you up! Now to finish your day, let’s just say you at one time drove a bus for the same organization. Welcome to my world.
Dave Haney of the Peoria Journal Star posted an article titled “District 150s says it followed procedures on bus driver.” Why is there a question?
The gentleman in question, who I want to say at the outset has not been convicted of anything, carries the name Gary H. Davis. My name is the same, but with a different middle initial. I too years and years ago drove for a short period of time. Mr. Davis also goes by another name. His reasons are his own.
This all started in my hometown of Peoria, Illinois, when Mr. Davis crashed a bus without any other moving traffic involved. He did have a legal alcohol limit, but it is illegal when it involves a commercial license. Davis says it was a result of Nyquil.
It is an unfortunate story, and would be bad enough if we left it there. No one wants to see a bus have an accident, whether the driver is at fault or not. However, it turns out the driver has a criminal record to which district 150 responded they did their due diligence.
I would have no way of knowing that. I do know they went through the entire process with me, and if anyone is angelic-looking, I am.
However, I really am not writing this article about the situation per se. I don’t know Mr. Davis, and I have had colds and allergies that were so bad I might have been inclined to take Nyquil not thinking it would harm me, if that is what happened. And, frankly, Gary Davis (neither one of us) is not the issue here.
What is at issue here is the whole practice of busing. Do you know how many buses district 150 has? There are a lot. Our city has a population of around 100,000, and on any given morning, the streets are overwhelmed by the yellow transports.
Forget the cost of maintaining buses and hiring drivers. This carryover from the 1960s is truly outdated. The public education system is now struggling to give parents alternatives such as Magnet, Charter and Virtual schools. Why are they doing this? The fact is parents aren’t happy; they want options. Not only aren’t they getting the results they want, but they have had to send their kids to different neighborhoods.
I’ll never forget when our oldest boy was to start kindergarten we checked out the school it was mandated he go to. The principal carried a paddle through the halls.
Busing was never a solution to the failures of education. In fact, our kids are at risk just like the kids in this accident were. Good drivers or bad, that many hours on the road in harm’s way doesn’t bode well for student safety.
What’s say we address the real issue? “Quality, not surroundings.”
Associated Content Website, Gary Davis, “BuildingChoice.Org: Choice Through Magnet, Charter, Virtual and Multiple Schools”
Peoria Journal Star Website, Dave Haney, “District 150 says it followed procedures on bus driver”
Peoria Journal Star Website, Patrick Oldendorf, “District 150 bus driver arrested on DUI charges after crash”