Good Old Boy Throwbacks

I don’t know about you, but single mothers generally learn first hand about gender discrimination practiced by good old boy throwbacks, and lest they forget their place, constant reminders thrown at them all the time. Neanderthals who still believe that a woman’s place is grovelling ten steps behind all men, and that includes female children as well.

I’ve got news for you cavemen out there–don’t terrorize my child. I will fuck you up, one way or another.

My daughter’s bus driver learned first-hand yesterday that even though I’m not six foot tall, I can still mess with his life, just as he thinks he’s entitled to mess with mine or my daughter’s.

The sixty-something subsitute driver missed the bus stop completely. Never even bothered to turn in. He didn’t know I was watching from the living room window. I saw the front end of the bus dip at our driveway, meaning he’d applied the brakes, then decided to motor on. That dip was also an indication that my child, as she stated later when I finally got her back, was screaming, “You missed my stop.” Repeatedly.

Did the man turn around as every other bus driver who’s ever missed our stop has done? No. He hands his cell phone to my hysterical child. She tells me that after she screamed and screamed, he told her he wasn’t going to bring her back. I said, “Put him on the line.” At this point he is no further than a quarter of a mile from my house.

He gives me this wanky hello and I said, “You will bring my daughter back or do I have to call [the district’s transportation supervisor]?”

“Yeah, you better do that,” he says. And hangs up on me.

I did do just that, and the transportation supervisor suddenly cannot raise this driver on the two-way radio I heard barking in the background before he hung up on me. The transportation supervisor wants to stick up for the driver on one hand, but on the other, after he hears my story, he says, “I would’ve thought he would’ve just turned around.” Well, me, too, there fella. Meanwhile, I still have a hysterical child to rescue from this neanderthall substitute driver.

After learning the route from the transportation supervisor, and warning him to get the elementary principal on the road to run interference because I was going to seriously fuck this driver up,  I take off in my car. I’m clocking speeds above 80-miles an hour to get to the Glacier Gateway, where this bus is supposed to stop before taking off to Sun Prairie, a nice little jaunt that’s going to add thirty minutes to my daughter’s fear and my worry.

The clerks in the convenience store, one of whom just happens to be my close friend, haven’t seen the bus. At all. Now, I admit I turn into exorcist mom when anyone fucks with my kid, but I know I’m closing in on the red line–a genetic mindset passed down from my biological father, who isn’t much taller than I am, but the same man who once told an Army psychologist that he feels as if he has the strength of five men when he crosses over that red line. He, like me, doesn’t remember what happens after that, and he was in the doctor’s office because he literally picked up and threw a sergeant through a barracks window during basic training.  It’s only happened to me once in my life–so far–but one minute I’m arguing with my sister who’s abused me, physically and mentally, for nigh on twenty years and the next minute, she’s on the floor beneath me, her eyes bulging while her boyfriend and my boyfriend work to pry my hands off her neck–one finger at a time. With no other recourse left open to me except to cross the red line, I opt to call 911 instead. This neanderthall isn’t worth a trip to jail, although my child I would gladly die for, a hundred times.

While my friend and I are waiting–for the bus, for the deputy sheriff–I see the bus make the turn and head back toward the convenience store. Later my daughter would tell me she saw me waving, running toward the road and told the bus driver repeatedly, but did he stop? Hell, no. And that was his next mistake.

He and I could’ve waited together for the transportation supervisor and the deputy to show up right at the convenience store. I get in my car and chase this bus down, and follow him like stink on shit until he turns into my stop over an hour after my child should’ve been freed. I block the bus’s exit with my car and get my child safely into the passenger seat.

Then I tell this neanderthall, “We are going to wait for the deputy.”

He leaps off the bus, and starts in with his first lie. “I didn’t know [your daughter] was on the bus.”

What about that dip in the front end of the bus before he’d even passed my mailbox, or my child screaming “You missed my stop!” repeatedly?

“I was too far away to turn around.”

But he wasn’t too far away to turn around, not by a longshot, not when I can see the bus from the front step of my house.

I ask him why he didn’t answer his supervisor on the two-way after hanging up on me?

He says he loses communication with the bus barn when the butte gets in the way. But I already know, from where my daughter said she was when she called me hysterically crying–a quarter of a mile from my house–that he won’t lose communication on the two-way for at least six to ten miles and countless bus stops, if that. Thirty minutes or more before he briefly loses the ability to communicate on the two-way.

After he hung up on me, this neanderthall didn’t bother to tell my daughter anything about his plans for her. He let her cry instead. And she cried all the way to Sun Prairie, cried harder when he wouldn’t stop to let her out to me at Glacier Gateway, told her only after he’d finished delivering kids to Sun Prairie that he would, indeed, take her back, then failed to deliver on that the first chance he could.

Lights flashing, the deputy flew by me, my daughter, my Taurus holding this bus and its moron driver hostage  because, as I later learned, my friend had told him that when the bus passed us at Glacier Gateway, we couldn’t see any kids on it and I had taken off after the bus.  We couldn’t see a single child on that bus when it passed either. That’s because my daughter, after being told rudely that he wasn’t going to stop at the convenience store for her mother, despite the transportation supervisor telling him via two-way radio that her mother was searching for her, cowered in the seat then, further terrified. Do you think she’s going to trust adults after this? I don’t. I know both she and I will have emotional issues to deal with in future.

The deputy made his way back to us, and the transportation supervisor pulls in behind him, the high school principal (another neanderthall throwback) riding shotgun. After I tell my story to the deputy, the transportation supervisor holds out his cell phone–the elementary school principal, an enlightened man whom I admire for not allowing gender to cloud his equal and fair treatment of all people, is on the line.

I have a meeting this morning with him at 9:30 at the middle school, a mile from my home.

The deputy finally suggests this whole incident may have been a misunderstanding and, after I agree to concede, takes his leave, although I got the distinct impression he thought there might be more here than what met his keen eye.

Call me paranoid all you want, but I personally think after reviewing the evidence ad nauseam that this substitute driver may be a perv who was able to get past the background check because he just hasn’t been caught–yet.  Kids are snatched all the time by pervs, every single day. And always, the people who knew the outed perv say they’d never expected it to happen, he’s such a nice guy, blah, blah, blah. But too many things this substitute driver did just don’t add up to anything close to reasonable in my book and he may have thought he’d been handed a golden opportunity when I wasn’t waiting out there at the stop for my child. I hope he’s had the shit scared out of him now. How long that fear will serve to protect other children, if he is a perv as I suspect, remains to be seen. I will not put my child on any bus he’s driving, however. I intend to make that perfectly clear in this morning’s meeting.

I also have a few questions for the elementary principal: What happens after the bus driver calls in to the bus barn to report his bus is empty, meaning he’s delivered his precious cargo? What is the exact procedure? Does the transportation supervisor leave immediately, expecting each driver to take care of the rest of duties regarding refueling the bus, etc. and so forth? What if I had not answered my daughter’s call? Why did the bus driver give her his cell phone to make the call in the first place, especially when the bus was not yet a quarter mile from my house? What did the driver plan to do with my daughter if, as the high school neanderthall…er…principal suggested, they don’t like to leave kids at their respective stops without a parent there? Intimating all the while with tone and gesture that this whole episode was my fault somehow, that I should’ve called the district to let them know I’d planned for my nine-year-old daughter to get off and walk 100 feet home alone as an exercise in independence, then suggesting further that I had at some time in the past four years left instructions with the school district that if I wasn’t waiting there at the stop they were not to let my child off. (In fact, after I had time to cool down and reflect upon this last charge, the only instructions I have ever given to the regular bus drivers on my daughter’s route is if I am not there, they are to LEAVE my child anyway because she will go to the neighbor’s house to wait for me.) I will mention this today in my meeting with the elementary principal.

The high school principal, who arrogantly fancies himself a future district superintendent, also suggested I give them a signed letter in writing stating that the drivers are to let my child out, whether I’m there or not. Moron. Like I’m going to give a person I suspect might be a perv that much information. Or like I don’t personally know for a fact these drivers let a majority of the kids out at numerous stops along my daughter’s route without any parental supervision every single day. In fact, these drivers drop kids off at the convenience store with or without any parents in sight, and in one case witnessed by my close friend, a child waited from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 before his mother showed up to get him. But, as single mothers are reminded constantly in word and deed, neanderthall good old boys will do anything to protect one of their own. And the instructions I will leave in writing with the elementary principal today will be that they are to leave my daughter off at my neighbor’s house, whether I’m there or not. My neighbor is a former marine who did time in Nam, his wife is my best friend, and neither will be nearly as nice or reasonable as I was if any driver fails to stop and let my child off the bus.

My child was terrorized by an insensitive and totally uncaring man she didn’t know for 45 minutes before he finally said, after all the other children got off the bus at Sun Prairie, that he would bring her back to her mother, then she was further terrified when he drove right by her frantic mother at the Glacier Gateway.

I asked her later why she wasn’t riding shotgun in the front seat of the bus when finally he allowed her to leave. I know she would’ve been in that shotgun seat if her regular driver was behind the wheel because he makes all his children feel safe. Of course, her regular driver would’ve turned around and let her off the bus, so this would never have happened–he did it before, the one time he missed our stop.

“I didn’t feel comfortable with [the substitute driver],” she said in answer to my question. She didn’t want to talk about the incident really, that was plain as the nose on her cute little face. And I don’t press these issues because I know she will talk about it eventually. Just not now, not while she’s still reliving the fear every time she thinks about it.

One other question I want answered, although I doubt I’ll ever get the truth: why did this man allow my daughter to cry for 45 minutes before he finally told her he would take her back to her mother? Did he enjoy my daughter’s suffering? That’s the way it looks to me. Another hallmark of the perv. And for that alone, he ought to be shot, or at the very least, castrated and sentenced to spend the rest of the years of his life learning that women are not chattel, are not less than him, and the high school principal can join him in his re-education of society and proper attitudes towards both genders of our species in these modern times. How easily these kinds of men forget that it was women who taught them not to shit in the cave.

If I don’t feel comfortable after today’s meeting, I may just pull my daughter out of this school district. Especially since I can no longer trust them to hire decent substitute drivers who care about the children, even the girls, nor can I depend on high school principal good old boy throwbacks treating my daughter with equal respect. Too bad the example set by the elementary school principal isn’t being emulated throughout the district, but attitudes bleed down from the top and good tends to finish last when neanderthalls are allowed to remain in charge.

My gut feeling remains that the substitute driver is a closet perv. That was my first impression when he leapt off the bus to lie repeatedly, like a cheap rug, to my face. And first impressions are…well, you know.

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