Gransnet forums


Bus passes for 11-15 year olds

(31 Posts)
overthehill Tue 19-Mar-13 17:16:50

My husband and I had the misfortune to get on a bus just as the secondry school children had left the other day.

The sheer number that crowded onto the bus plus the almighty racket they made shouting and laughing was something to behold.

These were children who attend the same school as our children did when they were young. There is a big difference here though. Our children didn't have bus passes so walked the roughly 25 minute walk to school and back.
By issuing the bus passes I imagine it is fuelling the obesity/unfit debate.

ninathenana Tue 19-Mar-13 17:44:16

Maybe a case of the nanny state.
Not safe for the little darlings to walked these days with increase in traffic and crime

JessM Tue 19-Mar-13 18:18:06

Makes you realise what a teacher deals with every time they walk down the corridor - hundreds of teenagers grin. They have such a lot of energy.
But I agree - 25 minutes walk to and from school no problem when i was a lass.

Lilygran Wed 20-Mar-13 11:02:03

I used to be the person to whom the complaints came about behaviour on buses. The company providing the private coaches for events etc also complained. It is dreadful. We resorted to having a member of staff riding shotgun which helped. A robust response from other passengers seems to work but I think many people are afraid to tackle bad behaviour by the youth these days for a number of reasons. But, without being defeatist, it isn't new. In our expat days over 30 years ago the DS travelled to their very expensive international school on the school bus. It was known as 'Hell on wheels' to all the parents. And back in England, one DS begged not to be sent to one of the very highly thought of local comps after a ten minute bus journey with a bus full of pupils from that school. If drivers successfully make the worst behaved get off the bus, the parents go to the press or the law and the driver is in trouble. I suppose what I am saying is that collective action is the only way of dealing with it.

Bags Wed 20-Mar-13 11:13:27

DD loves her 12-mile bus journey to school. She says it's quiet in the morning because people are still asleep or doing their homework, but it's noisy in the afternoon. She loves the noise! It's not a public service bus.

When the usual driver retired recently, the kids gave him presents. He 'engaged' with them – used to stop at certain shops where some of the older ones could buy their breakfast, so DD says – and tolerated their noise. They loved him in return.

Kids are noisy. Always have been. And they've just had six hours of school. Of course they erupt when they're let out.

overthehill Wed 20-Mar-13 11:13:46

As it happens a policewoman was on board although she didn't do anything other than chat to one of the pupils.

This of course costs money doesn't it and she could be usefully employed elsewhere.

I think the best idea is to cancel the bus passes. OK if they live miles away from school they should have one but not when it is just a walk away.

Bags Wed 20-Mar-13 11:17:27

Here primary school pupils get free bus travel if they live more than two miles away from school, or if the route is too dangerous (e.g. no pavement along rural roads and an unfenced sea wall to fall off). Secondary schools pupils get a free pass if they live over three miles away.

Well, we call it free, but we pay for it via council tax of course.

nanaej Wed 20-Mar-13 21:17:57

I think that's fair enough bags especially if it reduces car use too!

My DD and DGD 1 have a one & half mile walk to & from school and takes them about 15 minutes on a good day..but in icy wind and snow the up hill trek home is grim but manageable! 2 miles plus in awful weather is miserable for younger kids at the end of a busy school day!
After dropping DGD1 at school DD has another similar distance to go to work and to take DGD2 to nursery so the younger one does a lot of walking every day with her mum!

Greatnan Wed 20-Mar-13 21:23:53

I wouldn't like to walk three miles in driving rain or snow!
I quite like the bustle and noise of teenagers/children.

Lilygran Thu 21-Mar-13 10:43:35

I like the bustle and noise of teenagers as well. Have any of you who have posted comments like this recently travelled on a bus full of schoolchildren on their way home? The well-behaved ones shriek at each other to be heard above the general din, the quiet reserved ones sit quietly and the delinquents fight, swear, spit ( a LOT of spitting), carve graffiti on the seats, write on the windows, smoke....... We're not talking cheerful high spirits here.

Ella46 Thu 21-Mar-13 10:44:26

It's not the noise so much as the incredibly bad language used by lots of school children. I live in a supposedly very nice area too!

Bags Thu 21-Mar-13 10:54:34

They are only using 'bad' language because they know adults disapprove. It's best to just ignore it, I think, or to smile placidly to show that you aren't in the least bit impressed. Perhaps they don't realise we've heard it all before. It's just bravado. Shrug it off.

Ana Thu 21-Mar-13 11:03:58

I'm not so sure about that, Bags. They seem to use it even when they don't know there are any adults around.

Bags Thu 21-Mar-13 11:07:34

Bravado between themselves. The teenage years are very competitive. It's all about proving yourself 'somebody', being accepted in the 'in' group. Different kids use different 'techniques'. Swearing just happens to be one of the easiest and therefore one of the most common. It's also about pushing boundaries. Therefore >> normal. So long as they are not swearing at people, but only among themselves for the sake of swearing, it's essentially harmless. Most grow out of it.

Bags Thu 21-Mar-13 11:13:17

Actually, listening to Minibags's "verbal challenges" of authority, I think it can be quite subtle. She may not be aware she's doing it, but I think she is learning all the nuances of 'bad' words – what is acceptable, where, if ever, and so on. It's part of the growing up learning curve. If she uses a word inappropriately, or rudely, I tell her that probably isn't a good time to use that word, and why. She takes my comments on board. In essence, I see such teenage behaviour as investigative.

Bags Thu 21-Mar-13 11:14:15

It's the "what happens if I do such and such?" investigation. Like wearing trainers to school instead of black leather shoes. Testing, testing....

Lilygran Thu 21-Mar-13 11:50:34

I think one of the reasons for the excess of high spirits (!) is the reduction in break times in secondary schools over the last few years. When I last taught in secondary, in the 70s, there was over an hour for lunch (two sittings) and a morning and afternoon break of 15 minutes. School ended around 4pm. Now there are no or very short breaks, short lunch breaks and school ends around three. And we used to have a lot of timetabled physical activity. So they hit the homeward bus fizzing with energy.

JessM Thu 21-Mar-13 12:04:45

Good point lilygran - it is part of a wider picture - decline of proper school meals, teachers no longer doing "duties" - so schools have to pay someone else etc
And they are high energy creatures who have been coralled - often in very poky classrooms which would be illegally crowded for adults - on hard chairs , with a bunch of people not of their choosing, for several hours. And expected to not wriggle in their seats and obey the rules. (ofsted can downgrade a lesson if the students are fidgety!)
I would not like to have to be a 14 year old school student for a single day.

Bags Thu 21-Mar-13 12:47:50

DD's school has two lessons before morning break, then two before lunch, then two more before closing time at 3.30. This is not very dissimilar to what happened in my grammar school: three shorter lessons before morning break, two more before lunch (longer lunch break) then three in the afternoon, before finishing at 3.45. She has three double periods of PE each week and there are various after school sports clubs run by teachers. We had two PE sessions and people who got into teams practised at lunchtime.

The classrooms are not overcrowded and the school is well equipped.

I do wish people would stop talking schools down. Kids are just kids. Lively and loud. Get over it!

Bags Thu 21-Mar-13 12:50:39

Mind you, girls aren't expected to be ladylike any more, thank goodness. We were; I got terribly ticked off for walking out of school on a sunny summer day with my blouse sleeves tidily rolled up – showing the school up. Aye, right.

And as for not wearing one's school hat!!! Well, the sky would fall down.

Lilygran Thu 21-Mar-13 13:28:59

Bags I can't remember where you live except it's Scotland. I live in a very large northern English city, perhaps things are different here. Do the local teenagers spit on the floor on the buses you travel on? Of course, most of them don't and wouldn't think of it. But what proportion of young bus passengers spitting and swearing does it take to make the journey hideous for other passengers? Many, even most, adolescents behave sensibly in public and I hope my DS did and that my DGS will also. I grew up in a small market town and one reason we watched our conduct was that a lot of people knew a lot of people and everyone knew our uniform. You would be reported to the Head for any annoyance suffered by adult, reasonable or not. But life and society have changed. When I started teaching, children stood when an adult came into the room. By the time I retired we had the police regularly on campus looking for students carrying drugs and weapons. There is a problem and I think the root is that we make unjustified excuses for bad behaviour and don't challenge it in public. It isn't just up to the schools. confused

glammanana Thu 21-Mar-13 13:35:26

Bags I am reading the posts purely out of interest as DGD2 moves to her senior school in September this year she has passed the 11+ to go to a school which is out of area and will take her 50mins by bus to get there, she is not a "street wise" child but certainly not shy and I worry as to how she will cope with the journey each way on her own as it is inconcievable for DD or myself to go with her on the bus for the first few times and she has said no-no to being taken by car.I think DD will be counting the minutes until she see's the bus coming down the Rd when the time arrive's.

nanaej Thu 21-Mar-13 13:44:06

I guess spitting must always have been an issue, even in the 'good old days' because I remember no spitting signs on buses in the 60s!!

Ana Thu 21-Mar-13 13:49:08

I don't think it would have been schoolchildren doing the spitting in those days, nanaej!

janeainsworth Thu 21-Mar-13 13:54:53

Well said*Lilygran*.
It's all very well allowing young people to test the boundaries, but only if the grownups are not too indolent to set them.