Letter: Eighth graders should ride buses with GHS students
After reading the recent article regarding the proposed start and dismissal times for Gloucester County Schools next year, I was dumbfounded why the eighth grade (Page) students’ start and dismissal times were so different from the GHS students’ times.
I just assumed the high school buses would absorb the eighth graders in their current routes throughout the county. Come to find out, because some parents of eighth grade students do not want their children riding the bus with high school students, we (Gloucester County) will be creating an additional set of routes throughout the entire county merely to pick up eighth grade students! This information hasn’t been disclosed in the paper, and I’d like to know if anyone else feels this plan is wasteful.
Up until that bit of news, it seemed like plans to work through the catastrophe caused by the tornado hitting Page were logical and sound. But sending out buses to duplicate those high school routes just to segregate eighth graders from high school students seems to be an outrageous waste of precious resources—buses, personnel, fuel, etc. Gloucester County and its school system are hurting financially as it is; this huge expense seems unproductive and wasteful.
My daughter is a Gloucester County bus driver, and from what I gather from her and some of her bus driver friends, the high school students are by far more behaved on buses than middle school students. We’re only talking one grade level below high school, and these kids are going to be commingled during the school day anyway while on the same campus with lunches, elective classes, etc. So, to the parents of the eighth graders, I’d like to say that you need not be concerned. Your children would be just fine riding to and from school with the older children. Gloucester County bus drivers are professionals, trained to not only drive safely, but to supervise the children as well.
I honestly hope that this plan is reconsidered and the more cost-effective, logical plan of absorbing eighth graders in the current GHS bus routes is implemented.