There’s a lot of ways kids could annoy a school bus driver.
They could yell; they could scream; heck, they could run around crying and throwing feces—it’s all pretty annoying. But you’d assume, without ever being a bus driver, that a kid who decides to read a book during the trip instead would practically be a blessing. They’re quiet, seated and focused on something that isn’t the imaginary target on the back of your head.
You’d almost wish all kids could be like this, right?
A school bus driver in Quebec told an 8-year-old girl to stop reading on the bus, citing safety concerns. Sarah Auger, who loves reading and used to bring a book onboard for the 20-minute trip was told she was posing a risk to other students.
The driver suggested that other kids might stand up to see what she’s reading, or that she might poke herself in the eye with one of the corners of the book.
Obviously, the rule isn’t sitting well with the girl’s father, according to the CBC.
“I find it stupid and useless,” he told the public broadcaster.
Daniel Abel says he’s proud of his daughter’s love for reading, and tries to encourage it as much as possible. He’s since complained to the schoolboard, which later issued a statement. It concedes that reading a book is OK, but that the bus driver is still “master of his vehicle”:
“Obviously, reading a book is not a danger and the school board agrees. A student can read a book on the bus,” it begins. “However, the context must be considered.”
The statement goes on to specify that students’ personal items “must remain in a bag with closure to prevent objects from scattering in the aisles and under the seats, which may pose a security risk.” And concludes by stating that the bus driver is the best judge of what’s appropriate in the vehicle, which allows them some freedom to make their own rules.
“In this case, the school board confirms that the driver was not at fault and recalls that the child suffered no harm.”