Many of us are worried about our kids getting a dose of indoctrination instead of an actual education in the classroom these days, but I honestly hadn’t ever considered the possibility of students being subjected to the political beliefs of bus drivers. In Alpine, Texas, though, some parents and students say one driver used his route to deliver all kinds of political messages to his passengers, and as a result, he’s out of a job.
Hayden McCollum, a Pleasant Grove High School sophomore, said the signs have been up since the beginning of the school year, when the driver took over the bus route in his neighborhood. He said the driver was on a different route last year.
Hayden described the frequent announcements students heard over the intercom.
“Every other day or so up until recently, and he would just talk about recent political stuff, like Afghanistan and how much he didn’t like Joe Biden, and political stuff,” Hayden recounted.
Now, as much as I might share in the driver’s distaste for Joe Biden, this is as inappropriate as a bus driver using his microphone to rail against Donald Trump and Republicans. And in addition to the verbal announcements, the driver was using the interior of the bus as his own personal message board.
Photos showed a sampling of the signs, many political and religious in nature, questioning policies such as gun control, free healthcare, and education. Topics focused on included government policy, abortion and the LGBTQ community.
One sign showcased a list espousing that there are differences between boys and girls, that children are better when raised by both a mother and father, and “an unborn child is a child.”
The driver’s entitled to his opinion. Heck, he’s even entitled to his activism, but not on the clock. If my child’s bus driver decided to go woke and start promoting gun control on the way to school, I’d be annoyed, so I can understand why some parents and students were bothered by the conservative messaging from the driver.
After reaching out to seek opinions on a private social media page, [parent Jeff] Case said many parents said they agreed with the driver’s viewpoint, but felt it should not have been on a school bus.
“This is not the place to put forward these ideas. He does not have the authority to be teaching this stuff,” Case said. “That’s not his job, and I feel like it’s appropriate to make sure where we’re messaging matters, and how we go about doing it matters.”
I’d argue that this wasn’t “teaching,” and I think it would be just as much of an issue for an actual teacher to put up political messaging in the classroom. Our kids are supposed to be learning facts in school, not the opinions of the adults employed by the school district.
It doesn’t sound to me like the driver had any malicious intent here, but the political messaging in that setting is still inappropriate. I just hope if another driver decides to go woke and starts promoting gun control, abortion, or other lefty causes that the district will respond in the same fashion. As for the driver himself, let’s hope that he can channel his activism into more appropriate and frankly, more fruitful endeavors than sharing his political musings with the kids in his care.