I'm irritated. And not just by a sore back. A couple of news stories have come out recently that really bother me. The first comes from the Indianapolis Star newspaper. A while back, there was an unfortunate accident where a child on a bus stuck his head out of the bus window, and was killed when he was hit by passing tree. The bus driver was traveling close to the shoulder of the road to avoid a dead raccoon. The boy, wanting to get a better view, stuck his head out of the window. A tree that had grown very close to the road struck his head and killed him nearly instantly. The driver was traveling about 30mph, certainly a safe speed for any road.

The mother of the child has decided to sue the school, the bus driver, and the state. This really gets me angry. The mother has my condolences. It certainly cannot be easy to lose I child. When I think of how it would feel to lose Corbin, well, it just isn't something I want to even think about. Still, at some point people have to take responsibility for their actions. Her son stuck his head out of the window of a moving vehicle. This is unsafe under ALL conditions. However, the case is trying to show that the bus driver was driving recklessly and without regard to safety, and was not properly supervising the children on the bus. She is sueing the school for using school buses that allow the window low enough for a head to go out, and she is suing the state for not properly maintaining the roads. This is just ridiculous. Here we have someone trying to cash in on their misery. Worse yet, no matter if she wins or loses the case, tax payers are going to lose. Not only will we pay for the extraordinary court costs of defending our school and our state, but we will likely pay for upgrades on our buses to prevent the next moron from sticking his head out.

What happened taking responsibilities for your actions. Sure, the kid had ADHD. But if your kid isn't smart enough not to know that his head belongs inside the bus, then you should probably be driving him to school yourself. Lawsuits such as this one really bother me because they are completely unnecessary and never help anyone. Will a settlement of a few thousand dollars help the mother feel better? Probably not. Will having the all of our buses retrofitted to look like prison vehicles help her get her son back? No. Our schools are already modeled so closely to prisons that students are beginning to behave like criminals. We give them message after message that says they can't be trusted to behave properly, and after a while, they begin to believe it. Look at the metal detectors at schools, random drug searches and drug testing, daily police patrols of the halls and facilities, windows locked and bared with iron gates, and large chains used to secure the exits. Are these places of learning, or temporary prisons where we send our children while we go to work?

I really feel badly for this mother who has lost her son. I hope that she is able to find some peace in her time of grief. Filing a lawsuit like this will not help her to find that peace, and will likely make her feel much worse than if she just accepted that her son made a bad decision, resulting in his death.


Jade Mason