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School Bus Company Bans Pupils from Reading Books While Riding in the Vehicle

When an 8-year-old girl in the city of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu in Quebec, Canada was told to put her book away by the school bus driver, things came under fire. The little incident happened on Wednesday, yet it quickly turned into a public scandal. Apparently the driver’s call wasn’t just controversial, but it turns out there’s even a policy for it.
School Bus Company Bans Pupils from Reading While Riding in the Vehicle 1 photo
Sarah Auger was told she was no longer allowed to read books while riding in the school bus since doing so could be risky for the safety of other students. Wait, what? Yes, that’s what they told her.

The bus driver suggested that one of the other pupils might stand up to see what she was reading during the 20-minute ride. She might also accidentally poke herself in the eye with the corners of the book.

Hey, we get it. We’re looking at an overprotective driver who is responsible for 50 youngsters on every trip he makes. But isn’t this a bit too much?

Believe it or not, it’s something the driver decide, but the bus company’s policy. Nancy Menard, director of operations at Autobus Richelieu, said students are prohibited not just to take out books on the bus, but other objects too – such as toys and electronic devices.

We prefer that children don’t take things out of their bags. Our only goal is to make sure students are safe,” she said according to CBC News. Naturally, the response was not a positive one. However, Menard said criticism of the policy is unfair since “we have to put it in the context that there are 50 students on the bus.” The director of operations said drivers can’t watch over everybody and that safety always comes first.

It was not only the school bus company backing the driver’s decision, but it appears the school board also defended the rule. In a statement released Wednesday, they said all personal belongings of students, including books, were required to stay in their bags during the duration of their trip home.


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