Just How Traumatic Was Riding The School Bus For You?

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Image: ICBus

Not a ton of the folks on staff have school-age kids, but the ones who do recently informed us that they drop off and pick up their kids each day, school bus be damned. Where Lawrence Hodge’s kid goes to school, the district doesn’t even offer buses. This seemed weird — but then we all started recounting how miserable riding the school bus was, and we realized oh, yeah, it really sucked.


When I was but a wee slip of a girl with zero body fat, I spent kindergarten through second grade attending Catholic school. We weren’t allowed to wear anything on our legs, so at the tender ages of 6 and 7 years, in the depth of Michigan winters, I was forced to stand outdoors in a dress and bare legs and wait for the bus.

But I didn’t realize how lucky I was to freeze away across the street from my house until I entered Detroit Public Schools. After being a gentle Catholic school kid who believed Jesus loved her, I was not at all prepared for the reality of a fairly rough public school district. It was a much harder place, and the bullying was rampant. It got to the point where the school held an assembly and made us all apologize to the bus drivers for making their lives hell. What the kids were going through on the daily was never addressed. Brad Brownell had a similar experience as a chubby fourth grader hauling a trombone to and from school on the big yellow hell machine.

We decided for today’s QOTD that Jalopnik is a safe space. We want to know: What was riding the school bus like for you? Do your kids ride the bus, or has your district done away with all that? It seems like a real pain in the ass to wait in gridlock with a bunch of other parents trying to get your kid into and out of school every day, but it may be worth it to avoid the therapy bills further down the line.

Managing Editor of Jalopnik.



The only bus ride that really stands out for me was when our school bus was hit by lightning. The noise was astounding, everything went bright white and I remember the bolt arched to a nearby wooden electric pole and it exploded in a shower of flaming sparks and pieces of wood. A lot of kids were terrified and screaming but I thought it was cool as hell. Five stars, would ride again.