School bus driver bans little girl from reading

The school bus driver in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec told 8 year old Sarah Auger she wasn't allowed to read on the way to and from school because she might poke herself in the eye with a corner of the book.

He also speculated that other children might be tempted to rise from their seats to look at her book.

The Hautes-Rivière school board conceded that books are "obviously" not dangerous, but they backed the driver anyway, because "the person who drives the bus is allowed to make the rules."

"The responsibility of a school bus driver is to transport students safely," said Mario Champagne, general secretary and director of communications for the Hautes-Rivière school board.

In a statement, the board concedes that "obviously" reading is not dangerous.

The statement also specified that personal belongings of students, including books, must stay in their bags during the duration of their trip home.

Quebec girl told to stop reading book by school bus driver [Kate McKenna/CBC News]

(via Reddit)

(Images: School Time - Jet School Bus, Kurush Pawar, CC-BY-SA; 2004 International School Bus 3800, Niels de Wit, CC-BY)

Notable Replies

  1. If books weren't dangerous then totalitarian regimes wouldn't bother banning them.

  2. Oh, thank god, someone has foiled the runaway scurge of book-related accidental impalement! Finally, someone thought of the children - and not just some petty, control freak with a totalitarian streak arbitrarily looking to make children into obedient, empty Stepford children, either. No, this is clearly a forward thinking Transportation Safety Hero who deserved the full backing and support of the school board in his drive to make school transportation into the unproductive, mindless drudge it should be. Next step: pallet wrap.

  3. gfish says:

    Some things never change. My mom had to go yell at the school when they didn't want me reading out on the playground, and that was back in the 80s.

    Why isn't there an X Prize to find a screening method to filter out people who want a position of authority just for the rush of power they get, no matter how petty?

  4. Our bus driver was surprisingly tolerant... That is until we would get to Lord-o-the-Flies levels of activity at which point he would pull the bus to the side and utter "Keep your goddamn scratchers to yourselves you bloody little savages!"

  5. If I couldn't have read textbooks (and finished up homework) on the bus, I might have been in SERIOUS trouble for most of my school career. And don't get me STARTED on "back seat Tootsie-Pop Club".

    Seriously though, I rode the same bus for all 13 years of public schooling, with the same driver. He was kind of a cranky guy, but he never really yelled at us or set rules. His method of discipline consisted of slowly lowering the volume of the radio (yes, kiddies, back in the 60's we could listen to Top 40 radio on the bus), because the noisier we were, the less we could hear. If the radio went silent, we knew we were in trouble, but if we persisted he would tune in a country station. THAT usually killed any kind of bad behavior. As a last resort, he would pull the bus over, turn around and just stare at us. That would do it.

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