My Yellow School Bus

8 Apr

When I opened my email to see that I had four school buses reserved for prom, I was a bit shocked, who takes yellow school buses to prom? Prom was a week away, I had scheduled the buses five months before, why was I hearing about it now.  After more than a few phone calls and meetings, it was decided, based on Ed Code and board policy, we would hire our school buses before we would hire a charter bus.  What I did not expect was the reaction of the students and parents.  There were a few complainers, but most of the attendees, “Hey, it’s just a ride, who cares how we get to prom.”  Within two days of hearing about our school buses, I had over thirty parents and students volunteering, collecting decorations and ready to meet at our transportation department to decorate and get our rides to prom ready for the students.

I had feared the worst when I read the words “School Buses.”  For months we had been talking to students about charter buses, a nice ride to prom.  The reason, we had to fight the party buses.  I’m not sure how the trend had started, but it’s been going on for a while, where students rent a giant bus, pack on about sixty of their closes friends and strangers, and dance the night away (along with other inappropriate behavior).  I heard the stories from students: drinking, pole dancing, and other nefarious acts.  What’s worse, kids would get the buses, go out, have a nice dinner, and the not go to the prom event.  Think about it, do everything you would normally do for prom and then not go.  This had to stop as the emphasis was shifting from an amazing prom/high school experience to a massive party where the goal was to get wasted and engage in inappropriate behavior.

My plan, let’s take the kids far away to a nice venue on a good bus and celebrate prom together. The ticket may seem expensive, about $110, but include dinner, a photo booth, caricature artist, chocolate fountain/desert bar and unlimited beverages.  I held parent meetings, got the support of my principal and staff, everything was looking good, until I saw “School Buses.”  I thought my plan had failed.  However, I knew, the prom must go on.  If I could get my kids to the venue, they would love it, and the night would be a success.

Vintage was the word my kids used to describe it, going to prom on a yellow school bus, vintage.  We were given permission to decorate by Transportation Services so we went to work plotting our beautification of the buses. The student response and parent support has been overwhelming.  It was the plan, the intention of good will, that made the difference, not the ride to the event.  The parents, staff  and students at my school restored my faith in education and doing what is best for kids.

PS: A special thanks to Activities Inc. in Northern, CA for putting this event together.  It has been a struggle, but they made my life so easy and the event incredibly wonderful.

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