Judgment Call

Posted on January 1, 2002
A principal at an elementary school wants to have a bus driver disciplined for allegedly being rude to a parent during a morning pick-up. The driver doesn’t deny the charges, but explains that the parent’s son is on the Little League team that he coaches and the parent was complaining about his son’s lack of playing time. How do you handle this? In these situations the professional driver must take the initiative and refrain from responding to the parent’s remarks. He should politely inform the parent that this is not the place for this discussion and assure the parent that he or she will be called by a specific time that day. In our district there would be no question as to the course of action. Since there are always two sides to these sorts of confrontations, I would first discuss the complaint with the driver. With the driver's permission, I would immediately call the parent and offer to set up a meeting. I always meet at the school, which is “neutral territory,” and act as facilitator. School administrators are nearby if I need assistance — which is extremely rare. John Farr Transportation Director Oceanside (Calif.) Unified S.D.
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