School started in Nova Scotia this week.
There are all kinds of thoughts and ideas about the school year, depending on who you are. Parents worrying about the adjustment to having no School Board, and wondering how the teachers are feeling about a new school year after two incredibly disruptive years.
Children, excited about or dreading the new year. Teenagers trying to figure out their schedules and how to get from class to class or where to find their friends. The younger kids were just as nervous and excited about the first day, wondering who their teachers would be, anxious to see their friends. Four and five year olds psyched about their first day of school, wide eyed and eager and that little bit of fear.
And for many of these kids, no matter their age, the day starts, and finishes, with the bus ride. Those yellow buses turning corners and winding through neighborhoods collecting and returning young people… that is the most symbolic, most photographed, moment of any first day of school. It is loud and maybe a little terrifying, for the first dayers and the kids who don’t want to go to school. But it is a big moment, and right of passage, a ritual. And every morning that follows is an undeniably important part of every single school day for kids who take the bus to school.
So on Wednesday (Thursday in some parts of this Province) kids lined up at bus stops everywhere, ready to get on the bus for their first day of school….
But then something went terribly wrong. And it got worse for many at the day progressed. And it didn’t get better the next day for many.
I am going to back up a little bit, to provide insight and apply facts to some scenarios that influenced the way our largest school district found themselves held hostage by a complete breakdown of bus service.
Stock Transport operates in Nova Scotia as a school bus service provider in the Halifax Municipality, Annapolis Valley and Acadian Schools. In the Halifax district, the carry approximately 20,000 students. Over the past couple of years, the company has had several controversies stemming from a variety of issues. They were called in front of the Utility and Review Board and were stripped of their Charter License for repeated violations of the laws that prohibited their services carrying passengers across the border, as well as forcingvdruvers to work hours beyond the