First Parent Ride-Along

New procedures set up by the Savannah-Chatham County School Board are being enforced, and it's the parents who are paying the price. Today, for the first time ever, a parent was forced to ride the school bus with his child to avoid losing bus-riding privileges.

By the time Jackson Webster's two kids catch the bus, usually he's several hours into a full day's work. But this morning, his routine's a little off because he had to get on the bus. Last week his fifth grader got into a fight on the bus.

"My son came home and told me he got in trouble on the bus," Webster told us.

It was his third offense, so the bus driver let the school know, which in turn let his father know things were going to change. So today, a bus full of children got a glimpse of the punishment for bad bus behavior, and they have one embarrassed fifth grader to thank.

"When Dad had to ride the bus today, they saw him and they understood, hey, my mom and dad, may have to ride this bus too," said Thomas Williams of LaidLaw. "And I don't want to be embarrassed with Mom and Dad on the bus."

Meanwhile, this dad's having to share in the experience. He's the first parent on a disciplinary ride-along, and he's not too happy about it.

"Yeah, it puts me out," he said. "Got to ride to school this morning, and then I have to call somebody because there's no ride home."

Still, Webster says he understands the new rules, and hopes his children have learned from it as well. After the parent ride-along, if a child misbehaves again, they will lose bus-riding privileges for good. If you have questions, comments, or concerns about school bus discipline, a meeting will be held tonight from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Beach High School.

Elizabeth Garcia,