On Tuesday February 14, I was driving East on Rt. 74 when I approached a school bus traveling in the right lane. I swung out to pass the bus and as I did an object in the shape of a soda can sailed out of one of the buses side windows, narrowly missing hitting my windshield. I honked my horn and motioned to the bus driver to pull over. I pulled in front of him and turned on my turn signal and slowed down and pointed to the roadside to pull over. He eventually did and I walked between my car and the front of the bus to the side door which was open. A husky young man with a Morton High School wrestling shirt asked me what the problem was. I told him and he immediately accused me of improperly stopping the bus. He was not interested in who threw the can and why the can was even on the bus to start with. After berating me and my calling the kid who threw the can a “punk”, he told me he would handle the problem. I left him my card and told him because of the hostile way he treated me that I would call his superintendent and report the incident. The bus was still following me when I turned off to Eureka to visit friends and relatives at a nursing home. On the way home, I decided that since the adult said he “would handle” it, to drop the incident. I considered that the bus driver did not want to stop because maybe I looked like a terrorist.
A number of years ago, the driver of a car tried desperately to stop me. When I finally stopped, the driver told me that my tennis racquet was riding on top of my trunk as I was driving along. I thanked him profusely and to this day I do not know how I was able to drive almost two miles without the racquet falling off my car.
A bus driver I talked with later in the day told me that food and drinks are not allowed on school busses but also said it was a rule hard to enforce because often the teacher and coaches brought food and drink on the bus, so how could he discipline the kids?
Today, I received a call from Phil Luciano of the JS telling me that he received a call from someone from Morton telling him about the incident and putting the blame on me. Okay, I can handle it; I’ve been assassinated by better people than some Morton School administrators and coaches.
I immediately put in a call to the Morton school superintendent and left my phone number. My phone call has not been returned.
I coached five years and took many a bus ride with my students and athletes. Had I been on that bus I would have told the driver to pull over earlier as for all they knew, I might have observed a tire going flat or a mechanical failure? I would not have greeted the person who had an object thrown at them from a speeding bus in a hostile manner. I would have also found out who threw the object and that person would not have participated in the activities planned. If no one would admit to throwing the object, I would have either returned to the school and sent everybody home as it was approximately !:15 P.M. when the object was hurled.
Part of the problem with our youth today is the home environment. Another great part of the problem lies with some of the teachers, administrators and coaches who teach these kids. Many of these people constantly side with the wrongdoer. When the kid defended by his adults goes thru life, many of these kids get by with larger misdeeds until today our courts and jails are jammed with kids who grew up to make a mess of their lives aided by those adults who were supposed to help them grow into manhood or womanhood.
I learned as a youth not to throw things at moving vehicles. In route from the farm to the grain elevator, I tossed a small handful of corn in the air as a car was passing. The motorist stopped his car and came for my dad. My dad asked me if I threw the corn and I had to say yes. My dad never said a word about it until that evening when he got out his razor strap and I became convinced that I made a mistake. It was lessons like that that got me thru life. But then that was yester years and today is today.
I believe many of my friends would like to return to some of the past when it comes to discipline but the modern “educators” do not believe in the old adage “spare the rod and save the child”. We are all paying the price of defending the wrongdoer and somehow shifting the blame to the accuser. Some teachers tell me that is why they put up with chaos in the classroom because they will be blamed for failure to control the class.
Luciano selection of words was that he might do a column on me shifting the blame from the kid to me. Luciano has in his articles stated that as a youth he did some really bad things and got away with them. He indicated he did not apologize for any of these actions. If he elects to write on this incident it would appear that this might be a continued attempt by a few members of the JS to assault my reputation or that Phil has a column to meet with nothing to write in it as is often the case with some journalists.
We as citizens have a right to try to call to the attention of misdeeds committed by kids under the supervision of adults about incidents like these at the moment it happens. Maybe someday we will return to a better behaved society even in Morton where all kids are good kids and not like Peoria school kids. That’s one of many reasons why their parents move out of Peoria
If this incident is written up in the JS tomorrow, please download my blog and forward it to your friends in Morton. Yet maybe tomorrow the superintendent will call me and Phil will decide this isn’t much of a story, which it isn’t.