Did you have safety patrols at your elementary school? We did. It was a big deal for us Ms. Goody-Two-Shoes type of folks to be chosen. I was chosen. Then I was hit by a car in the street in front of my house, broke my hip, and then was in a body cast for four months. This was third grade; we had just moved to Silver Spring, MD from Gothenburg, Sweden that summer. The accident was December 13, 1974. I was in an enormous amount of pain, stuck in a cast, at home, with a tutor. And I couldn't accept my post as Safety Patrol. That, more than anything, bothered me immensely. (Yes, perfectionist even then. From birth.)
But as most of you were probably thinking while reading this, after all you're adults (I think ;-), I'd get my chance as soon as I was sufficiently healed to not need crutches and could then run like a maniac, tackle the offender, hand-cuff him,(yes him, we girls don't break rules!) and send him to school bus jail. Ok, not. But I could tattle. I loved my job. Yes, I was the teacher's pet too. And relished it.
Being the patrol on a bus was the coveted assignment. If you were an outside patrol, there was a teacher with you at all times, and you played back-up. On the bus, only the driver had more authority, and they left it all up to us. Our buses were full, so there were three of us fantastically important officers on each bus. Of course, our uniforms were impressive: we had day-glo orange belt-harness contraptions that went from the belt, over one shoulder and down the back, again connecting to the waist strap. They had adjustments like bike helmets with that snapping lock mechanism thingie, and we spent hours adjusting ours for maximum placement. AND, if you made it through your rookie year, you got a BADGE to go on your belt. By the time I was in fifth grade, I was a sergeant. My badge was green to show my immense status, and I was in charge of ALL the bus patrols, on ALL the buses. Oh, the power. As you've probably deduced, my bus riders were perfectly well behaved, and my driver loved me. Or, I probably drove her nuts but she tolerated me because the kids sat still, didn't speak, and didn't leave trash.
All was smooth sailing in my little kingdom, um, on my bus, until it was chosen for special duty. We now had the privilege of transporting the high school kids who went to “a special school for kids who need more discipline.” Little did I know it, but my reign was soon to be over. Big time.
This riveting tale will be continued tomorrow in P ~ Patrolling Woes. See you then!
P.S Just FYI, I didn't end up pre-scheduling my Saturday post. I schlepped it from the woods, down the hill, into town, to the McDonald's parking lot, and posted from there. Just keeping it honest ;-)