February 03, 2006

Emperor of the Death Cheese Bus

Okay. This is weird. This 38-year-old bus driver got into trouble for creating a small subculture on his bus. He ranked the children in 12 categories that ranged from "Lord- Apprentice of the Emperor" to "Sped - which stood for special ed." On the "Death Cheese Bus", every day the children would recite the rules of the bus and the higher ranking students would help control the lower ranking or non-ranked ones.

Doesn't this remind you of your biggest fear when you were a kid - that other kids were picking on you and the adults around you just didn't care? Except this is worse - in this scenario the responsible adult is encouraging the bullies instead of stopping them.

When Jon told me he was working on this story at the news desk last night, I instantly thought of the movie The Next Karate Kid - starring Hillary Swank. In that movie, Colonel Dugan played by Michael Ironside, was the gym teacher (or guidance counselor or vice principal or whatever) that he controlled the local high school (by whose authority is never quite clear) by using some of his students in a weird paramilitary group trained in the martial arts that patrolled the hallways but also wanted to get into Hillary Swank's pants. The most crushing moment of the movie is when Colonel Dugan's "soldiers" ruin the prom by bungi jumping into the gym from high up in the rafters (for no reason other than Dugan was a kill joy) and breaking the decorations upsetting the happy couples who were dreaming of maybe doing it for the first time that night.

Anyway, that's what it reminded me of.

I hope this guy serves time - at least 2 years. What he did was abusive to all the children involved.

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