Thursday, March 24, 2011

Budgets & Bus Seats Slashed

As we contemplate all of the many and varied budget cuts being proposed by the GOP and Tea Party, who apparently are unable to grasp that an all-spending-cut budget isn't a proposal that produces good government, I came across this news story.  It prompted me to wonder how it is that we are going to provide the security to prevent this from happening again - given that there has been a chronic shortage of school bus drivers for the past several years, and that with schools closing and reorganizing, there will be less individual familiarity with students.  And of course, with fewer teachers, and fewer police, as the GOP and Tea Partiers, go after the public unions, there will be less safety as well as less quality of education generally in ALL areas of our schools.  So.......this is what we want to risk? Rather do that, than taxing those richer upper few percent of our population?  Seriously?

faceless person in a hoodie
Could you tell who they were,
or, if they were a pervert?
Our innocent kids, on our school buses.
(image -
It makes me have to ask, again, the question - Who is the real constituency of the right?  Clearly they worry more about the wallets of the wealthy than our children.  Because they are not budgeting the money we will need to prevent things like this from happening, again.   Think about this incident, among other concerns, the next time you hear a politician talking about allocating money, like gaming / gambling revenues to a Vikings stadium instead of to education and public safety.

From KSTP tv News on their web site:
Police: Man Boards School Bus & Performs Sex Act

A man in his 30's or 40's boarded a school bus along a Minneapolis Public Schools route Thursday morning, slashed several seats with a sharp object, and then performed a sex act while up to nine students were onboard, according to police.

No children were hurt and it's unclear how many realized what was happening.

The driver of the bus, Mohamed Ade, 26, works for Minneapolis & Suburban Bus Company, which is contracted to run routes for the district. As of Friday, he was placed on paid administrative leave, the company said, and was banned from working any MPS routes, at the district's direction.

A police spokesman said that Ade had been "very, very forthcoming," in the investigation and that the driver apparently thought that the man, who was carrying a backpack and whose face was concealed by a hooded sweatshirt, was a school girl.

"It was evident that this person was trying to deceive the driver," Sgt. Bill Palmer said, "and he was successful."

Police have made no arrests.

Ade let the man on the bus at a regularly-scheduled school bus stop. Ade was a new driver who had only been driving the route for two weeks and may not yet have recognized all the regular kids on his route, police said.

The district did not inform parents at Seward Montessori magnet school until Friday afternoon, when the principal, Dr. Marilyn Levine, sent out a voice-mail to families that said, in part, "...allowing this to happen was very unfortunate and we are taking steps to ensure that this will not happen again."

Parents at the school told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they wished the district had told them right after the incident happened.

"They're supposed to let us know," mother of two Rahima Aman said. "Anytime (something) happens, we want to know."
The web site has a video.  I can only wonder what the Bus Company or the School District expected the driver to do, or how they think they will prevent this from happening again.  How DO you prevent this kind of thing from happening, without spending money, on things like cameras on the bus?  I don't know if this bus had one, but they are helpful in preventing all kinds of problems, and in more successfully addressing problems that do occur.  A video camera could be helpful in catching the person who did this.

Poor kids, parents, bus driver; they have my shocked sympathy. 

Bad pervert - and bad Republicans who will with their attempted budget make things like this more, not less, possible to happen again.  Shame on all of you.

We get what we pay for - and if we pay for less public services, we will get less public service.  We need to increase revenue, not just cut spending.  To do that, we need to share the pain and sacrifice.

When was the last time you heard or saw a conservative who was actually willing to do that?

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