Where is the Line? What Happens When it’s Crossed?

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Submitted by: Gienie Assink, Springfield Oregon

Being a mother of 4–soon to be 5 kids doesn’t leave me a whole lot of time to do much of anything.  I do make a point to–some time during my day–pick up the local paper (The Register Guard) and read the latest edition of news surrounding me.

I’m rarely surprised, often irritated, and almost always sit down to write a response to someones nonsense.  ( I probably have thousands of drafts which have never been submitted HA! )

Needless to say, sometimes I come across stories like this one below:

EAGLE POINT — Parents in a Southern Oregon school district submitted a petition seeking the removal of a bus driver accused of spanking a 6-year-old boy who wouldn’t sit down.

The parents also contend the woman is a bad driver.

The petition was submitted to the Eagle Point School District on Tuesday. It was signed by the parents of roughly three dozen students on Bus Route 22, a rural stretch that’s 25 miles long and keeps some children on the bus for up to an hour.

School district officials said they investigated the matter and took appropriate action. They said they couldn’t disclose what measures they took because laws prohibit them from discussing personnel matters.

Parents Petition for Firing of Bus Driver

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This situation saddens me…for so many reasons. 

First, whose to say the child didn’t fabricate details of what actually happened.  What if the child was angry with an adult and wanted to get back at them by getting them into trouble?  Even if an allogation is false, it still has to be investigated, which wastes a lot of time and money, and almost always has no real consequences for the person who reported the false claim.

I am in no way implying that is what happened in the case above, but I know of situations where students themselves told lies regarding adult activity’s, creating unnecessary concern all because of an immediate need for attention and/or revenge.  The outcome is never good in situations like these and even if the adult is found innocent of all wrong doing, the allegation hangs over them and alters their lives forever.

Second, The story above very well could be true.  Which causes great concern for me as a parent.  Obviously, there is no way I can prevent my children from being exposed to some type of danger.  They’re lives are at risk every time we get into the car.  But uncontrollable situations are understandable, or at least easier to cope with.

The situation above could have been prevented, and if the accusations are true, I fear for those kids, and whatever else they were exposed to.

Either way you look at it, the threat is out there, because at some point, something bad happened.  But, there really isn’t any protection put into place for the kids or the adults. 

Prevention just isn’t worth the investment to some businesses unless something terrible has already taken place.  It’s only after the train wrecks do we ever hear of preventive measures being taken. 

Still, situations like this draw a boundary line so grey it’s hard to see. 

Obviously spanking a child that doesn’t belong to you WITHOUT the permission of the parents is unacceptable. 

But because of situations like this, and the liability issues surrounding them…kids now have to go to schools, where teachers aren’t even allowed to initiate a hug.

My own church has a policy in effect for all childcare workers.  No one is allowed to initiate a hug or touch a child in any way because of statewide regulations and the risk of being sued by an unhappy parent.

I’m saddened times have brought upon us regulations such as these! 

In my home, my kids are hugged and praised all the time.  There’s just something about receiving a warm touch from friendly and praising hands.  It just makes you feel good! 

Aren’t there scientific studies on how hugs and positive touches make you healthier?  I’m sure there are.

All the same, because of some bad eggs, everyone has to suffer.  Its just a shame!