Should I complain to higher authority about the principal?

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Should I complain to higher authority about the principal?

Postby boringmum » Wed May 23, 2012 4:12 pm

Good afternoon all!

Just wanna hear opinions fm you guys.

I sent my DS1 to school today and there were 2 queues at the drop-off, on the left was the bus and on the right were cars; I was third in the car queue.

When the first car moved off, the second car moved forward and I followed suit. This is where I deemed it ok to alight my child. But alas, when my DS alighted, the bus moved a little, intending to move out which almost hit DS. I sounded my horn in horror. The bus driver saw my DS and stopped.

I was really furious as I felt that as a driver, we should always keep a look out first before moving off, especially in a school compound where children abound! I confronted the bus driver immediately. The bus driver not only did not apologize, he said that I should not be alighting my DS1 at that spot in the first place. The traffic warden of the school defended the driver by saying that the bus driver was right and that it should only have been one queue, the right queue where I was at was "illegal" so to speak and rightfully we ought to wait behind the bus. I questioned the traffic warden that if that was the case, why did she not direct the cars in front then when I was only simply following the queue. Then she insisted that I should have alighted my DS further up infront. I told her that that was what I did! While I was third in the queue, I did not alight my boy and it was only when I moved further up that my DS alighted. I challenged them to watch the CCTV instead of disputing endlessly.
When I asked to see the principal, they "ya ya papaya" brought me to the office. When the principal came out, she did not ask for my name nor invite me to her office. We stood at the office entrance talking. Bad PR, don't you think?
After relating the near accident incident to her, she remained nonchalent and just told the bus driver to be more careful. I stated very clearly to her that this is not a small issue and that we should not wait for an accident to happen before we raise the alarm. The principal then said she would think about it and perhaps make some changes.
Up until I left, she still did not bother to ask for my name nor apologise or at least thank me for the feedback. She did not offer to follow up and keep me in the loop. Her very poor PR left me seething with anger! She thinks she is greater than parents! She is also obviously siding with the bus driver and the traffic warden, no wonder they were so "yaya papaya" and so confident when I asked to see the principal.
On one hand, I wanted so much to bring the matter up to a higher authority, afterall lives are at stake and we do not want anything to happen before we take action, do we? On the other hand, I am worried that my action will affect my DS. What are your views?
Any similiar experience with school teachers and principal to share?

boringmum
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Re: Should I complain to higher authority about the principa

Postby hquek » Wed May 23, 2012 4:40 pm

Quite strange for the school to have 2 queues. DS' school has only 1 queue. If the big bus is there, cars whose kids have alighted will just overtake and depart. This is definitely safer.

To go further up, you may have to consider your child's reaction - he may not want you to be so 'high profile' with his P. Why not see what happens tomorrow, next week to see if something has changed? I agree it's an accident waiting to happen - esp when kids are small in size (I assume it's pri school) and buses are big.

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Re: Should I complain to higher authority about the principa

Postby limlim » Wed May 23, 2012 5:01 pm

boringmum wrote:The bus driver not only did not apologize, he said that I should not be alighting my DS1 at that spot in the first place. The traffic warden of the school defended the driver by saying that the bus driver was right and that it should only have been one queue, the right queue where I was at was "illegal" so to speak and rightfully we ought to wait behind the bus.


It's difficult to assess the situation w/o pictures.. but I guess most probably the bus driver was right. There should only be 1 queue.

You created a dangerous situation by allowing your child to alight in the middle of the road (if it is not at the left most lane by the side, it would be in the middle of the road right?) and you want to blame the bus driver for causing near accident?


boringmum wrote:I questioned the traffic warden that if that was the case, why did she not direct the cars in front then when I was only simply following the queue.


That is not relevant to your case.

You should stick to queue behind the bus, but you can complain to the school why the warden never direct the cars in front and allow dangerous situation to happen.

boringmum wrote:I stated very clearly to her that this is not a small issue and that we should not wait for an accident to happen before we raise the alarm. The principal then said she would think about it and perhaps make some changes.


This is correct. The school should take pro-active action to prevent such situations from happening and strictly disallow the 2nd queue.

Maybe the traffic warden should start to issue summons.

boringmum wrote:What are your views?


If it is an official pickup/dropoff point, then there should be only 1 queue.

If you do not want to wait at the queue, you can dropoff, say 100~200m away and let the kid walk a short distance, or go to the nearest carpark if any, and drop off there.

If there is no official pickup/dropoff point, then cars should not gather at the school entrance and obstruct traffic.

Similarly, they should go to the nearest carpark or drop off the kids further away. If safety is a concern, they should park at the nearest HDB carpark and walk their kids to the school.

limlim
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Re: Should I complain to higher authority about the principa

Postby verykiasu2010 » Wed May 23, 2012 5:06 pm

need more info

which school ?

if it is NYPS, it has been two Q's going into gate A for years ........ kids alight next to the kerb, on either side, and if on the far side, then walk to zebra crossing to walk to classroom block

the 2 Q's are meant to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow speed

the problem is some parents on the right-hand Q insist on crossing over to the left-hand Q resulting in traffic jam and bottle neck as cars from left-hand Q refuse to let them cut in

may be you expect to P to appease your anger by reprimanding the bus driver but that is your expectation of how things are to be handled by your standard. the P would have other considerations too and she gave you face by telling the bus driver to be careful

if you openly challenge them they will not be 'bullied', but if you seek appointment to speak to the P personally she could be more receptive and hear you out. if you pick an open confrontation against the P, the traffic warden, and the bus driver all at the same time ...... they will also tell you to be more careful. traffic safety is a two way thing

do you expect your DS to walk nonchalantly if he alights at the right spot and everyone has to look out for him ? say for eg, traffic light controlled crossing - do you expect him to walk with eyes closed since itis green light in his favour ?

just my personal view that you over blow the issue. no offense meant
verykiasu2010
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Re: Should I complain to higher authority about the principa

Postby Nebbermind » Wed May 23, 2012 5:14 pm

If there are 2 queues as described, since the bus is on the left, the children should alight on the left, while the kid from the car should get off on the right side of the car. The kid should not be alighting onto the middle of the road. If sway sway the kid is sitting at the front passenger seat, then parent should come down and guide the kid to the right side of the driveway.

That being said, there should be a designated crossing at the driveway for kids on the right to get to the left.

Nebbermind
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Re: Should I complain to higher authority about the principa

Postby LOLMum » Wed May 23, 2012 6:41 pm

My observation on my own school run.

The lane for drop off in the school all the way to the main road is wide enough for 2 cars.

Cars on left lane are generally slower. quite a few times, I was about to move off on the left lane but was unable to because children alighting from the cars on the right side block the road. And trust me, some of these children do not look where they are going.

A few quarrels happened (as described by OP). Not me.

After school, u will have kids who just dash across your moving car, just because the parent on the right lane has arrived and horn horn. And u got to do an sudden jam brake..and the shock u get regardless of how slow ur car is moving. :rant:

To me, it is very dangerous to let a child especially a small child alight in the middle of the road.

Many parents who do not wish to take the slower but safe lane, well, what else can I say. :shrug: if accident happen.

Luckily the school has taken steps to turn the 2 lanes within the school into 1 lane. Yes it takes a longer time to reach the drop off point but is is a worthy wait in ecxchange for the safety of the child.

LOLMum
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Re: Should I complain to higher authority about the principa

Postby Eagle-Ladybird » Wed May 23, 2012 10:36 pm

Just by reading what was described, I agreed with the several replies that the 2nd queue should not have been there. This is especially so if the kids are to alight in the middle of the road, and have to cross the inner-left queue to the school. To me, it's a definitely lack of road-sense, and dangerous. Unless the kids alight right in front of the warden, and be assisted by the warden to cross the road.

Eagle-Ladybird
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Re: Should I complain to higher authority about the principa

Postby ammonite » Thu May 24, 2012 7:51 am

There should be only one queue. The school will probably send out a circular to remind parents to stick to one queue. But of course some parents will be impatient since unloading the bus always take a long time so it may look as if there are 2 queues at that time of the morning, but it should not be the case.

In any case, if you pull ahead of the bus, you should drive right to the edge, and not drop the kid off in the middle of the road. The bus driver cannot see little kids at certain angles, it is just a matter of height and blind spots. I would not think it is totally the bus driver's fault.

Schools will also usually have rules for dismissal time. Either the school buses go first, or the children not taking school transport go first. It should not be a mad rush out.

ammonite
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Re: Should I complain to higher authority about the principa

Postby winchester » Thu May 24, 2012 11:22 am

ammonite wrote:There should be only one queue. The school will probably send out a circular to remind parents to stick to one queue. But of course some parents will be impatient since unloading the bus always take a long time so it may look as if there are 2 queues at that time of the morning, but it should not be the case.

In any case, if you pull ahead of the bus, you should drive right to the edge, and not drop the kid off in the middle of the road. The bus driver cannot see little kids at certain angles, it is just a matter of height and blind spots. I would not think it is totally the bus driver's fault.

Schools will also usually have rules for dismissal time. Either the school buses go first, or the children not taking school transport go first. It should not be a mad rush out.


good balanced response!

winchester
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Re: Should I complain to higher authority about the principa

Postby onemore » Thu May 24, 2012 12:26 pm

complain about principal? - usually doesn't fly

worst if it is an independent or autonomous or IP school

What you portrayed is rather mild; considering you may have not met a notorious principal that is abrasive with a huge ego, he would even go to the point to gall parents and students by taunting, encouraging and challenging them to complain to MOE. :mad:

Good experience says to work with the school to resolve issues - is best way out; else no other way but approach the press.

:sad:

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