This short article that you are about to read has become, without my intending it to be, the most controversial thing I have ever written.
It is about a bus trip I took to the Gulf of Mexico, sponsored by my kid's school - with about fifty pre-teens and first-year teenagers on board - as well as three or four parents and teachers... who all made the mistake of sitting in the front of the bus, where they were blind to what was going on behind them. I was the only one who sat in the back, and who had a clear view ahead of everything that was happening.
I did not go on this trip looking for trouble. Nor was I asked to be a chaperone. I went for one reason only: Because my daughter asked me to go.
I had never been on such a long trip with a bunch of kids who were almost teenagers before, and some of what I saw shocked me.
I wrote about it.
Some of what I wrote was funny, or so people have told me. One even said it was hilarious. But some of what I saw and wrote about was definitely not funny. Some of it scared me to death.
If you are the parent of a pre-teen or early teenager, prepare to have your eyes opened.
When we returned home, I wrote this story about what I had seen, heard, and witnessed.
When one of the teachers read it, the school changed its policy about the seating procedures for middle school kids on buses - and also as to where chaperons were to sit on future trips. After reading this story you may want to see what your school's policy is about such matters. And if it is not to your liking, you may want to get it changed.
Kids need to learn about sexuality. But that should not include what I saw and where I saw it. There is a time and a place for everything: on a bus in front of other kids, is not the right time nor place for sex education. Especially if the "instructors" are some of the kids themselves.
Basically, this story is about what some very young kids - not all by any means - were doing on the bus I was on, in front of other kids, a lot of whom were definitely watching - and some of whom were even taking cell phone pictures.
This story is NOT about the actual visit to the coast - where the kids had scheduled activities that kept them busy. (Except for one girl, who was evidently not kept busy enough, and tried to go upstairs to a boy's room after lights out). This IS primarily about the ten hours on the bus (five each way) when they were left to their own devices about how to "entertain" themselves.
So, prepare to laugh, and then to have your jaw drop open to the floor when the blankets come out. Then do whatever you have to do to insure, that if you or someone you know has pre-teen kids, they don't ever witness what I have called this in story Slow Foreplay on a Fast Bus.
Finally, you may think that "foreplay" is too strong a word to be used in the context of what some of the young kids were doing on the bus I was on.
I beg to disagree; I was there. And I think the only thing that may have kept what they were doing from becoming "true" foreplay, is the fact that they were not completely alone. They had many, many wide eyed friends and classmates watching them.
Take a long school trip someday. See for yourself.
And very best wishes with that.
As for my story, this is it, just as I experienced it.
Some people have criticized me saying "Why didn't you do anything to stop what you saw?"
I answer that by saying this: I was doing my job. I was being a concerned parent for my child, having taken time off from work to be with her on this trip.... There was room on the bus for more parents. My question is..."Where were they?"