Thu | Dec 8, 2016

Stop mistreating kids on buses, taxis

Published:Saturday | November 29, 2014 | 12:00 AM

It is unacceptable that in the 21 century, our children are treated with such disdain on buses and we, as adults, do nothing. Daily, children face embarrassment from bus and taxi operators going to and from school because their fare is considered nothing.

Schoolchildren have to stand outside the bus or taxi and wait until it's full before they are allowed to stand all bundled and squeezed up. Some operators want them to sit in each other's lap in order to maximise their earnings.

If they sit, they are told to get up and give the seat to an adult. Children are pushed and shoved and even expletives are hurled at them, while some operators just say, "No schoolers!"

The point is made that the children can be a handful sometimes, but what has happened to the saying, 'It takes a village to raise a child'?

During the summer holidays, bus and taxi operators have to wait longer hours for a load, which yields less money. They get a glimpse of the importance of the children and their 'jingles' and that 'every mickle mek a muckle'.

ESSENTIAL PASSENGERS

The buses formed convoys and travelled empty. They had to stop at every bus stop and hope for even a child to make up the boss's money for the day. And oh how they prayed for September to come!

The operators should understand that it is schoolers, teachers, janitors, ancillary workers and vendors who make up a significant part of the travelling public and make them happy conductors and drivers at the end of the week.

It is sad how we treat our children when we say they are the future. This scant regard for our children is mostly perpetuated in the rural area, where the state-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company is not an option for most parishes.

How do we sit in these buses and see and hear conductors slam children and we do or say nothing? We should not mistreat children and expect them to become well-behaved angels. This will only sow seeds of hatred, disrespect and resentment for adults.

Let's remember the proverb, 'once a man, twice a child', as we seek to be that village that loves and cares for our children.

HEZEKAH BOLTON

h_e_z_e@hotmail.com