Education, Life

Playing with Fire

It’s time to throw back to 2009… the first time I thought I’d get fired.

It was time for our annual retreat days, a time when classes are canceled and students spend time bonding with one another and listening to guest speakers. This particular year, our high school students were bused to a neighboring school to hear David Nasser speak.

As one of the senior class sponsors, I, along with two other teachers chaperoned the senior charter bus. It’s an easy enough task because, to be honest, our students are usually very well behaved.

After the event was over that day, we reloaded to return back to our own school. Once we arrived, I was the first to exit off the bus to distribute copies of the speaker’s book to students. After handing out the last one, dreams of what my weekend would entail overtook me as I started fumbling for my keys to head home. The other teachers had already left.

That’s when it happened. I noticed a pocket of senior boys standing outside of the charter bus, laughing. I gave the ringleader an inquisitive look and he just pointed up, up to where the flesh of a boy’s face was smooshed up against the cold glass. He was fast asleep. To my horror, the charter bus’s brake let out the hiss it gives right before the wheels begin to roll. I commanded the leader to race up to the front of the bus and get the driver’s attention to let him know he still had a passenger aboard.

After her exerted a half-hearted jog, the boy doubled over unable to stop laughing. Ah! But it was 3:45, and that meant the back exit to the school was locked. The bus would HAVE to circle around campus to leave through the front exit. We could get his attention then.

I’m not going to lie. At this point, I thought the prank was pretty funny.

Thirty seconds passed and no bus. I walked two hundred feet to look around the corner of the school and discovered that the back exit was still open.

The bus was gone.

My student was gone.

Several phone calls to the sleeping football player revealed that his phone was still silenced from the conference.

Did I mention his dad is a lawyer?

From the time the charter company was contacted, it took thirty minutes to reach the bus driver to let him know someone was still sitting in the back seat.

We recovered him an hour later after a round trip of fifty miles.

He was late to his team dinner, his dad was angry (at his friends), and I had just found the perfect size cardboard box with which to empty the contents of my desk.

But…here I sit four years later, employed by the same school, and laughing about the time the boy was left on the bus.

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