Throwing Children Out in the Cold Still OK, If You're the Government


Bus Stop
My Fox DC

It's becoming harder and harder to be a parent that refuses to obsess over every minute risk your child might ever face if not monitored 24/7. Cops have threatened to arrest parents over letting their kids play outside. Sometimes you can't even let your kids walk home from the bus stop they get dropped off at. A poll conducted last year found most Americans in favor of criminalizing parents who harmlessly let their kids play outside.

But while government authorities, and some of the public, may want to criminalize parents who let their kids play outside, it doesn't mean there's an effort to increase accountability to the various government employees who have the opportunity to place children in danger.

Eight children in the Washington, D.C. area, one as young as four, were kicked off metro buses in freezing cold weather because those buses went "out of service" while the children were still on their way home. They were saved by a couple who saw them stranded across the street from their home. My Fox DC reports:

"They told me that the G8 bus driver kicked them off the bus and went out of service  twice," she said. "So they said they got on three buses. They said they got on the P6—they kicked them off. They got on the G8—they kicked them off. They got on another G8 and they kicked them off. They said they were going out of service, but I'm like you have little small children on your bus. You cannot do that."

D.C. Fire and EMS first sent engines and an ambulance to help the children—getting them warm before sending an ambulance bus that took the eight children to the hospital…

Metro says it is investigating the children's story and released a statement from Metro spokesperson Dan Stessel. It reads in part: "I can tell you unequivocally that this should not have happened. Our policy it that passengers are to be carried to the end of the route … (the) G8 does *not operate* when we are on a Moderate Snow Plan, as we are now and have been since about 8 a.m."

It sounds like Metro is obfuscating things. The two policies Stessel mentions are contradictory. If passengers are supposed to be carried to the end of the route, then those buses have to be allowed to operate when a "Moderate Snow Plan" goes into effect during the route. If the first policy overrides the second then the bus drivers did what the policy let them. The fact that it happened to the children on three buses the same morning suggests it wasn't done at the initiative of a particularly lazy bus driver, but according to procedure.

h/t Bruce