Nanny State

Bus Driver to Eight-Year-Old: It's Too Dangerous to Read While You Ride

Reading? What do you think this is, some sort of school bus?


Never let it be said that the U.S. authorities have a monopoly on absurdly restricting children's freedoms:

An eight-year-old girl in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, [Quebec,] was told she's no longer allowed to read books on the school bus because it poses a risk to the safety of other students.

?Sarah Auger loves reading and used to enjoy using her 20-minute ride to and from school to read for pleasure.

But recently, her bus driver told her she had to stop.

She says she was told reading posed a risk to other students on the bus.

He suggested they might stand up to see what she was reading, or she might poke herself in the eye with the corners of the book.

The school board is siding with the driver, because of course it is. "Obviously, reading a book is not a danger," it concedes in a press release. Still, "The driver is the master of his vehicle….He is the best judge of what is appropriate." And after all, "Any object, be it a book, a toy or electronic device can be a potential danger when a young child drops it and gets up to go get it while the bus is in motion." Therefore, such personal effects should be kept in closed bags. For safety's sake.

Looking back, it's a miracle I survived the first grade without getting impaled on a Charlie Brown collection.