School Children On MBTA Buses Is A Bad Move
The plan to transport children in 6th, 7th & 8th grades to Boston Public Schools is not a good one. Sure, the BPS already has had students who arrive to school via the MBTA and that is not a great idea either.
We’ve all seen it, the unruly teenagers who invade the MBTA in youthful stampedes at the end of school. Despite spending a day in school if you listen to the average conversation it would seem that the only words they learned are “Nigger” “Bitch” “Motherfucker” and others. I have often seen 14-16 yr old children only 1 foot away from a white passenger while uttering a 10 nigger per minute tirade and right before I interject myself I often wonder, what must that white person be thinking?
Another disturbing trend I have noticed is with the young ladies. As their bodies are changing and we have all noticed that children are developing faster these days, perhaps it is modern fashion or lack of proper adult supervision, but there are far too many young ladies who are attempting to emulate the wonderful examples of Beyonce and Rihanna. You get my point. Now they are children and children want to be cool and look good. Its not their fault and this isn’t about them. This is about the full grown adult men who gawk at them while on public transportation, some even taking it so far as to actually attempt to engage them in conversation and pick them up. This happens on buses, trains and to and from major hubs of transit. With sex trafficking what it is, public transportation is a perfect place for an adult predator to meet an innocent young girl, perhaps even follow her home and learn her routine. Perverts on the T are so prevalent that a law was recently passed to penalize “Up Skirt” photos.
Some years ago there was a group of young ladies out of Hyde Sq. Task Force who organized against the sexual harassment they received walking to and from Jackson Sq. along Centre St. For years we have heard about the Green Line gropers and to think this doesn’t occur on the Red, Blue and Orange line is fool hearty. When school lets out at Madison Park complex the mass exodus that spills out has to navigate through a gauntlet of drug addicts, dope dealers, prostitutes, pimps, drunks and random nasty old men to make it to Dudley which is supposed to be a “Safe Base.” We all know that isn’t true, even with MBTA police presence and a BPD station a stone’s throw away, Dudley has been the site of more stabbings, shootings, robberies, emergency overdoses and fights than we can count.
That brings us to the last and most dangerous issue. Violence. You ever notice how some MBTA buses have the same names as guns: 22, 44, 45? MBTA buses, trains and stations have far too often been the scene of vicious stabbings and shootings. MBTA bus drivers themselves are under frequent attack, getting spit on or sucker punched despite the presence of cameras and radio contact with MBTA police. Buses have been shot on and shot at, melees have broken out on buses, trains and in stations. To put children in the proximity of these potentially violent situations is not a good idea. At any time these children could get caught in the middle of something or run into someone they have “problems” with.
The other day I took a bus home after returning a U-Haul truck. I was extremely tired and planned to sit down and zone out for the 20 minute ride. Just as I began the poker game on my phone an overwhelming stench invaded the bus. As I looked up to see what it could be, down the aisle here staggered an old man who reeked of urine and cheap booze. As fate would have it he sat directly diagonal to me and began to focus a very loud monologue of jibberish directly at me. I couldn’t understand most of it but what I did hear were alot of cuss words and some vulgar stuff aimed at any woman who the bus passed. At first I ignored it but after 10 minutes as he frothed at the mouth a piece of foamy spittle flew and hit my shoe. That’s when I got up and got off the bus opting to walk the extra 5 blocks.
As a grown man I felt uncomfortable as did the entire bus of about 20 people. What was I to do? He was beyond reasoning with or talking to, I wasn’t going to beat up a crazy, drunk, old man and his smell didn’t exactly make you want to have contact or get close. My point is how do you combat crazy? How will children navigate through the 8 million stories in our sometimes naked city? The MBTA is real life and you don’t get to choose who sits next to you or comes on the bus or train. Even the MBTA workers and police have little control over the system. How can we expect children to traverse this system daily who haven’t developed common sense or self-control and mix their volatility with that of the general public?
To put children on the MBTA in increasing numbers for the school year 5 days a week only increases the inevitable probability that something is going to happen. When it does, there will be hell to pay. This is a recipe for disaster. The only fix would be if these MBTA buses are dedicated to that specific school and there are no general public allowed on it. You know, like they do for Latin.