Monday, December 3, 2007

Safety First

I take the bus to school almost everyday.

My bus driver is responsible for my safety.

I enjoy talking to my friends on bus.

Before I know it, I arrive at my destination.

But what if something was to go wrong?

What would we do? Would we be prepared?

Emergency Evacuation is not be be taken lightly.

I would like to practice this procedure.

Do I exit the front or the rear?

Do I take my books with me?

Do I close my window before exiting?

What if my seatbelt gets stuck?

Can my seat be used as a personal flotation device?

What if I feel sick to my stomach?

Or have to use the bathroom?

These are things my driver wants me to know.

These are things I need to know.

Today we get our chance to practice an action plan.

The whole class enters alphabetically.

I'd like to practice from my usual seat.

But it is unavailable today.

3-2-1 the countdown ends.

The practice evacuation has begun.

Everyone on the bus tries to stay calm.

The driver correctly applies the parking brake.

We leave our imaginary books and packs behind.

We calmly exit our seats alternating left and right.

Down the isle to the closest exit.

Do pushing, shoving, or running.

I am amazed at how well we are doing.

It feels like a real emergency.

Now it is my turn to exit the rear.

The alarm from the door hurts my ears.

The leap to the ground is farther than I imagined.

Others behind me need out! I must jump.

The reassuring words from the adults around me help.

With courage, I take the leap of faith,

Still with my hands covering my ears.

On the ground, there are hundreds of students.

Safe students who have successfully jumped as I have.

There is a sense of relief as the drama subsides.

There are many hugs of reassurance.

We are safe.

As I stare at the side of the bus, I note its number:

Bus number 58!

"Oh no!" My panic quickly returns.

I ride bus number 72 . . .

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