Elderly Driver Yells at Kids for Spraying Perfume in the School Bus – Receives $125,000 After Her Rant Is Caught on Video
A clip of this Ohio bus driver inspired a crowdfunding campaign.
There are many ways that kids can test your patience. But while there are typically clear rules and consequences for breaking them at school and at home, the lines become murkier when kids are on a school bus.
School bus drivers are often unappreciated and underpaid. They’re also tasked with driving groups of misbehaving kids. So when one school bus driver was pushed to her absolute limit one day on the job, she broke down in a memorable video.
A School Bus Driver Reaches Her Limit
Jackie Miller had been driving a school bus for 15 years in order to make ends meet. She was used to kids not always listening or being respectful, but this past year had been a particularly rough one for the 68-year-old woman. All year long, the kids had been pushing her buttons with little consequences for their actions.
Miller is asthmatic, and strong scents can send her into an asthma attack. She explained this to the high school students in her charge at the beginning of the year, yet over the months, there were several incidents of kids spraying perfume on the bus. One of those incidents did lead to an asthma attack.
“She sprayed perfume on the bus, and I had a horrible asthma attack. I had to stop the bus, grab my inhaler and try to get my lungs to open up again. I had all the kids open up all the windows. They know this,” Miller explained to an NBC News outlet.
So one day, when one kid was yelling how another kid had sprayed perfume, Miller lost her cool. She stopped the bus, got up, and started yelling at the kids, trying to confiscate the bottle. She began swearing, and someone took out their phone to record the incident. Later, someone posted the video on TikTok, and it went viral.
“That particular day was challenging to say the very least, because it started the minute this core group of students got on the bus,” Miller later told the outlet. “This is a plight of all bus drivers; we are treated in the worst possible sense of the word. We are treated with such a lack of respect.”
An Internet, Divided
To some people, Miller was a hero for standing up for herself and yelling at the kids. They understood her frustration and explained they would have done the same had they been in her situation. Others thought Miller’s emotional outburst was a sign she shouldn’t be driving a school bus, and they didn’t agree with her choice of swear words.
“Oh, I don’t agree with the language I used either. I really do regret that, but I won’t take a word of that back,” Miller explained to a CBS News outlet. “There are people out there that are angry, and I understand if the shoe were on the other foot, I would be, too, until I found out exactly what had happened.”
Still, Miller decided enough was enough, and she handed in her resignation. After all, her mental health was at stake. Meanwhile, she hopes that parents walk away from the situation with their own takeaway: kids need to change the way they treat others.
“I pray that’s the message,” she continued. “That parents will stand up and say, ‘OK. This has to stop, I have to change the way I’m working with my kids and teach them something different, teach them how to respect, give them this moral compass so they can become responsible adults.’”
Helping This Woman Get Her New Start
One person who stood firmly on Miller’s side throughout it all was a stranger named Jeff Grob. As a father of two elementary school children, he’s seen his own share of problems already and thought this video would be a good way to spread the message that communities need to stick together — young and old. So he started a GoFundMe page for Miller.
“Bus drivers, teachers, cafeteria workers, janitors, and school staff are the hardest working people and a huge influence on our children,” he wrote. “Yet they continue to be underpaid and underappreciated. Kids these days are out of control, and no one is allowed to reprimand them in fear of losing their job.”
Grob wanted Miller to be able to take some time off after all her dedicated years of service. And many others agreed. At the time of press, the page had garnered more than $125,000 of its $200,000 goal.
“There’s just no words to say how grateful that I am for the people who have supported me,” Miller told the NBC outlet. “It restores your faith in humanity. It makes you think that not all people are bad, that there’s really good people in the world.”
Talking To Your Teens
The teen years are some of the most challenging for families, whether you’re the parent or the teen.
But this story serves as a great reminder that if you are a parent of a teenager, it’s still up to you to try and make sure your kid is respecting others outside the home.
Parenting is a continuous journey of growth and learning. But some ways to survive the teen years include keeping open communication and trying to talk (and listen!) to your child. Don’t give in to bad behavior but do let them have some time alone, and be sure to set and stick to boundaries.
And above all, remember that this too shall pass.