ATLANTA—The question on the minds of many Atlanta parents this morning is—how? And why? And what will the future now bring after this? Good questions—with few answers.
But such is the state of Atlanta this morning in the aftermath of the revelation that 130 fifth graders were driven home on the return leg of a school field trip in a party bus that is normally used for adult functions! A preliminary investigation has indicated that the sleazy transportation was used when the company normally used to transport the school kids had no available buses, and another local bus company was called to help out. That's where the trouble began.
"They reached out to another company for help but did not mention the buses were for children," reported wsbtv.com, a local Channel 2 station whose crack reporters are getting to the bottom of the scandal with no name. "Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri found the party buses were used to bring around 130 fifth-graders back to Morningside Elementary School after a field trip to a camp in Toccoa."
According to Mark Purdy, who works for the aptly named Premiere Party Bus, "There's a refrigerator on board. A little bit of a VIP section if you want to be separated from the rest of your group."
But that's not the only adult-oriented amenities the innocent students were forced to confront on what must have been a terrifying ride home after the field trip. "The 32-passenger limo style bus had leather seats, a dance pole and even a fog machine," reveled, er, revealed wsbtv.com.
Purdy insisted that the adult "bells and whistles" were off in the three buses he dispatched to pick up the children Friday, but that claim has yet to be corroborated and it doesn't mean that the kids were not scarred for life by the encounter on the bus. A local health professional indicated that children under the age of 12 are not emotionally ready to experience the supple and luxurious pleasure of leather seats, even if they're in the family automobile!
"The young brain is too susceptible and not yet self-aware enough to ward off the erotic subtext of fine leather and the feeling of intoxication and subtle sexual titillation that these addiction-causing seats induce," said Dr. Mortimer Mandible of the Florida Association of Antique Restoration Professionals and Child Protection. "I've been warning for years that one day something like this would happen and now it has. I hope the parents of Atlanta will listen to me next time."
If there is a next time.
One mother said that the incident has left her in dire fear of the impending questions from her 10-year-old that she is "not prepared to answer at this point in my child's life."
And why should she be? No parent should ever be forced to explain the purpose behind a smooth metal pole or a machine that spews smoke. Indeed, these are subjects that many adults find too unseemly for proper conversation.
The school district is now looking into the incident, and has indicated that the bus company used that day to transport the children is now officially banned from doing so... until prom night, when all bets are off.
Image: Party bus