A Day in Public School…Now and Then

In another case of how heightened security-alert is overruling common sense in our country, a 6-year-old boy was suspended from school last week for bringing a camping utensil to school. It wasn’t a can of lighter fluid or a bottle of mace spray that got him in trouble. It was a spoon/fork/knife combo utensil used for eating.

And despite the fact that eating was clearly what this 6-year-old boy…a cub scout…intended to do with his spork, he was given a sentence of 45 days in reform school for violating his school’s zero tolerance policy on weapons.

A cub scout. Age six.

Just to give you a sense of how our country has changed in fifty-plus years…

My son and I attended an American Legion dinner two weeks ago to honor the boys who were chosen to go to Boys’ State. It was a wonderful evening–the organization spent all day making a delicious pot of spaghetti with homemade sauce. It was held in our local Veteran’s Hall. Most of the Veterans were from the Korean or Vietnam War, though a few were WWII vintage.

The man seated on the far left (wearing the hat) told us an amazing story. He was raised in Mississippi on a cattle and dairy farm. When he was a sophomore in high school…around 1955…the school bus driver retired and offered his route up for sale. This man’s father took him to the county to “purchase” the route…the custom back then…which he did. Then they went to the retired driver and bought the old yellow school bus from him.

And thus the sophomore in high school became the new school bus driver! For three years, he drove 35-50 kids from kindergarten to 12th grade, 90 minutes each way. And that was after getting up early to milk the dairy cows!

He said that some kids acted up and he had to discipline them. One boy, in particular. It made things sticky because he had to go to that boy’s parents to complain. The problem, he said, was he was dating the boy’s older sister!

Can you imagine watching a high school kid…in our modern age…pull up with a busload of kids, then park the bus and run into Geometry class?

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Irene Watson, Rewriting Life Scripts says:

    Great story! Yes, things were different then, but personally, I like the era we are in!

  2. Suzanne says:

    Thanks, Irene! I like your perspective. ~Suzanne

  3. Mocha with Linda says:

    Fascinating story!

    I'm glad our kids don't have that level of responsibility thrust on them, but I think our schools need to use a little more common sense in these recent cases.

  4. Diana says:

    Things are so out of wack if a spork is considered a weapon and all reasoning is absent! My son- age 21 – is a huge fan of SPORKS 🙂

  5. Anonymous says:

    When I was teaching in North Carolina, the school district owned the busses, but high school students with unblemished driver's licenses drove the school busses. We were used to it.
    Kaye Whitney