It's hard enough to put your little one on a school bus without worrying that Otto Mann from "The Simpson's" is behind the wheel. While Otto bragged that he had "fifteen crashes and not a single fatality," your child's school bus driver is undoubtedly more competent.

Nevertheless, she may be neglecting to ensure that seat belts are fastened or is unaware of bullying behavior. It is certainly appropriate to write a letter expressing your concerns if there is a matter that needs to be corrected to ensure your child's emotional or physical safety.

Date your letter. This is important, as you'll use the letter to prove you have attempted to solve the problem on the bus if forced to take further action.

Begin your letter with a compliment. This will soften what you have to say later. You might write, "I know that being a bus driver is hard work, and I appreciate how you always compliment Katie on her hair ribbons even though you have your hands full with many other children. She looks forward to seeing you every morning."

Ask your child's bus driver for help solving a problem. Asking for assistance tends to put people in a helpful frame of mind, rather than a defensive state. "I need your help resolving a problem Katie is having on the bus," is a good way to lead into your complaint.

State your concern. Be specific. Rather than writing, "Katie is having problems with a kid on the bus," write "Katie is upset because the little blond boy who sits next to her on the bus keeps pulling out the hair ribbons. She is beginning to feel reluctant to get on the bus in the mornings."

Provide examples of the situation you would like remedied. If the little blond monster pulled out Katie's head ribbons five days in a row during the week of October 15, say so.

Tell the bus driver what sort of resolution you'd like. Again, be specific. You could request that the bus driver change Katie's seat, for example. Take care not to be demanding, as you may not know the job restraints the bus driver is operating under.

Thank your child's bus driver for taking care of the problem. For example, you could say, "I appreciate your taking the time to address this issue. Your help solving this problem will help Katie get off to a better start each morning."

Include your phone number, and let the bus driver know she is free to contact you with any questions.

Save the letter in a file on your computer so that you can use it as documentation should the problem you are addressing persist.

Be sure to use your child's name in the letter, as the bus driver may not connect the dots between your name and your child.

Be aware of the challenges that bus drivers face on a daily basis. Your child's bus driver may have to deal with a child throwing up, a fight, a lost backpack and several students getting out of their seats all in a day's work.

If your complaint is due to something regarding the bus driver's work performance -- such as incompetence or suspected substance abuse -- address your letter of complaint to the school transportation supervisor.

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