A NORTHERN TERRITORY man has been making his five-year-old son walk two-and-a-half hours to school every day, after he was kicked off the school bus.While it is dangerous to pick up stories like this from the press, if we take it at face value, I gotta admire the nature of the punishment. It identifies the reason why bus travel is valuable and makes the child think about that for days. That said, while, in theory, that all looked good, the result wasn't too great:
When Jack Burt confessed that he'd been banned for five days for hitting the bus driver in the head with an apple core, dad Sam thought he should learn the hard way. He and Jack last week were getting up at 5.10am for the dusty 13km-hike from the Darwin rural area of Herbert, all the way to Humpty Doo.
Mr Burt also took the wheels off Jack's bike so he couldn't be tempted to ride to school.
But in the battle of wills between tall and short, the smart money's on Jack.Jack is impressive for a 5 year old. This is an interesting contest.
"Shame it didn't work," Mr Burt told the Northern Territory News.
"He got back on the bus Monday, and within three stops he was in trouble again. I couldn't believe it.
"I don't understand - he's good at school, he gets awards all the time."
However, a breakthrough might be in sight.
When Jack this week said he didn't mind walking - because it made him strong for fighting - he was told if he started fighting he might have to walk home in the afternoons too.
Jack's eyes got a little teary. He said he might not get home before dark.
Mr Burt told him not to worry - they'd leave the key out for him.
Somehow I think they will work this out, eventually. Also, because it got all of this coverage, the message was sent to others about just what might happen if you didn't behave on the school bus.