When 37 children in Alfred, New York boarded their school bus one late spring afternoon, they had no idea that they were entering a nightmare. The driver, Martha Thompson, was drunk and driving recklessly, exceeding speeds of 70 MPH and at one point hitting a mailbox and rolling into a ditch.
The terrified children pleaded with Thompson to stop, but even their screams could not convince her to pull over.
Luckily, some of the older children took control of the situation.
Two girls, Grace Scherzer and Chelsey Pierce — then 16 and 15, respectively — convinced Thompson to stop, while providing comfort to the terrified younger children on the bus.
When the driver finally pulled over, the girls evacuated everyone through the back exit on the bus.
This is not the kind of thing any child should have to go through, but it's good to see that these girls used common sense and their emotional intelligence to not only recognize the danger they were in but also to assist their younger peers and know that it was okay — even necessary — to break the rules.
Watch the terrifying video here.
Thompson's blood alcohol content was later tested at .15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit for drivers in New York and three times the limit for commercial vehicle operators. She later plead guilty to a single count of driving while intoxicated and 37 counts of reckless endangerment. In January 2010, she was sentenced to twelve weekends in jail, six months electronic home monitoring, five years of probation and alcohol counseling, and a $1000 fine.
Was Thompson's punishment severe enough? Was punishment what she deserved? Or was she in need of treatment?
Let us know what you think in the comments below. Please share this with your friends and use this as an opportunity to educate your own children.