11-year-old Jon Lawson has to walk 40 minutes to school each day because a change to the calculations used by Durham County Council in the UK means that his house falls 6 feet outside of the you get a free bus pass limit. That’s a bit silly and it sucks for a family that’s going to have to jigger its routine now, but things are like that sometimes. Rules change, and sometimes they don’t change in your favour. Mom or dad can probably just drive him to school if the walk is too much or the weather is bad, no harm done.
But of course, this being the United Kingdom, there is harm done. And as usual, that harm is done to good sense.
Even though mom and dad may have to drive young Jon now, they won’t have to worry about his older brother Liam, because he can take the bus. Yes, Liam goes to the same school and lives in the same house and was given the exact same free pass that little brother was denied.Why? Because his pass was granted under the old rules, not the new ones.
Did somebody say headdesk?
Of course this is all about fairness, say officials.
“In the interests of fairness to all pupils, we must ensure that our policy is applied consistently,” said Jane Jack, school admissions and transport manager for Durham County Council. She forgot to add and moronically, but I’m sure that was simply an oversight.
“We do acknowledge that it may seem unusual for different decisions to have been made in relation to two brothers going to the same school.
“This has occurred because we have updated the system we use to measure walking distances, upon which we base our decision.
“Although the older brother qualified when he was properly assessed using the previous system, the younger brother does not qualify when properly assessed using the current system, which takes into account, for example, changes to available walking routes.
“While we understand this may cause frustration for the family concerned, it is important that we apply the current policy equally to all applicants.”
This could only be dumber if they based the decision on Liam’s bedroom being on the side of the house closer to the school.
Hopefully the council will soon be properly assessed, and not for bus pass eligibility.