Screencap by Boch from YouTube.
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A school bus driver is solely responsible for the safety and well-being of the kiddos on his or her bus. On 99.998% of school days, it’s just another day. Other times it requires thinking outside the box and sometimes even heroic actions.

Such is the case of a Milwaukee school bus driver named Imunek Williams. While 6-months pregnant, she pulled over upon smelling smoke. By the time she got the three-dozen plus kids off and ensured the bus was empty, the vehicle was engulfed by flames and smoke.

WLWT has the story (and videos that aren’t embeddable):

A pregnant bus driver from Wisconsin is being called a hero after her quick thinking saved 37 kids from a bus fire Wednesday morning.

“I’m still kind of shocked after seeing the aftermath of the bus,” Imunek Williams said…

“I started to smell something funny at the stoplight, and I just thought it was normal smoke coming from another car, because I always smell smoke or weird smells,” Williams said. “But then as I started to drive more, the smell and the smoke started to get thicker.”

Williams almost ignored her intuition and kept driving another two minutes to the school, but chose instead to pull over. It would end up being a life-saving decision…

Meanwhile, a pucker factor incident happened at my kids’ school on the next to last week of school in Bloomington, Illinois.

Image by Boch

Since the above photo was taken at the school, the driver of the first bus in line line now angles his bus out into the street to block oncoming cars from driving past them. That’s because it had been a fairly regular occurrence for drivers to pass the loading buses, paying no attention to the flashing red lights.

This obviously created quite a hazard for kids or parents who might emerge from between the buses for whatever reason. And if you know 3- and 4-year-olds, they aren’t always predictable.

At the morning dismissal, the driver of a pickup truck tried to go around a line of five buses from the rear.  All had their stop signs out and red lights flashing. When he saw he couldn’t get around them, he started to back up.  Of course, the buses were honking their horns at him in a chorus of, “Hey dummy, stop trying to go around me!”

The driver in the rear-most bus said something to them. They will usually tell drivers that they have their license plate and will report them. Whatever the bus driver said set off the passenger in the truck.

The passenger got out of the truck, screaming in anger.   I heard him shouting something like “What the **** did you just say to me?  M***** ****** I’ll **** your world up!”

Uh oh.

Mr. Passenger was easily 280 pounds or so and 6’3″ in his 30s or early 40s. He looked like he played football years before.  Meanwhile, the bus driver was a retiree male of slight build.

I fumbled with my phone and called 911 as the threats of violence keep coming. I’m more than a little concerned that the very angry man might be armed. Fortunately for everyone he wasn’t.

I told the dispatcher – who wanted to put me on hold – that police were needed out front of the school because of a fight brewing and then hung up. Why did I hang up?  I wanted to focus on the dynamic situation and not play twenty questions with a dispatcher. And I sure as hell wasn’t going to wait around on hold. I also wanted both hands free.

At the same time, teachers continued to bring students out to load while this very angry man was loudly hurling all manner of threats and invectives at the driver, challenging him to come out and fight. The school staff was largely oblivious to the escalating situation.

At one point I saw the man reach for the bus driver through the window as if he was going to try to pull the old man out and pound him.

My first inclination early on was, “This isn’t my problem.”

Then I saw the principal, a slight man about 5′ 9″ tall on a good day. I pointed at the problem To his credit, he immediately interceded. At first I was afraid he was going to get the beatdown of his life, but he managed to keep the angry man from going around the bus to get onboard and assault the driver inside the bus.

During all of this, the driver had closed the entry door to keep the guy off of his bus and was frantically on the phone pleading for help with 911. Meanwhile the teachers were stacking up on the sidewalk outside the bus waiting for the driver to open the doors so they could put the kiddos on the bus.

I thought to myself, “Hello! Aren’t any of you paying attention?” Looking back, I think the teachers were all just on autopilot.

By now, I’d reconsidered my earlier, “It’s not my circus or my monkeys” evaluation and decided that I couldn’t let one of the school bus drivers get his ass beaten down in front of the school. Or the principal. Or the children. Not while I was there. They’re looking out for my kids’ safety. The least I could do is look out for them as a good guy with a gun.

Just about that time, one of my kids was presented to me by his teacher (gee thanks) and 911 decided to call back.

“You called 911 a couple of minutes ago?”

No crap, Sherlock.

“Yes I did. I told you we needed police out front of Sarah Raymond School right effing now. The problem hasn’t gone away.” Click.

I definitely wasn’t in the mood to chat with a 911 operator while holding a kid in one hand and seeing my second son approaching with his teacher from 30 feet away.

I got my second son and took them both, one in each hand, to my car. By the time I’d gotten the kids in their seats the principal had talked the angry man over to the far side of the street. I took that as a good sign. In fact, they looked as though they were walking up to the sidewalk across the street. A better sign.

At this point I drove away with the kiddos to our destination. I figured I’d done my part. By now it had been about five-plus minutes from my first 911 call and still no police.

A couple of days later I saw the principal and patted him on the back for a job well done in deescalating the situation. He admitted he didn’t know how it was going to go. “I just told the guy who I was and that my job was to keep the kids safe. Then I asked him if we could talk about what had happened on the other side of the street.”

Masterfully handled. The principal has some big cajones, I’ll give him that. The very angry and agitated man was easily twice his size. I’m glad there is at least someone at the school who will put himself between the kids and danger.

I told the principal, “If it’s any consolation, I wasn’t going to let him beat you too badly before I took care of him.” He knows I’m (legally) armed on that public sidewalk outside the school every day. Last semester when he learned of my armed status he was a little less than thrilled, but that’s another story.

He chuckled and thanked me. “Thanks. I think.”

Turns out the delayed police response was caused by most officers out at call about a melee at the junior high school. One girl who reportedly had hidden a straight razor in her bra was arrested and others may be charged. Yes, the junior high school.

I don’t know what’s in the water this spring, but holy cow.

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  1. It’s called Distrubing the Peace and Failure to Yield and in a School Zone no less, it’s probably was not the first time for the hot head, too bad the law did not show up.

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  2. “My first inclination early on was, “This isn’t my problem.””
    Mine would have been I’m going to put a fucking bullet in your head you fucking idiot. But alas the bus drivers are kept unarmed.

    • My children need to get to school safely and you can be inconvenienced for a minute or two or die when you endanger our children. Too much! That’s the point!

    • showing a gun on school property…or even adjacent to it…can get you in a lot of trouble in a lot of places….

      • Yeah, considering that it is Wisconsin, the writer is lucky he didn’t have to go Rambo. Leave it for the police to handle. You know how that is. Our town’s average response time is 16 minutes, considered above national average. You can suffer a considerable beat down in 16 minutes. I am not a lawyer, don’t play one on media, but I believe the “Gun Free School Zone”, federally is 500 yards even if you have a CCW or whatever your state calls it. There is a very small movement to get that abolished or modified somehow, but the movement is like a pebble thrown into the ocean. Hope there is decent follow-up by the the local law enforcement with Mr. Angry Motorist. Also hope there is plenty of camera evidence complete with sound. Where are all those busybodies with cell phone cameras when you need them?

        • Bloomington Illinois isn’t in Wisconsin.

          The federal Gun-Free School Zones Act does allow states to issue permits allowing permit holders to have a gun in the school zone, but it isn’t automatic. I haven’t checked but I strongly doubt that Illionis allows even permit holders to have a gun inside the federal school zone.

  3. Have you considered moving, John?

    You seem to have a knack for coming across extremely angry people, based on a story you wrote about here a year or so back.

    I’d like to think I would have reacted the same way you did. You called for help, and didn’t do anything until aggressive guy threw the first punch, and fortunately for him and everyone else, it didn’t happen… 🙁

    • This BS is EVERYWHERE Geoff! From distracted idiot drivers to the scum of the earth. We live a few blocks from a public grade school. Many times I’ve seen lowlifes drive past stopped school buses once coming within inches of hitting a child. Rarely do I see our local 5-O do a dam thing. They usually just hide at night on a back road trying to catch stop sign scofflaws instead of the scum traveling 30mph over the limit in front of my home. And I’d bet Boch has a better neighborhood than mine🙄

      • remember being stopped across from a school bus…as it pulled away a kid darted out from behind it and was struck by a large six-wheel dump truck that stopped with a wheel on top of him when the driver heard the screams…the kid was looking directly at me and screaming which was unnerving…obviously we got the driver to move and rendered aid…was surprised to hear later that he was ok….

  4. The fact that it was a girl with the razor is more noteworthy than being at the junior high school. It seems like more girls are violent these days.

  5. At the high school I worked at I encountered multiple problems from fires to criminal actions. 911 dispatchers are not your friend.

    I found an 8yo girl and her 6yo brother in our swimming pool one night at 10. Their bike was leaned against the fence and they had managed to squirm under to access the pool. You cannot legally ignore a situation of risk for kids in CA if you work for certain jobs, including the schools. They told me their mother was at the bar and they were home alone. Asked did I want to go with them to their house.

    Called 911. Told them what high school I was at and the situation. Dispatcher kept asking me our street address. Finally told her that if she had any cop in this town that did not know the locations of the schools by name alone they should be fired. She had a whole list of stupid questions that did nothing but clogg the situation up.

    Not a big town. Very safe town. Still took 45 minutes for a cop to show up.

    • Dispatch gets a lot of shit wrong too.
      I called 911 to report a tornado sighting( this is what I said) My name is — —-. My location is —-. I am watching a tornado. f1 possible f2. Direction of travel East North East. Approximately 3 miles North of South Mound. Tonado is not on the ground.
      Listening to my police scanner they told the cops someone had called in to report a tornado had touched down in SouthMound and was heading east.

      • Hey, possum, you might want to take the National Weather Service training on spotting and reporting severe storms. There is not such thing as a “Tornado” that i “is not on the ground.”

        If it’s not on the ground, it might be a “Funnel Cloud” but it CANNOT be a “Tornado”

    • they’re told to go down a check-list…but some have more common sense than others….

  6. Folks, this like landing a plane, if you can walk away it was good landing. Consider that John spends a lot of time ferrying his kids to and from events, and travels alone to dozen or more GSL meetings each month. These are all “transition zones” where trouble is most likely to occur. His adventures go to show that when seconds count, cops may get there in 77 minutes if at all. This is why we carry. Note that John gets a A+ for situational awareness as does the principal. Note also that the principal knew him and that he John was one of the good guys. Teachers flunked this one.

    • school districts are usually required to provide transportation to any school…..

      • Not true. In our town the school board created traffic jams around the primary and secondary schools because they moved the school boundaries to achieve “student equalization”. They did not provide bus transportation for students who now had to walk quite a distance and more importantly cross streets with heavy commuter traffic, made heavier by parents now driving their kiddies to school where formerly the students walked or rode their bicycles to school. Now with the frantic heavy traffic around the schools, parents who normally would have allowed their kiddies to walk to school drive them due to the inattention and aggressive driving of most of the traffic. They added to the local air pollution load and local vehicle traffic count and around the most vulnerable population. They didn’t provide bus transportation because they didn’t have the funding to provide it.

    • Gipper’s Ghost,

      I agree that it would be wonderful if everyone could educate their children some other way than government schools.

      The reality on the ground is that home schooling and private schooling are extremely costly and beyond the practical reach of many (most?) people. Private schooling could easily cost about $12,000 per year per student. If a family had three children (which is quite common), their annual tuition for private school would be $36,000 per year. Add in the fact that said family would have to earn approximately $48,000 per year to have $36,000 per year after taxes for their children’s tuition–and it becomes obvious why many families cannot afford private school.

      The alternative–home schooling–usually requires that one parent is at home and does not work or works very limited hours from home. That will easily cost many families as much or more (in lost wages) as private school tuition. (A third option for home schooling–each parent works different shifts so that one of them is always at home with their children–means husband and wife only get to see each other on weekends which is a non-starter for the overwhelming majority of families.)

      In other words there is no widely-applicable good alternative solution to government schools at this time.

  7. You must be kidding. The 2 events you describe happen everyday in my minor mega-opolis. Along with bomb threats, guns in books bags, kidnappings, lock downs, etc. And thats on a good day. I dont live in the hood. I live in one of the most statistically crime free counties in the state. (Some) parents and kids just dont give a crap, life, death, jail, it doesnt matter any more. Im not sure what does matter to these oxygen thiefs. “It’s not safe out there Picard.”

    • The concerning thing is all the potential victims that were not armed. One angry person, regardless of his firepower, should not pose a major threat to a street full of armed, non angry folks.

  8. It’s crazy out there. I had to deal with a road rager this morning. Guy (or gal. The windows were tinted out so I couldn’t tell) nearly takes my rear end off before changing lanes and then starts matching my speed and edging over to my lane. I slow down, he slows down. I try to pull away, he speeds up and starts crowding me again. For a minute, it looked like things were about to go pear-shaped.

    Fortunately, there was an exit a couple miles ahead and the guy decided to speed away instead off following me when I took it. Quiet a relief. Still not sure when set the dude (or dudette) off.

  9. There was a big fight outside the school here. Everyone watched but no one did anything, finally the sparrow fought itself free of the cow patty it had flown into.

  10. this is the crazy post covid world we now live
    it didnt have to be this way
    but the democrats needed trump out
    so this is what were stuck with

  11. So did the cops EVER show up? Was the man charged with the crime that multiple people witnessed him commit?

  12. Every time I see a school bus, I can only think of the cattle cars in Nazi Germany, hauling the Jews to their death. Though the kids aren’t being taken to their death, they are being taken to be indoctrinated in the government schools, so a mental death anyway.☹

    • on the other hand, can be a thankless job…remember a driver telling us to settle down…just before someone hit him square in the back of the head with a cream puff…quite a mess!…he pulled it over, got off…and left us there…

  13. What’s in the water is Liberal/Progressive Ideological Indoctrination. Along with a Social Services Complex that doesn’t allow parents to discipline their delinquent children as a matter of policy. As well as intimidation through the use of fear of arrest. Nothing more…Nothing less.

  14. The local cops are slightly more on the ball here. A week before the end of the school year I was waiting in line to drop off the grandkids at the elementary school when some damn fool passed the line of cars waiting to turn into the drop off driveway going about 40mph in the 20mph school zone along with passing on the double yellow line. Cop usually sits in the parking lot across from the school and watches traffic. Pulled out with lights on and was behind the fool before she made it a block. Couldn’t hear what was said but it was obvious he was reading her the riot act over her stunt. Guess her trophy wife status in her red Benz didn’t impress the cop.
    I’ve seen the same car pull the same crap across town along the same street near the high school. Usually no traffic cops there.

  15. If you want a response you just lie to the dispatcher.

    “There’s a bunch of white guys in MAGA hats beating up a disabled transgender person of color while screaming patriotic slogans and waving flags! I think one might be about to start playing the Star Spangled Banner from his car stereo if you’re not quick! I think heard one of them say something about J6 too!”

    “Sir, please stay on the line with me. The FBI will be on the scene in two minutes”.

    • “Sir, please stay on the line with me. The FBI will be on the scene in two minutes”.

      Let me fix that for you…

      “Sir, please stay on the line with me. The Police, FBI, ATF, BLM, Moms Demand Action, Shannon Watts, EveryTown, National LGBTQ Task Force, and news media, will be on the scene in two minutes”.

  16. One girl who reportedly had hidden a straight razor in her bra was arrested and others may be charged.

    I’m rather shocked that a junior-high school kid would even know what a straight razor was. I used my dad’s when I first started shaving, but I haven’t seen one in years.

  17. And exactly WHAT has this to do with GUNS.

    Seems to me that OK this Lady did the RIGHT THING but it’s bloody ridiculous to make it sound as if noibody else would not have done the exact same thing. She was very sensible, professional and prompt but she was NOT A BLOODY HERO. Never heard such nonsense!

    As for the second incident once again what’s THAT got to do with firearms. So some silly bugger get’s upset by the traffic -wasn’t the first and will certainly NOT be the last Becauiuase a silly bugger was asilly bugger does NOT give one the right to take the law into their own hands – that’s the way to exascerbate the situation. ME I’ve got a DASH CAM and I would, and have, sent recordings to the Police

    • What does a supposed brit have to do with a discussion about American laws?

    • @Albert LJ Hall

      “And exactly WHAT has this to do with GUNS.”

      and what exactly do you have to do with guns? nothing.

    • I actually feel sorry for you. I am amazed that someone as dull-witted as you make yourself sound by your posts is able to assemble words in any kind of sensible manner. Does you mother write the posts out for you or is she a dull-witted as you and the aide writes them out for both of you?

  18. Gee John, guess I have not told you about my daughter getting beat up sitting right next to a teacher at a nearby middle school. Broken finger. Girl expelled. No charges from Julia Rietz. See you this Thursday in Charleston.

  19. If John wanted the police to respond more quickly he could have just said “I’m parked across the street from the school and I have a gun with me.”

    By the way, does Illinois exempt permit holders from the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act? (Seems unlikely considering Illinois gun laws)

    On a different thought, I do have to wonder what imbecile approved the design of the school where all the buses have to line up blocking a public street for pickup every day.

  20. I thank the Lord every day of the school year, that my Grandkids go to a Rural School, with teachers and staff that are armed and trained.

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