Controversial Music On School Bus?

By: Nikki Boyd
By: Nikki Boyd

(Anderson Co.) WVLT - An Andersonville Elementary School student says he does not want to ride the bus because of the rap music he says the bus driver plays.

But the bus driver has a different story.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford spoke with the second grader, his father and the bus driver to find out what kind of music the children are hearing to and from school.

"Bad music."
That's what seven year old Ben Brandenburg says his bus driver, Kim Smith, plays on his school bus.

"They say bad words on it."

"He came to me, but I also heard the music myself, personally." 27:47 "The songs I heard were rap songs and I disapprove of those 110%."

Ben's father, Anthony, says he can hear rap music coming from the bus when it stops to pick him up.

"We just asked the lady nicely not to play the music on the bus around our child and they made the statement, they don't have control of the radio that's on the bus."

So for more than a week now, Anthony's been driving his son back and forth to school...

"We let him listen to music, but we screen what he listens to."

But bus driver, Kim Smith says she screens her music, too.

"My radio station, nor any other bus in Anderson County, I would imagine, would play any kind of rap music, period."

Smith says she has two radio stations she plays for the kids.

"I have been guilty of listening to 102.1. I'm a big fan of Mark and Kim, but sometimes they do have inappropriate talks and stuff."

We checked Star 102.1's early morning playlist.

When Smith feels the song's not good for little ears, she says she switches to WIVK, but she admits even country music isn't completely clean.

"It's really not like cuss words, but it's been like, inappropriate--'gonna get me some, gonna get me some,' and I'm like omigosh...here I am changing it."

Director of Transportation, Andy McCamey, tells us they have no strict policy on the bus music, but he's recommended drivers to use good discretion and stick with country music or turn it off.

Smith says, "If my boss gives me a choice and I say I'm listening to it and I'll listen to 107.7."

Mr. Brandenburg says, "They give me an excuse--the country music. We'll change it to country. I said, no, there's a lot of things on that I don't want my child listening to."

Anthony says he doesn't know what else to do.

"I'm hoping it'll be resolved, but I'm not gonna get on my knees and beg 'em."

Mr. Brandenburg says he's going to try putting his son back on the bus wednesday, but will remove him again if his son says he's still hearing inappropriate music.

The director of transportation says they will not tolerate rap or vulgar language played on the buses.


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