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 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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  • by Megan DePerro Location: NY on Apr 28, 2008 at 05:07 PM
    The problem here is a lot of people think that rap music is automatically bad. I've heard that said even about Christian rap. So, was this hardcore rap being played or was it something more of Chris Brown?
  • by lisa Location: knoxville on Oct 9, 2007 at 05:35 PM
    it really doesn't matter of it is high school kids but i think if it's a little kid then they shouldn't be hearing curse words wether on the radio or anywhere.
  • by Kym (Bus Driver) Location: Andersonville on Aug 24, 2007 at 07:13 PM
    First of all....Thanks for the blogs. For and/or against the subject. My eyes teared up when I read just how much support, trust, and respect that my parents and students have for me. Thank you! One must show respect to earn respect, especially from little ones and this blog has proven that to me. As for little Ben, he hasn't been back on the bus. If he does, I wouldn't treat him no different. I would encourage the students to do the same. Hugs and kisses to all.
  • by Karen Location: Clinton on Aug 24, 2007 at 05:03 PM
    I know both the parent and the bus driver. The parent is always in some kind of controversary. This is the first I've known about the driver being in one. That should tell you something. You just can't please some people. So, if the parent drives his son to school and picks him up then there won't be anymore problems. The parent, the son, the driver and the other students can all be HAPPY.
  • by maggie nola on Aug 24, 2007 at 03:34 PM
    so we should not try to protect our kids? Our daughters will be exposed to sex eventually so ... why not get 'em started early? What a load of BS. Everybody who wants to hear rap music on the job, go get a job in a topless bar. Otherwise, I'll take my school bus ride quiet please.
  • by Crystal on Aug 24, 2007 at 01:41 PM
    This comment is for James. What if some parents dont want their children listening to christian music, myself I dont have a problem with it but, There are probably many who do. I think that if the music calms the kids then so be it. Would you rather have calm children of bored children or bored children arguing and fighting to really distract the driver. The one thing that does need to be done is that seat belts should be put on the bus, this is really a safety issue not a radio.
  • by Karen Location: Knoxville on Aug 24, 2007 at 11:56 AM
    It really doesn't matter if you listen to a radio on abus or not. Everyones children hear cuss words everywhere. T.V. shows or out in public. You know for yourself you have probably said one at home even when you think little ears are not around. Get over it. Take your kids to school, start a car pool, make your kids listen to classical music for the rest of you life. Quit griping because your kid rides a bus that plays music. Next thing you know you will say the Ice Cream truck plays innapropriate music. Just remember you shelter you kid now it can lead to more problems down the road. I hope you kid don't come home from school one day with a black eye or bloody nose because he heard a kid say a bad word and say "oh, I am going to tell." Cause that is what kind of example you have just set.
  • by Doug Location: Seymour on Aug 24, 2007 at 11:11 AM
    "Misbehave - no radio"?? How about "misbehave - find your own ride"?? Seems to me that we're getting the cart before the horse. It amazes me that we wonder where our kids learn the language they come home with. Rap is know for its violent and sexually charged lyrics not to mention verbage (cursing). If "all radio stations" are questionable would it not be prudent to have no radio stations? How about music specifically aimed to children and not the 'questionable' music on the airwaves? The audience is, after all, the minds of children.
  • by Jenny Location: Andersonville on Aug 24, 2007 at 10:08 AM
    Please stop picking on Kym. My kids would love to have Kym as their driver and I completely trust her judgement. I've known Kym for several years and she'd never play Rap. She is an excellent driver and keeps the kids in line while on the bus. If a parent does not want his/her child to hear random music then he/she should transport their child to/from school. Personally, I wish my driver would play music.
  • by maggie nola on Aug 24, 2007 at 09:58 AM
    i'd pull my kid off a bus so fast if i knew she had to listen to CHRISTIAN music. C'mon that is ridiculous to force that stuff on impressionable young minds. how about barbershop quartet music? That is the jamz. lolz!!1


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