Quebec girl told to stop reading book by school bus driver

An eight-year-old girl in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., was told she’s not allowed to read a book on the school bus because it poses a risk to the safety of other students.

Sarah Auger, 8, enjoyed reading to and from school, until the bus driver said it was dangerous

Sarah Auger, 8, was told she's not allowed to read books on the school bus. (Kate Rutherford/CBC)

An eight-year-old girl in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. was told she's no longer allowed to read books on the school bus because it poses a risk to the safety of other students.

Sarah Auger loves reading and used to enjoy using her 20-minute ride to and from school to read for pleasure.

But recently, her bus driver told her she had to stop.

She says she was told reading posed a risk to other students on the bus.

He suggested they might stand up to see what she was reading, or she might poke herself in the eye with the corners of the book. 

Father wants rule changed

The no-reading rule is not sitting well with her father, Daniel Abel.

Abel says he's proud of his daughter for loving to read, and wants to encourage her to do so as often as possible.

He wants to see the rule on her school bus change.

"I find it stupid and useless," he said.

Abel complained to the school board, which deferred to the driver, saying the person who drives the bus is allowed to make the rules.

"The responsibility of a school bus driver is to transport students safely," said Mario Champagne, general secretary and director of communications for the Hautes-Rivière school board.

In a statement, the board concedes that "obviously" reading is not dangerous. 

The statement also specified that personal belongings of students, including books, must stay in their bags during the duration of their trip home.


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