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24 hours in Lawrence

The ride home

The afternoon trip is especially rowdy

May 22, 2007

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24 Hours in Lawrence: following an elementary school bus driver

If you need a little extra energy, you might be able to borrow some from the group of elementary school students Jody Brown picks up and drops off every day of the school week. Enlarge video

If you need energy, the Langston Hughes Elementary students who ride Jody Brown's bus, have plenty to spare.

Nine of them pile onto and off of her massive yellow Laidlaw school bus every day, laughing and slapping the seats as they tumble down the aisle to their assigned seat.

"Oh yeah," Brown said from the drivers seat, her voice coming from a reflection in the horizontal overhead mirror. "They're a little wild sometimes. I have to tell them to sit down, but that's about it. They just like to stand up, yell out the window. I'm like, 'No! Put the window up!'".

The afternoon trip is especially rowdy.

"Morning's calm," Brown said. "They're ready to go to school, get it over with. Then, heading home, it's wild. They get to go home and eat!"

But even after driving the same route for 17 years, Brown said the job is still a joy. "I know every one," she said. "I've had them from, like, kindergarten on. They're what keeps me going."

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