A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Student Life

The nightmarish rumor

Rumor: You can’t have your phone out on the bus anymore. Fact: Yes you can.


Many West Ottawa students could never imagine sitting through their 50-minute bus ride with seven stops without listening to their top five Drake songs, watching an episode of their favorite Netflix original, or playing their favorite phone game. But a recent rumor indicated that this would be reality for WO bus riders, and they were not happy. “It’s just not good, they don’t even let us listen to music either just something really simple and it’s something that is just too strict,” Jr. Rosy Roa said. Roa was a concerned West Ottawa student, upset with the rumor over the ban.

   Thankfully West Ottawa bus riders don’t have to sit through their ride without their phones.

   West Ottawa Director of Transportation Paul Wegmeyer was able to put to rest the rumor. “Students can still use phones to text, play games, or do whatever it is they do with their phones; as long as it’s used in an appropriate manner we don’t have any issues with that,” Wegmeyer said. This should come as great news for any WO student concerned about the rumor.  Wegmeyer confirmed that phones will not be banned on the school buses.

   After hearing the news, students were extremely pleased to hear that this was all just one big rumor. “That sounds a lot better, but what the bus driver said was very basic things, like not taking our phones out,” Roa said. The rumor could have been started due to miscommunication between the bus drivers and the students on the bus.

   “We’ve also asked drivers to be a little more intentional about talking to the kids about what is inappropriate use of a cell phone on the bus and to let all kids know they are not to be taking pictures and not to be making videos of other students on the school bus,” Wegmeyer said. Drivers were told to inform students about what they can and can’t do with their phones on the bus, but that could have been misinterpreted by multiple students as if they could no longer use their phone on the bus and hence the ban rumor.

   The reality of the new policy is that it is much more relaxed than students had originally thought. Students went as far to say that the new policy has little to no effect on them because they never thought of using their phone in an inappropriate manner. West Ottawa bus riders have no need to stress the new policy because there are very few limitations on their phones.

   Rumors can spread quickly through the school halls and they also can create panic in the hearts of many students. Knowing the truth about the ban of phones on West Ottawa’s buses, students can relax and know that they can still listen to their favorite albums through their long and tedious bus rides.