So why don’t old folks have manners on Eastbourne’s buses

Seaside road bus stop, Eastbourne'03/06/11

Seaside road bus stop, Eastbourne'03/06/11

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Every week we read stories of older people being subjected to anti-social behaviour from young sters, but is this always the case? Sussex Downs College student Sonia Massessi offers

a different perspective

“Can I have that seat dear?”, “Would you mind?” Have you ever been asked any of these questions?

On a daily basis, many members of the public get around town on buses. But on Eastbourne buses, the bus journeys aren’t as peaceful as you think.

On a week day, Monday to Friday, from 7.30 am until 8.30 am and 3.15pm till 4.30pm, buses are the most popular transport for secondary school students to get to and from school.

Many members of the public who are secondary school students and college students have complained that the elderly are rude and disrespectful when it comes to public transport.

So I created a questionnaire for people aged between 13 to 18 years-old to gather their personal opinion on the matter.

A young girl stated outside of the questionnaire: “I have seen an elder woman ask a group of three year 7 girls to speak quieter, which made one of them cry. It was horrible!

“I wanted to do something about it. I knew I couldn’t go and confront the lady but I went and sat with the little girl to make sure that she was alright.

“She was just really scared.”

Through my secondary school research, I remembered that many teens post status’s about their daily lives on Facebook and Twitter along other social networking sites.

I came across two Facebook statuses that were complaining about the behaviour of the elderly.

Most of the complaints I came across were discussing their attitude towards younger members when needing a seat.

However to contradict the negativity shown so far, Eastbourne does have those few and rare members of the public who care enough to help the elderly.

This could be because they take into consideration medical disabilities, conditions and many other reasons.

Being judgemental and thinking that they are just being rude or disrespectful, is not because they are unkind and ruthless.

Sometimes there are reasons behind their behaviour.

Being on a school bus, it tends to be very loud and lively.

Teenagers have become conditioned to the idea that when it’s home time and you’re on the bus home, it’s time to laugh out loud, make fun of others, play your music loud, have food fights etc.

This is their normal routine.

This is also due to ‘showing off’ in front of others showing domination and power.

The back of the bus is normally where the ‘big kids’ like year 11s sit.

It is always reserved for them no matter what. It tends to be the cases where if you are not a year 11 or a ‘cool’, ‘popular’ kid you have no authority to sit there.

The back of the bus gives one the view of all that is happening in front of them.

Being able to look down on everyone shows strength and pride, or in scientific studies, paranoia and hidden insecurities.

Why? No one likes to sit in front of anyone, where you can hear whispering and laughing and not knowing what the people behind you are talking about.

Children aged 13 to 18 have their time to ‘shine.’ It is where they prove to be mature and ‘grown -ups.’ This normally happens when they come out of school.

The big question is, if you don’t like the way elderly people treat you, then shouldn’t you try and change your behaviour to give them a reason to change theirs?

Surely the behaviour that children stage nowadays gives the elderly a reason to believe that children aged 13 to 18 are ‘yobs’, ‘gangsters’, ‘chavs’ etc.

Give them a reason to be nice to you.