Get ready to file this one under, "Are you freaking kidding me?"

An 8-year-old girl in Quebec, Canada has been told that she has to stop reading on the school bus. Because it's too dangerous.

Yes, you read that right. And I wish that as the story unfolded there would be a better explanation for the situation, but — spoiler alert here — there isn't. The full explanation is just as ridiculous as the synopsis.

So here's the scoop. Sarah Auger of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec had long enjoyed reading on her 20-minute bus ride to and from school. But her bus driver told her that she needed to stop reading because it was too dangerous for her and the other students. Apparently, the driver was concerned that she might poke herself in the eye with a corner of the book or that the other students might be so eager to see what she was reading that they stood up in their seats to look over her shoulder.

Let's take a minute to let that sink in.

We have one child that is clearly interested in reading. And several others that are so interested in what she is reading that they are trying to read her book over her shoulder. And the solution here is to try to prevent the girl from reading?

The no-reading ban did not sit well with Auger's father, who appealed to the school board about the case. Ultimately, though, they deferred to the driver, stating that he had free rein to make safety rules on his bus. But they did concede in their statement that "obviously" reading is not dangerous. 

So let me get this straight. What we have here is a girl who loves to read and several other students who potentially wish they were reading, too. The bus driver — for reasons that are truly beyond me — decides to ban her from reading and the entire school board backs him up on this? Unbelievable.

I should also point out that the school has a policy that all personal items should remain in book bags for the duration of a student's trip on the bus. And I get this, I truly do. If they didn't have a rule like this, kids would pull out all kinds of toys and gadgets that would distract the driver and eventually get lost in the short ride home. But should that rule include books?

I don't care if they are comic books, magazines, or Mad Libs, I can guarantee you that if the kids that wanted to read were allowed — better yet, encouraged — to read, the bus ride to and from school would be quieter and therefore safer for all passengers. And in the meantime, these kids would be reading. Reading! The very thing their parents, teachers, and the community-at-large are constantly suggesting that they do. 

Sounds like it's time for this bus driver — and this school district — to re-evaluate their rules.

Source: CBC News

Related on MNN:

Since when is it dangerous to read on a bus?
A school bus driver will not allow the girl to read on the bus because he is worried she may poke her eye out with the book.