When a Texas school bus driver noticed that his elementary school passengers were standing in waist-high grass and weeds at their bus stop, in front of a vacant house, he took it upon himself to rectify the situation.
Jerry Martin Jr., who has been driving a school bus for Copperas Cove Independent School District for 18 years, finished his route on Wednesday, drove home and loaded up his lawnmower in his truck.
"I’ve done it several times,” Martin told KWTX. “But this time someone just took a picture.”
The district recently applauded Martin's dedication to his students on their Facebook page, where they shared a photo of Martin mowing the lawn that serves as a bus stop.
The bus driver explained to the station that he worried the young students would be bitten by infant mites in the grass, called chiggers, that result in an itchy rash that could last for days.
“I mowed that lawn because my kids have to stand there, and tall grass attracts chiggers, so I didn’t want my kids having to stand in it and get chigger bites,” Martin told KWTX.
After the district shared the photo, over 100 students and parents shared their own experiences with Martin.
“Mr. Martin was my elementary bus driver and he would always have fresh fruit for us to take home and was my favorite bus driver ever. I’m so happy he’s still shedding some positive lights on students today," one person commented.
One mother shared: "Mr. Martin is a genuinely great person. He drove my sons bus in kindergarten and Gage thought he hung the moon."
Another mom agreed: "Mr Martin is a wonderful man we appreciate everything he does. We couldn’t ask for a better bus driver to take care of our children."
"Not too surprised to see he’s doing amazing things! He’s an awesome person! Who remembers when he used to DJ at the school when we were kids?!" a former student wrote, proving that Martin wears many hats to make sure "his kids" are taken care of: bus driver, groundskeeper, and now DJ.
Martin's storied career as a bus driver also includes driving a Heisman Trophy winner and quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens.
“I used to drive a junior high student to his football games named Robert Griffin,” Martin told the station.
“In our community of 32,000+, we function as a family. We look out for each other and believe it is our responsibility to help one another in every way that we can,” Wendy Sledd, Director of Communications for CCISD told Yahoo Lifestyle. “Our hashtag is #CoveCulture and that is exactly what it is—a culture in Copperas Cove of caring for one another.”
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