|Photo by Marvin Fong/ The Plain Dealer|
But let's give her the benefit of the doubt, maybe Ms. Hardin had no choice but to show up in front of a judge. The judge, in a moment of extreme common sense, ordered Ms. Hardin not only to pay a fine, not only to lose her license for 30 days, but to hold up a sign for an hour during morning traffic. The sign needed to say, "Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus."
Now, I've talked about this before. But I wanted to go over what happened, because now we're on the other side of Ms. Hardin's judgement.
The important question to me is - did Ms. Hardin learn her lesson? Did she learn that it's important to follow the law, at least around school buses?
Sadly, I think the answer is "no". The first day of her sentence, Ms. Hardin leaned on her sign while smoking and texting. The judge made a few comments about how unhappy she was, and Ms. Hardin's lawyers basically told her to hold up the sign. The second day, Ms. Hardin got out of a car (driven by someone else), and held up her sign. Reporters surrounded her and asked her questions. A man stood next to her in solidarity - something I really do not understand. This man talked to Ms. Hardin for several minutes before she bothered to respond. And what words of wisdom did Ms. Hardin utter?
"I don't owe anyone an apology."She went on to admit she would apologize to the students, but since she was standing on a corner during school hours, that was just ...lame.
She doesn't get it. Ms. Hardin missed the fact that her needs are not more important that everyone else's needs, that obeying the stop sign on the school bus meant respecting the students and the community and that stopping isn't optional. Ms. Hardin doesn't understand that she hurt the community, and that she owes everyone an apology, or at least an admission of guilt.
Of course, this is only over in the technical sense. Ms. Hardin now has to live in a community where everyone knows what she did and who she is.
So I ask, do you think that Ms. Hardin will ever learn? And what do you think she'll learn?