Policy 6605PStudent Transportation Safety
Student Departing Buses
Once a student boards the bus (at the bus stop or at school), it will be the responsibility of the driver to provide safety oversight until the student departs the bus at his/her scheduled drop-off location. There may be times when there will be a request for a student to depart at an alternative location. The driver is authorized to let the student depart under any one of the following four scenarios. The bus driver receives:
1) An approved note from the school office (with official KWRL stamp affixed) approving the student to depart the bus at an alternate location;
2) An authorized notification from KWRL dispatch approving an alternate departure location;
3) A direct parent/guardian request, and the parent/guardian is known by the bus driver;
4) A district administrator or teacher requests a student to depart the bus, and the person is known by the bus driver to serve in an official capacity for the district.
Student Conduct on Buses
Any misconduct by a student, which in the opinion of the bus driver or bus supervisor, is detrimental to the safe operation of the bus shall be sufficient cause for the principal to suspend the transportation privilege.
Rules of conduct for students riding buses:
A. Students shall obey the driver and any aide assigned to the bus by the district. The driver is in full charge of the bus and passengers and shall be obeyed. If an aide is assigned to the bus by the district, he/she shall be responsible for the safe operation of the bus. When transporting classes or teams, the teacher or coach shall be primarily responsible for the behavior of the students. Students shall obey both the driver and the teacher, coach or other staff member.
B. Students shall ride only on their assigned bus unless written permission to do otherwise has been received by school officials.
C. Students assigned seats shall use only that seat unless permission to change is authorized by the driver.
D. Noise shall be kept down to avoid distracting the driver. Students shall refrain from the use of obscene language or gestures. In addition, students shall sit properly in their seat; not throw anything on the bus; keep their hands to themselves; and be courteous to other passengers.
E. Students shall not smoke, light matches or lighters, or use any type of flame or sparking device on the school bus.
F. Students shall not have in their possession any alcoholic beverage, marijuana, narcotics or stimulant drugs.
G. Students shall not eat on buses, except when specifically authorized and supervised by an accompanying teacher, coach or other staff member. Students are to assist in keeping the bus clean by keeping their waste paper and other trash off the floor. Students must not throw anything out the windows.
H. Students shall not open bus windows without the driver’s permission.
I. Students shall not extend any part of their body out of bus windows at any time.
J. Students shall not carry or have in their possession items that can cause injury to passengers on the bus. Such items include, but are not limited to, sticks, breakable containers, weapons or firearms, straps or pins protruding from clothing, large, bulky items which cannot be held or placed between legs, etc. Books and personal belongings shall be kept out of aisles.
K. Students shall not have animals on buses, except a dog providing assistance to a disabled student.
L. Students shall not sit in the driver’s seat or to the immediate right or left of the driver.
M. Students shall refrain from talking to the driver unless necessary.
N. Students shall go directly to a seat once inside the bus and remain seated at all times unless the driver instructs otherwise.
O. Students shall get on/off the bus in an orderly manner. They must not cross the highway without verifying that it is safe to proceed and until given consent by the driver. When boarding or leaving the bus, students must be in view of the driver at all times.
P. Students shall cross the highway only in front of the school bus and never behind it.
Q. Students must arrive at the bus stop on time, and must not stand or play on the roadway while waiting for the bus to arrive. Self discipline should be exercised by the students at the bus loading area. Students will refrain from pushing and shoving other passengers, or engaging in other unsafe activities.
R. Students who have to walk some distance along the highway to the bus loading zone must walk, where practicable, on the left hand side facing the oncoming traffic. This will also apply to students leaving the bus loading zone in the evening.
S. Students are not to run errands between the bus stops and home.
T. Students shall use lap belts on buses when available.
U. Students shall follow emergency exit drill procedures as prescribed by the driver.
V. Students shall not tamper with emergency doors or equipment.
W. Parents of students identified as causing damage to buses shall be charged with the cost of the incurred damage. Students causing the damage may be suspended from transportation.
X. Student misconduct shall constitute sufficient reason for suspending transportation privileges.
Principals are responsible for correcting students whose abusive or disruptive behavior results in a bus-incident report or violates the rules above. The principal shall provide supervision during bus arrival and departure times and receive reports (written and oral) from the drivers.
The principal shall insure that students comply with the specified regulations. Principals must maintain open lines of communication among school officials, bus drivers and the transportation department.
When waiting for a bus, or going to and from a bus stop, students are responsible for conducting themselves according to the social and legal mores that apply to adults in public. That is, they must not abuse or cause damage to private or public property; they must not use obscene language or gestures; they must not engage in criminal activity. Failure to adhere to theses standards may result in formal complaints by citizens which may be forwarded to principals for possible corrective action.
Students provided with transportation are responsible for complying with the district’s rules of conduct for students riding buses. Failure to adhere to these rules, or abusive behavior towards the public, driver, fellow passengers or the vehicle constitutes justification for initiating corrective action against a student.
Abusive behavior on the part of a student riding a bus may result in a written report when, in the opinion of the driver or bus supervisor, there has been an infraction of the rules applicable to student conduct. The written report is the primary means by which a driver or bus supervisor communicates a student’s conduct to the school and transportation department. This report, in most cases, reflects an infraction of rules which is repeated by the student after his/her having received previous oral warnings from the driver or bus supervisor. In order for drivers and bus supervisors to effectively maintain control on their buses, it is expected that action be exercised by principals when receiving such a report.
When a student’s conduct constitutes an infraction of the rules, the driver or bus supervisor shall complete a report on the student describing the incident or damage that occurred. The driver or bus supervisor shall provide the student with a copy of the report, hand the original report to the principal and submit a copy to the transportation supervisor. The copy of the report concerning special education students shall be given to the principal for disposition.
The principal upon receiving the report shall investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident and take action according to the procedures set forth in the district’s policies pertaining to corrective action and punishment. When investigating the incident, the primary concern must be with respect to the safe transport of students. Corrective action, if necessary, should be consistent throughout the district as follows:
- Pre-ticket misbehavior: Bus driver handles the situation and the parent is contacted.
- First ticket: Meeting between administrator and student; discipline at the discretion of the administrator.
- Second ticket within a 60 day period: Bus driver, student and administrator meet. Student will normally receive a one to three day suspension (transportation or school) determined by the administrator.
- Third ticket within a 90 day period: Three to five day suspension as determined by the administrator.
- Fourth ticket within a school year: One to four week suspension as determined by the administrator.
- Fifth ticket within a school year: Long term suspension or expulsion from the bus as determined by the administrator.
The action taken by the principal shall be annotated on the report and forwarded to the student’s parent for signature. The transportation department shall be notified.
Drivers shall be advised to file assault and battery charges against students who physically assault them. Under no circumstances shall the driver retaliate in kind and physically assault the student as this conduct may subject him/her to legal action.
The student or parent of a student who has been suspended from receiving transportation entitlements may appeal the principal’s decision by submitting a written statement to the superintendent. The superintendent shall render a decision after evaluating the issues and facts involved. If the decision is based on issues unrelated to those described in the district’s rules of conduct for students riding buses, the decision shall require board concurrence before implementation.
The transportation supervisor shall review the contents of the School Bus Driver’s Handbook with each driver prior to the beginning of each school year. Each driver, in turn, is expected to follow the procedure as outlined in the handbook.
In the event of an accident, the driver shall make contact with the transportation supervisor who shall:
A. Determine the nature of the accident;
B. Contact emergency services if there is reason to believe that there are injuries which require immediate attention;
C. Contact the state patrol regarding the accident;
D. Advise the superintendent of schools;
E. Investigate the accident and gather the names of all students and witnesses;
F. Dispatch another bus to transport the students to their destination;
G. Contact the parent(s) or guardian(s) of any students who are injured.
To facilitate the responsibilities assigned to the transportation department, the supervisor, in cooperation with the building principals, will compile a list of students, including addresses and phone numbers, which are authorized to ride each bus route.
La Center School District Adopted: February 26th, 2008