JANUARY - 2005

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Left Behind, Lost, Abandoned

Keeping kids safe

The school bus 'Post-Check' for a sleeping child is one of the most important steps of a very important job: Maintaining safe practices to help keep kids safe. The importance of checking for a sleeping child and the potential consequence of failing to do so is explored in detail. Remedies are offered to help insure a child is not left behind, lost or abandoned on the school bus during the route or upon returning to the bus parking area. A wide variety of examples are provided in the Reports Archives that can help management and trainers instill the necessity in every professional school bus driver to, "Post Check Your Bus!"

By James Kraemer.
Presenting this story is not an endorsement by 2safeschools membership 'for' or 'against' this issue. Kraemer's commentary is provided for educational and informational purposes only. ©2005, by 2safeschools.org, all rights reserved. This specific story, "Post-Checking the bus: The last walk toward keeping kids safe," may be reprinted, broadcasted, edited for brevity, punctuation and grammar errors and redistributed, provided credit and a link to 2safeschools.org is appropriately captioned. Editor's should send notice of use to 2safeschools Permissions.

'Post-Checking' the bus: The last walk toward keeping kids safe

The Nation - Until recent years very seldom did leaving a child behind on the school bus draw much attention from the press. The child was very rarely injured and was often considered safe within the protection of the bus. It was simply one of those mistakes that anyone could make. No harm done.

The usual outcome, and this often remains the case these days, is that children were warned not to fall asleep on the bus.

However, in recent years this issue has become a highly charged emotional and political hot-button, can seem to outrage the affected parent, trouble management, upset confidence in the fleet, attract attorneys, and destroy the career of what is usually an experienced, caring and valued school bus driver.

Events that become intense also become newsworthy, drawing negative attention from the press. The result is often an expedited need to reassure parents the buses are safe.

A great many of these events involve Head Start, daycare vans and SPEC-ED mini buses, not the big buses. And many also involve at least one monitor on-board the bus.

A child left on the bus more than thirty minutes or so expands the issue and consequences from the driver to include school staff responsible to back-up children's safety on the buses. However, very rarely is any action taken against a teacher or other staff for failing to take attendance at the school. Punishment rarely extends beyond the bus.

An intensifying of this event by an angry parent remains rare enough that the community can be lullabied back to sleep when the bus driver can be successfully targeted, blamed and punished for what happened.

In some cases the driver is fired and the community accepts the buses are once again safe for their children. When the affected parent continues the outrage, the press tends to move on and the facility returns to normal until the next time a child is left behind at some point in the future.

Mike Martin, executive director of the National Association for Pupil Transportation, based in Albany, N.Y., offered this "guesstimate" in the July 29, 2002 Connecticut Post story, Bus driver errors rare, national group says.

"Out of some 24.5 million children who board school buses every day nationwide, "he said, "there are typically about a dozen of these [incidents] that rise to the level of newsworthy."

(This Report Continues - Click here for Page Two)

New CD
Air Alert Valve
Packed with info
Providing safe transportation
A new CD from 2safeschools is packed with over 500 files covering a wide variety of school bus and bus stop safety information. This CD provides solid information and training ideas to help the school bus driver provide calm, safe environments on the school bus. Over 150 free photos included on this CD, along with several video previews covering student behavior issues, crossings, mirror checks and much more. Click here for more information.
The Observer®
SBF Posters page
School Bus Video Observation System (analog and digital) Click Here to visit the website

Free Booklet
Death at the school bus stopJames Kraemer, author of the pending book, "Dangerous school buses," has put together excerpts into a free booklet (PDF format) titled, "Death at the school bus stop." Right click here (save target as...) to download your free template, courtesy First Coast Community.

Worldwide Thumbs Up!
KARE-11 bus safety video
Whatever Video
Kids make school bus safety video A nine minute video produced by kids is one of the most impressive 2safeschools has received for review. This short, informative video, produced by the Minneapolis, MN, KARE-11 TV "Whatever" show", teaches school bus safety on the bus, at bus stops and at school. It is so well done both kids and adults can relate comfortably to the abundance of information provided in the video. KARE-11 has received requests for the video from six countries throughout the world. Click Here to send an Email to Laurie Boyce at KARA 11: [email protected] | More School Bus Technology/Comments .
SPIDER-MAN Critical Review
Spider-Man pix
Target: Middle School to Adult.
The Spider-Man movie opening scene includes a school bus scene adequate for school bus student safe practices discussion. The scene has been captured in wmf/mpeg format and includes slides for classroom discussion. Included on 2safeschools school bus safety CD, the review and slide presentation in Internet format can be downloaded free by Clicking Here. | Free death at the school bus stop Slide Presentation and Booklet templates.

After veiwing these presentations, please click here to give your comments.

Adult To Adult
The School Bus - Safety Ignored
In some countries there are no enforced transportation standards, other than what nature provides. Death is a common standard nature provides. Click here for story.
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