Use this 2safeschools image free in school or transportation newsletters, school bus safety brochures, on websites, in press releases and school bus safety adds. Use free in books and school bus drivers manuals with permission from 2safeschools.
Visit 2safeschools Graphics Library for photos free to use in school or transportation newsletters, school bus safety brochures, on websites, in press releases and school bus safety adds. Use free in books and school bus drivers manuals with permission from 2safeschools.
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)