Steamboat Springs This is in response to a letter written by one of your readers ("School bus safety," Krista Andress) in the Wednesday Steamboat Today. Our school bus drivers are trained professionals who are very good at performing the difficult task of monitoring student behavior while driving a large, complex vehicle in rural and urban conditions.
The School District Transportation Department has a process for managing student misbehavior that begins with the bus driver speaking with the student. If the inappropriate behavior continues, the school is notified, and the principal addresses the issue with the student and, if necessary, contacts the student's parents. The letter writer referenced a letter that I had sent to the parents of students on one particular bus. My letter to the parents included a list of bus rules and expectations. I asked the parents to review the bus rules with their children and remind them about the importance of riding safely. The request for parent volunteers to ride the bus came from individual meetings with several parents of students who ride that bus.
Yes, we do have some cases of taunting and bullying on our buses, but it is addressed as it would be anywhere else in our school system. When behavior appears to be getting out of hand, we work with the bus driver to monitor and report conditions on the bus so that, with the help of school administrators and parents, we can ensure a safe bus ride. Studies by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration consistently show that the school bus is far and away the safest form of transportation anywhere, and I believe that our Transportation Department confirms those studies.
Director of Transportation, Steamboat Springs School District