6605P Procedure - Student Conduct on Buses

Any misconduct by a student that is deemed by the bus driver or the transportation supervisor to be detrimental to the safe operation of the bus shall be sufficient cause for the transportation supervisor to suspend the student’s 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. 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 and the driver has been notified.
C. Students shall not be permitted to leave the bus except at their regular stop unless written permission to do otherwise is received by school officials.
D. Students who are assigned seats shall use only that seat unless permission to change is authorized by the driver.
E. Students shall observe rules of classroom conduct while riding on buses. Noise shall be kept down to avoid distracting the driver. Students shall refrain from the use of obscene language or gestures.
F.  Students shall not smoke or ignite lighters or matches on buses.
G. Students shall not eat on buses, except when specifically authorized and supervised by an accompanying teacher, coach, or other staff member. Buses shall be kept clean.
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, and 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 and shall obey the instructions of the driver or school safety patrolmen on duty. There shall be no pushing and shoving when boarding or leaving the bus. Once off the bus, students shall adhere to rules for pedestrians.
P. Students shall never cross the roadway behind a bus unless they use pedestrian crosswalks or traffic lights.
Q. Students shall stand away from the roadway curb when any bus is approaching or leaving a stop.
R. Students going to and from their bus stops where there are no sidewalks shall walk on the left-hand side of the roadway facing oncoming traffic. Students shall go directly to their home after leaving the bus.
S. Students shall use lap belts on buses when available.
T. Students shall follow emergency exit drill procedures as prescribed by the driver.
U. Students shall not tamper with emergency doors or equipment.
V. Students shall remain quietly seated, not exhibit disruptive behavior, and turn off all noise-making devices at highway rail grade crossings.
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.
Disciplinary Procedures
The transportation supervisor is responsible for correcting students whose abusive behavior results in a bus-incident report or violates the rules above. The principal shall provide supervision during bus arrival and departure times and the transportation supervisor will receive reports (written and oral) from the drivers.
The bus driver shall insure that students comply with the specified regulations. The transportation supervisor must maintain open lines of communication among school officials, bus drivers, and parents of students.
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; and they must not engage in criminal activity. Failure to adhere to these standards may result in formal complaints by citizens which may be forwarded to the transportation supervisor 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, there has been an infraction of the rules applicable to student conduct. The written report is the primary means by which a driver communicates a student's conduct to the transportation supervisor, the school, and the parent. 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. In order for drivers to effectively maintain control on their buses, it is expected that action be exercised by the transportation supervisor when receiving such a report.
When a student's conduct constitutes an infraction of the rules, the driver shall complete a report on the student describing the incident or damage that occurred. The driver shall provide the original report to the transportation supervisor. The transportation supervisor, 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. The supervisor will forward the report with the discipline to the driver, the driver will make contact with the parents, give a copy to the school, acquire the signature of the student, and give a copy to the student. Corrective action, if necessary, should be consistent throughout the district as follows:
A. Verbal Warning: When a student’s misconduct is of a minor nature which does not jeopardize the safety or welfare of other students or the operation of the bus.
B. Written Conduct Report: When a student’s misconduct is of a minor nature which does not jeopardize the safety or welfare of other students or the operation of the bus, and when repeat warning notices fail to correct the behavior.
Suspension of Transportation: When a student’s misconduct is deemed to jeopardize the safety of bus passengers and operation, when repeated warning notices fail to correct abusive behavior, or when a student incurs damage to the bus.
Extended Suspension of Transportation or Expulsion: When a student's misconduct is of such nature that the safety of the bus operation and/or of the occupants was willfully and seriously threatened (i.e., student assaulting the driver).
The action taken by the transportation supervisor shall be annotated on the report and forwarded to the student's parent for signature. The school will be notified if the discipline is above a verbal warning. The transportation supervisor will fax the report to the school if the student is being suspended from transportation services.
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 transportation supervisor’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. At the start of each field trip or extracurricular trip, the school bus driver shall review with all passengers the location and use of the emergency exits, emergency equipment, and any district emergency procedures.
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.
Kindergarten Ridership
The bus driver will seat all kindergarten students in the front of the bus for safety reasons and for proper supervision. The bus driver can make the determination to sit a kindergarten student elsewhere on the bus if a sibling of the kindergarten sits with him/her.
No kindergarten student will depart the bus without a parent/guardian or other designated person. In some cases, kindergarteners may be released with a sibling provided that the sibling is at least in the 4th grade and there is a written permission note from the parent on file with the school and transportation department. If no one is present at the stop to receive the kindergarten student, the driver will contact transportation to determine what procedure to follow.  In most cases, the kindergarten will be returned to school, where the parents will be contacted to pick up the student.
Date: 12/9/08