Thursday, February 4, 2016

An Important Message About School Bus Safety

In order to continually improve safety on Vermilion School Buses, this article is a reminder to parents and students about bus safety expectations. 

In the next few weeks the Transportation Department will provide all students and parents with an updated copy of safety rules which will include a description of penalties for disruptive behavior.  Bus rules are also stated in the Student Handbook at each school. 

The following behaviors are considered to be extremely disruptive to the driver, and create an unsafe environment for all students:
1.   Disrespectful behavior – bullying, hitting, punching, yelling, screaming, failure to obey the driver

2.   Vulgarity – inappropriate language or rude gestures to other students, drivers or the public

3.   Disruption at the railroad tracks – Ohio law requires students to be silent at railroad crossings until the bus is safely across the tracks.

4.   Inappropriate behavior, including, but not limited to throwing items within or outside the bus, using sprays on or near others, vandalism (writing on or damaging seats, floors, walls, etc.)

Principals and bus drivers will strictly enforce these rules.  Violations will result in immediate removal from the bus beginning with one day off the bus for the first offense, and progressive steps for additional violations up to and including expulsion from the bus.

The following behaviors are safety rules that are put in place by the Ohio Department of Education Transportation Section, and will be enforced by the driver and administration:
5.   Eating / drinking / chewing gum / littering

6.   Legs in aisles and/or arms, hands, etc. sticking out of the windows

7.   Sitting in an unassigned seat or standing while the bus is moving

8.   Violation of bus stop rules, including not remaining in the safety zone, repeatedly late to bus stop, and getting on or off at an incorrect bus stop without permission.

Violation of these rules will result in a letter being sent home.  Additional violations will be referred to the principal for action up to and including suspension from the bus. 

Safety continues to be the #1 priority of our Transportation Department.  We maintain a high standard of training and accountability for our bus drivers and mechanics.  Our goal is to work with students, parents and administrators to provide our drivers with as little disruption as possible as they navigate their buses throughout our community.  Enforcement of rules is one tool in reaching this goal. 

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation in keeping students and community safe. 

Philip M. Pempin, Superintendent

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