Bus safety solutions

By Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter

Bus drivers met Feb. 14 to discuss different tactics in finding a solution to the bad behavior displayed by some students during routes in and out of town.

Jim Carroll, activities director, commented that the district needs to “more aggressively” handle the issue and “be consistent across all the buses” in the way the issues are handled.

Ray Moritz, who received a plaque for his years of commitment to the district as a bus driver, suggested the use of a few real cameras but also using false cameras as a deterrent.

Another driver commented that the driver can’t tell what’s going on in the back of the bus while traveling on gravel roads because the mirror is bouncing around.

Different solutions presented by the bus drivers and Carroll were to keep up with seating strategies, to possibly move students to different buses, to add an addition bus route to the east side of town and to assign older students as bus monitors.

Kevin Moritz shared his long-used strategy of stopping the bus when the students are misbehaving and waiting to move the bus until all are seated and quiet. Dan Brown, fellow bus driver and UMS teacher, commented that he used this simple strategy last week but it backfired on him a bit when he got stuck trying to get going again.

Carroll commented on the entire issue by commenting that there is a misconception to the public that the school has to provide transportation. “It’s the responsibility of parents.”

Carroll will be doing ride-a-longs in March to help the drivers prepare for next year and to help address any of their concerns regarding their routes.