DuBOIS – School District Police Officers, Transportation Director Andy Edinger and the Pennsylvania State Police teamed up this week to bomb elementary schools in the DuBois-area school district while engaging and educating students about school bus safety.
Private Bruce Morris of the Ridgway-based State Police and Private Ronald Chewing of the Punxsutawney-based State Police have teamed up with school officials to create an assembly for students to understand the dangers in and around buses and learn how to safely cross and approach school buses. Additional information has been noted on emergencies, rules of the road, and rules near, outside, and inside a bus.
“We are proud that the Bus Safety presentation adds another layer of school safety education,” said Janice Bart, DASD School Safety Director and School Policing Officer. “School safety begins as soon as a child walks through their doorstep until they reach their home at the end of the day. the State of Pennsylvania have been able to find time in their busy schedules to help address school bus safety concerns. At this time of year, students forget their original bus safety instructions, and it’s the perfect time of year to remind them about 101 bus safety.”
Bart noted that it’s a chance to improve student behavior and develop overall safety habits, as students grow and learn.
Although school bus education is provided annually and rules are introduced and revised, Edinger said he hopes this educational piece will reinforce and maximize bus travel safety. Edinger asked others to check the district school’s website where school bus rules and other transportation topics are available for parents, students, staff and families to learn more.
“Students need to remember: bottom to bottom, back to back, hands to yourself and inner voice” as things that are important for children to observe when traveling on a school bus, said Edinger. “It is the hope that in the years to come, by introducing our youngest age groups to bus safety education, it will be beneficial in the future throughout their school journey. The main thing is safety and that everyone gets home in a timely and safe manner. »
“It’s a privilege to ride the school bus, not an obligation,” Morris said. “You can be disciplined for using school transportation for infractions.”
Morris acknowledged that a bus driver has a very important job and everyone would agree to transport “precious goods – children”.
“It’s definitely helpful for students to turn down the volume so the driver doesn’t have interruptions and distractions; instead, the bus driver can have their full attention on the road and traffic conditions,” Morris said. He also said it was the perfect opportunity to remind students of the importance of school bus safety and to obey the bus driver’s instructions.
“I feel the audience was very attentive and I always enjoy providing service involving the education of our youth in the community. It’s a great age,” Morris said.
Chewning and Morris, along with SPOs Charles Nicklas and Donald Cameron, provided other bus rule reminders such as:
- All school rules exist at bus stops, on any bus, van or school transport.
- Know the rules, understand and accept responsibility for your actions.
- Make sure you know daily when you leave home what your plans are for your own transportation – and if you change – to make sure you have a note so the school knows how you will get home.
- Be respectful of the rights of other students.
- Be aware of the dangers of loading and unloading areas, including the dangers of loose clothing, clothing accessories and personal items that may fall under the bus.
- Arrive at the bus stop five minutes early.
- Line up five giant steps from the sidewalk.
- Enter and disembark the bus at school pick-up and drop-off areas and at bus stops in an orderly fashion and follow instructions. Don’t bother and push.
- Always walk in front of the bus, not behind it and walk 10 feet in front.
- Upon entering the bus, walk straight to their seats and remain seated until told to stand up and unload.
- Follow the bus driver’s instructions.
- Keep aisles clear at all times. Books, lunch boxes, instruments and book bags should be placed under the seat or on the student’s lap.
“We have developed an age-appropriate presentation for students in kindergarten through fourth grade to teach students important school bus safety information such as loading and unloading, emergency guidelines, rules of school bus safety, danger zones and stay seated,” Chewning said. “We walked students through the arrival, journey and dismissal of a bus scenario so that appropriate safety measures could be discussed. I think the program was well received and I hope that when the kids got home on the bus they thought about the ideas and the rules.
The assemblies were presented at Juniata Elementary and CG Johnson Elementary schools.
“Parents also need to be aware of and discuss transportation safety because school safety is a shared community responsibility,” Bart said. “Parents and guardians are an integral part of bus safety and should be involved.”
Bart said elementary school students in Oklahoma and Wasson will benefit from the same program to improve school safety throughout the district and hopefully for years to come.