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School Bus Safety

We know you share our concern for the safety of every student who rides a school bus or activity bus. We ask you to impress upon your child that it is absolutely necessary to follow the rules and to obey the bus driver. It is very important that you review these rules and responsibilities, as well as those included in the Student Code of Conduct Handbook, with your child.

Duties and Responsibilities of Students on Buses

Conduct of Students

  • Obey the bus driver promptly concerning conduct on the bus.
  • Observe classroom conduct, except for ordinary conversation with students in the same seat, while getting on or off and while riding on the school bus.
  • Be at the place designated both morning and afternoon ready to board the bus prior to the time shown on the posted schedule. The driver is responsible for maintaining this schedule and will not wait for tardy students.
  • Help keep the bus clean, sanitary and orderly and do not damage or abuse the cushions or other bus equipment. Students will be required to pay for damages. For the child’s safety, eating is not permitted on the school bus.
  • Do not use drugs, alcohol, tobacco or profane language on the bus.
  • Students are not permitted to use recording devices or radios on the buses.

There are a number of state laws and policies to which the LEA must adhere. North Carolina General Statutes (laws) regarding school transportation are found in Article 17 of Chapter 115C, sections 239-262. Further, state law directs the North Carolina State Board of Education (SBE) to develop and implement policies related to school transportation. These policies are requirements and have the full effect of law.

Laws and policies may be found at www.ncbussafety.org/NCLaws.html

UNDER GENERAL STATUTE 115C-399, OCS MAY PROSECUTE FOR:

  • Willfully trespassing upon or damaging a school bus;
  • Entering a school bus or school activity bus after being forbidden to do so; or
  • Refusing to leave a bus upon request.

G.S. 115C-245(b) states that the driver “shall have complete authority over and responsibility for the operation of the bus and the maintaining of good order and conduct upon such bus.” Further, any person boarding the bus after being told not to by the driver is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor according to G.S. 14-132.2.

Unauthorized persons, including parents and guardians, are not permitted on buses without permission from the the Transportation Dept, Principal, or an Authorized School Official. Entering a school bus without permission is unlawful by North Carolina law and the violator could receive a trespassing charge.  School bus rules and actions of school bus drivers are for the safety of our children.

Behavior on the School Bus or at the Bus Stop

So that the school district can provide safe transportation for all students, the following guidelines must be observed:

  1. Obey the bus driver at all times.
  2. Stand off the roadway while waiting for the bus.
  3. Be at the bus stop at least ten (10) minutes prior to a scheduled stop time.
  4. Cross the roadway several steps in front of the bus.
  5. Ride only on the assigned bus.
  6. Board and depart only at the assigned bus stop.
  7. Act appropriately while waiting for the bus.
  8. Give your proper name when requested by the bus operator or monitor.
  9. Remain seated at all times when the bus is moving.
  10. Remain silent when the dome lights are on.
  11. Remain silent at railroad crossings.
  12. Refrain from bringing food or drink on the bus.
  13. Refrain from displaying signs from the bus.
  14. Refrain from using profane language or gestures.
  15. Refrain from acts of vandalism.
  16. Refrain from throwing objects from the windows of the bus.
  17. Refrain from conduct or behavior that interferes with the orderly, safe and expeditious transportation of bus riders.
  18. Refrain from using cellular telephones and other electronic devices while on the bus.

Video cameras are installed on all buses to include the activity buses. These monitoring devices assist to enhance the safety of students and drivers. Violations of the Student Code of Conduct or any behavior, which substantially distracts the driver and causes, or has the potential to cause, a safety hazard on a moving bus, may be the basis for suspension from bus/school and/or expulsion from bus-riding privileges.

Child Safety at the Bus Stop - A Letter to all Parents

Last year, Four North Carolina children were killed while trying to cross the street to get on the school bus. Three of these motorists illegally passed a stopped school bus. State Superintendent, Dr. June Atkinson has composed a letter to all parents attending North Carolina Schools. This letter is designed for parents to reinforce some basic safety rules when getting on and off the school bus. Roadway danger exists regardless of the students age.

 

Child Safety at the Bus Stop - A Letter to all Principals

Dr. June Atkinson has composed a letter to all Public School Principals discussing the importance of student safety at the bus stop.  Students are encouraged to make sure all traffic has stopped before crossing the road. The media and law enforcement have raised the awareness to the motoring public about stopping for a stopped school bus, student continue to be injured when crossing the road.

 

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