I am running for Sparta's Board of Education with Kim Bragg and Niamh Grano. We are #3, #4, #5 on the ballot.

On a daily basis our school security is top priority for our children and teachers within the schools.  One part of the security that is commonly overlooked is the safety and security awareness for the children while on the school bus.  

The common complaint and concern you hear about is the behavior of the kids while on the school bus.  I hear it myself from my own children; this one was standing up on the bus, this was throwing food and eating, another kid kept switching seats.  I am sure everyone has heard the same from their kids one time or another.

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 The addition of a bus aid on the full size buses would improve the safety of the children while in transit.  The aid can ensure that all children are in their seats, are all safely secured with seatbelts and can tend to the student who needs help or has an issue while on the bus, especially the young kids who always have trouble securing the seatbelt properly. 

Many school bus drivers have not received adequate training on dealing with school safety and security.  I am not indicating that our own Sparta bus drivers are not properly trained, I am simply suggesting there should be annual training.   

I would like to see all bus drivers provided with comprehensive training on student behavior management, discipline procedures, working with special education and special needs students, dealing with irate parents, security and emergency preparedness, applicable state and local laws, and associated issues for all transportation staff, including newly hired drivers. 

There needs to be an effective use of technology including reliable means of communication.  Surveillance cameras inside and out of all buses should be on all buses. Weekly inspections of the buses should be taking place everything is in working order and all equipment is in place.

Unfortunately there is always the potential of a motor vehicle accident happening during a bus route, field trip or after school activity.  All bus drivers need to be trained in safely securing the vehicle during a motor vehicle incident or emergency while on the side of the road ensuring the safety of all the children aboard the bus.  

Asking all this and implementing it is a lot for a bus driver to do when their main priority is transporting our children in a safe manner which is why I believe there should be bus aids.

 Let’s think of the safety of the children and working together as a community to continue to make the Sparta School System moving in the right direction.

I am running for Sparta's Board of Education with Kim Bragg and Niamh Grano.  

We are #3, #4, #5 on the ballot come November 5!