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Procedure 8123P - Student Conduct on Bus

Procedure 8123P

NONINSTRUCTIONAL OPERATIONS

Student Conduct on Buses
The use of district transportation is a privilege, not a right.  Any misconduct by a student which, in the opinion of the bus driver or bus supervisor, is detrimental to the safe operation of the bus shall be sufficient cause for the principal to suspend transportation privilege.

Rules of conduct for students riding buses are listed below:

A. Students shall obey the driver and any aide assigned to the bus by the district.  The driver is in full charge of the bus and passengers and shall be obeyed.  If an aide is assigned to the bus by the district, he or she shall be responsible for the safe operation of the bus.  When transporting classes or teams (including extra-curricular trips), the teacher or coach shall be primarily responsible for the behavior of the students.  Students shall obey both the driver and the teacher, coach or other staff members.

B. Students shall be at the bus stop at least five (5) minutes before the scheduled pick-up time.

C. Students shall ride only on their assigned bus unless written permission to do otherwise has been received by school officials.

D. Students shall not be permitted to leave the bus except at their regular stop unless written permission to do otherwise is received by school officials.

E. Students assigned seats shall use only that seat unless permission to change is authorized by the driver.

F. Students shall observe rules of classroom conduct while riding on buses.  Noise shall be kept down to avoid distracting the driver.  Students shall refrain from the use of obscene language or gestures.

G. Students shall not possess, use, or chew tobacco products, nor ignite lighters or matches on the bus.

H. Students shall not eat on buses, except when cleared with the driver and specifically authorized and supervised by an accompanying teacher, coach or other staff member.  If eating is allowed, the students will clean up after themselves.

I.  Students shall not open bus windows without the driver’s permission.

J. Students shall not extend any part of their body out of bus windows at any time.

K. Students shall not carry or have in their possession items that can cause injury to passengers on the bus.  Such items include, but are not limited to, sticks; breakable containers; weapons or firearms; straps or pins protruding from clothing; large, bulky items which cannot be held or placed between legs; etc.  Books and personal belongings shall be kept out of aisles.

L.  Students shall not have animals on buses, except “seeing eye” dogs.

M. Students shall not sit in the driver’s seat or to the immediate right or left of the driver.

N. Students shall refrain from talking to the driver while the bus is in motion.

O. Students shall go directly to a seat once inside the bus and remain seated at all times unless the driver instructs otherwise.

P.  Students shall get on and off the bus in an orderly manner and shall obey the instructions of the driver or school safety patrolmen on duty.  There shall be no pushing and shoving when boarding or leaving the bus.  Once off the bus, students shall adhere to rules for pedestrians.

Q. Students shall always cross the roadway in front of the crossing arm attached to the front bumper of the bus.  When necessary, the driver will direct the students to cross the roadway safely.

R. Students shall stand away from the roadway while waiting for or departing from the bus.

S. Students going to and from their bus stops where there are no sidewalks shall walk on the left-hand side of the roadway facing oncoming traffic, unless it is not possible.  Students shall go directly to their home after leaving the bus.

T.  Students shall use lap belts on buses when available.

U. Students shall follow emergency exit drill procedures as prescribed by the driver.

V. Students shall not tamper with emergency doors or equipment.

W. Students shall use the cellular telephone (on cellular-equipped buses) only for emergency purposes and when authorized by the driver, coach, teacher or other staff members.

X. Students shall not disrupt the driver, other passengers or other vehicles in any way, including the use of a mirror, magnifying glass or other reflective materials.

Y. Parent(s) or guardian(s) of students identified as causing damager to buses shall be charged with the cost of the incurred damage.  Students causing the damage may be suspended from transportation pending payment.

Z. Student misconduct or violation of school bus rules shall constitute sufficient reason for suspending transportation privileges.

Disciplinary Procedures

Principals are responsible for correcting those students whose abusive behavior results in a bus-incident report or violates the rules above.  The principal shall provide supervision during bus arrival and departure times at his or her school and receive reports (written and oral) from the drivers.  The principal shall insure that students comply with the specified regulations.  Principals must maintain open lines of communication among school officials, bus drivers and the transportation department.

When waiting for a bus or going to and from a bus stop, students are responsible for conducting themselves according to the social and legal mores that apply to adults in public.  That is, they must not abuse or cause damage to private or public property; they must not use obscene language or gestures; they must not engage in criminal activity.  Failure to adhere to these mores may result in formal complaints by citizens which may be forwarded to principals for possible corrective action.

Students provided with transportation are responsible for complying with the district’s rules of conduct for students riding buses.  Failure to adhere to these rules or abusive behavior towards the public, driver, fellow passengers or the vehicle constitutes justification for initiating corrective action against a student.

Abusive behavior on the part of a student riding a bus may result in a written report when, in the opinion of the driver or bus supervisor, there has been an infraction of the rules applicable to student conduct.  The written report is the primary means by which a driver or bus supervisor communicates a student’s conduct to the school and transportation department.  This report, in most cases, reflects an infraction of rules which is repeated by the student after his or her having received previous oral warnings from the bus driver or bus supervisor.  In order for drivers and bus supervisors to effectively maintain control on their buses, it is expected that action be exercised by principals when receiving such a report.

When a student’s conduct constitutes an infraction of the rules, the driver or transportation supervisor shall complete a report on the student describing the incident or damage that occurred.  The driver or bus supervisor shall inform the student about the report, submit the report to the principal, and retain a copy for the transportation office.  A copy of the report concerning special education students shall be given to the principal for disposition with a copy to the special services department.

The principal, upon receiving the report, shall investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident and take action according to the procedures set forth in the district’s policies pertaining to corrective action and punishment.  (See Policy #3300.)  When investigating the incident, the primary concern must be with respect to the safe transport of students.  Corrective action, if necessary, should be consistent throughout the district as follows:

A. Warning – When a student’s misconduct is of a minor nature which does not jeopardize the safety or welfare of other students or the operation of the bus.

B. Suspension – When a student’s misconduct is deemed to jeopardize the safety of bus passengers and operation, or when repeated warning notices fail to correct abusive behavior, or when a student incurs damage to the bus.

C. Expulsion – When a student’s misconduct is of such nature that the safety of the bus operation and/or of the occupants was willfully and seriously threatened (i.e., student assaulting the driver).

The action taken by the principal shall be annotated on the report and forwarded to the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s).  The transportation department shall be notified through a copy of the report.  In case of suspension, the transportation department shall be notified immediately by telephone.

Drivers shall be advised to file assault and battery charges against students who physically assault them.  Under no circumstances shall the driver retaliate in kind and physically assault the student as this conduct may subject him or her to legal action.  If necessary, the driver may use physical restraint in order to protect himself or herself and/or the other passengers on the bus from physical harm.

The student or parent(s) or guardian(s) of a student who has been suspended from receiving transportation entitlements may appeal the principal’s decision by submitting a written statement to the superintendent.  The superintendent shall render a decision after evaluating the issues and facts involved.  If the decision is based on issues unrelated to those described in the district’s rules of conduct for students riding buses, the decision shall require board concurrence before implementation.

 

Adoption Date:           May 28, 1996