Bus Safety Expectations for Students
Bulloch County Schools Transportation, Maintenance & Technology Annex
219 Simons Road
Julie Chance, Ed.D. (Interim)
Field Trip Coordinator
Basic Bus Safety Expectations
Bulloch County Schools is considered a leader in the state's Pupil Transportation Services for its school bus safety training for students and drivers. All students, whether they ride a bus daily or not, receive school bus safety training every year during the first few weeks of school. This is critical because in the last few years, Georgia has led the nation in bus fatalities, and 92 percent of these occurred while loading or unloading a school bus.
Buses are like a classroom
School buses and bus stops are extensions of the classroom. For this reason students are expected to behave and follow all school and bus rules and the district’s Student Code of Conduct while they use bus transportation services.
A student who does not abide by these rules or the Code of Conduct threatens the safety of all students and employees on the bus, and the student will be reported to a school administrator.
School administrators will determine if the student may or may not continue to have the privilege to use bus transportation services. A school administrator's decision is final.
Young Bus Riders
Young bus riders are defined as pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade students who ride a school bus. All young bus riders who unload from a school bus alone must be met by an authorized person, unless a parent or guardian authorizes the bus driver in writing to let a young bus rider unload from the school bus alone, without being met by a designated person. A Young Bus Rider Form must be completed and signed before the first day of school by the parent or legal guardian of each young bus rider. Forms may be obtained at any elementary school, the school district's Transportation and Technology Annex, or via this link. Complete the form and return it to your child's school. Parents or guardians may also complete a Young Bus Rider Form as part of the annual update of student information. The form is embedded within the electronic update.
School Bus Safety
School bus drivers have authority over, and responsibility for, students while on the bus. It is the student’s responsibility to adhere to the Bulloch County Schools Code of Conduct, follow established school bus rules, and to listen and follow directions from their school bus driver.
Proper student behavior is vital because distracting bus drivers could be hazardous to student safety, the safety of the driver and the safety of other vehicles and drivers on the road.
Students and parents/guardians should be aware that students are responsible for their actions and behavior. The privilege of school bus transportation can be denied if students do not conduct themselves properly.
The following are some general rules of conduct for student safety while on the school bus:
- Have all items in your book bag before you leave home so you don’t drop anything.
- Arrive at the bus stop five minutes before the bus is scheduled to come.
- Once at your bus stop, wait in a safe place, at least 12 feet away from traffic.
- If you miss the bus, never chase after a bus, never walk to another bus stop, and never drive to another bus stop.
- Go back home. Get help or use a phone to call for help to get someone you know to take you to school.
- Walking or driving to another stop is very dangerous. Your bus driver will not expect you, and will not know to look for you.
- Keep electronic equipment packed away. Never use electronic devices or wear ear buds/headphones when getting on or off the bus. You must be able to hear your bus driver and be alert to any danger.
- Follow directions from the school bus driver the first time they are given.
- Remain seated.
- Use classroom conduct at all times.
- Respect the rights and safety of others.
- Remain absolutely quiet at railroad grade crossings.
- Do not attempt to board or leave the bus at any locations other than the assigned stop.
- When exiting the bus, move immediately away from the bus and get out of the danger zone. Go directly home. Do not stop to do other tasks such as check the mail.
- If a student needs to make a transportation change, he/she must present a written request signed by the parent to the school office, and the office must approve it before the change is made.
Video Surveillance on Buses
Bulloch County Schools has video surveillance equipment on all regular-route buses. The equipment is there for safety purposes and to assist the school district with alleged discipline or safety issues on a bus.
Videos are used to identify any adult or child who may threaten the safety of those on board the bus. All videos from these cameras are the property of the Bulloch County Board of Education.
Every effort is made to regularly test and maintain the equipment to ensure it is in working order; however, the possibility of equipment failure exists. Videos may be pulled by school or district administrators if they have reason to believe an alleged discipline or safety incident has occurred.
Any one of these administrators may also authorize other persons or a law enforcement agency to view a video. School bus surveillance videos can be used as evidence in disciplinary hearings.
Disciplinary action for bus misbehavior is administered by the school administrators or other designee at the school. School administrators have the authority to impose an immediate suspension for serious offenses. School administrators may also add any other disciplinary action deemed necessary.
School bus drivers do not discipline children, although they have the prerogative to assign seats or move a child from one seat to another to solve a discipline problem. If a student engages in physical acts of violence, bullying, vaping, sex-related offenses, or other acts which endanger themselves or other students, the student will be subject to the disciplinary consequences explained under the other relevant sections in the Bulloch County Schools Student Handbook.
A. Elementary Procedures for Bus Discipline are as Follows:
- Offense 1: The driver will talk with a student or may reassign him or her to a new seat on the bus. If this does not correct the misbehavior, the driver may contact the parent. The driver will document these actions.
- Offense 2: School administrators will counsel with the student and warn the student. Student will be placed on probation. Driver will provide documentation of action taken during first offense. The parent(s) or guardian(s) will be contacted.
- Offense 3: Student will be suspended from riding the bus for one day.
- Offense 4: Student will be suspended from riding the bus for three days.
- Offense 5: Student will be suspended from riding the bus for five days.
- Offense 6: Student will be suspended from riding the bus for 10 days.
- Subsequent offenses will warrant 10 or more days removal from bus.
B. Middle & High School Procedures for Bus Discipline are as Follows:
- Offense 1: School administrators will counsel with the student and warn the student. Student will be placed on probation. Driver will provide documentation of action taken during first offense. The parent(s) or guardian(s) will be contacted.
- Offense 2: Student will be suspended from riding the bus for one day.
- Offense 3: Student will be suspended from riding the bus for three days.
- Offense 4: Student will be suspended from riding the bus for five days.
- Offense 5: Student will be suspended from riding the bus for 10 days.
- Subsequent offenses will warrant 10 or more days removal from bus.
- Misbehavior by students being transported to the Boys’ and Girls’ Club will not be tolerated. Administrators have the discretion to discontinue the transportation of students to the Boys' and Girls' Club upon the first offense of misbehavior.
- The administrators my also add any other disciplinary action deemed necessary.
- In addition to any other rules governing the behavior of students on school buses, every student who rides a school bus should understand that the following behaviors are specifically prohibited:
- Any act in violation of the INTERNAL LINK Bulloch County Schools Code of Conduct.
- Use of any electronic devices during the operation of a school bus, including, but not limited to, cell phones; pagers; audible radios; tape or compact disc players without headphones; or any other electronic device in a manner that might interfere with the school bus communication system or the school bus driver’s operation of the school bus.
- Personal belongings should be left at home. The school bus driver is not responsible for personal belongings of a student including belongings left on the bus.
- Use of mirrors, lasers, flash cameras, or any other lights or reflective devices in a manner that might interfere with the school bus driver’s operation of the school bus.