School bus safety

Good Things Utah

Amanda Davis joined us for our parenting moment to talk tips for school bus safety.

This topic is near and dear to her heart, because two years ago, her 6-year old daughter with special needs was left on the bus on her way to school. The bus driver forgot to unload her off the bus at the school. She was left alone and buckled on the bus for almost three hours. When the driver returned to the bus and saw that Amanda’s daughter was still on the bus, she immediately brought her to mother and explained what had happened.

Although this was traumatic for my her daughter and very painful for us as parents, Amanda tells us she holds no animosity toward the driver or the transportation department, she just wants to help prevent this from happening to another child.

She has learned that of all the children who have been left on the bus, it is typically a young child or a child with special needs- someone who doesn’t or cannot speak up when something isn’t right. Legislation was passed in January to further prevent children from being left on the bus, which she is so happy about, but it’s not 100% fool proof.

Here are some things parents can do to help ensure their children arrive safely at school on the bus.

1.Know the name of the bus driver. If possible, get their cell phone number
2.Know the bus number
3.Save the phone number of your district’s transportation department
4.Ask the bus driver what protocols are taken to make sure the bus gets checked after dropping off children at school. If alarms are used, ask if they are in working condition. Ask if there are cameras.
5.Tell your child’s teacher that you will contact them BEFORE the buses arrive at the school IF your child          will not be attending that day. If your child doesn’t arrive at school, the teacher is to contact you          immediately.
6.Ask the bus driver to let you know if there will be a substitute driver at any time

Amanda wants to point out that the vast majority of bus drivers are responsible and good people. They are not the enemy. She has gotten to know several amazing drivers over the years and some she have become friends with. When parents hear of these stories, they go into fear mode, but following these tips can help bring peace of mind to them!

Deena Manzanares
Deena Marie Manzanares is a Utah native, but lived in NYC for a few years while attending the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School. Locally, she has worked as a professional actor for years in both stage and film.

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