Think diesel fumes from older school buses are bad?
The New York Times blogged in September that charbroiled burgers may be even worse for the environment. Researchers at the University of California at Riverside have concluded that producing a charbroiled hamburger emits the same mass particulate matter as a heavy-duty diesel truck traveling 143 miles.
“Emissions from cooking hamburgers on commercial charbroilers are a very significant uncontrolled source of directly-emitted particulate matter… if left uncontrolled they emit more than twice than all of the heavy-duty diesel trucks,” said Bill Welch, principal development engineer for the study. “For comparison, the average diesel-engine truck on the road today would have to drive 10 miles on the freeway to put out the same mass of particles as a single charbroiled hamburger patty.”
LRP Publications in its weekly newsletter relayed a recent legal case that it said should serve as an example of how to respond when parents or students allege that disability-based harassment has occurred on the school bus. In Palm Beach County (Fla.) School District, 112 LRP 41190 (OCR 06/06/12), the district showed that it reasonably responded to complaints from the parents of a 3-year-old with apraxia that the child's bus driver and bus aide hit and yelled at special needs students.
The Office of Civil Rights noted that the district complied with its established procedures in this case, even calling the student's mother to let her know that the harassment claims could not be substantiated. Finding that the district promptly completed a thorough investigation, LRP writes that OCR concluded that the district complied with Section 504 procedures. Ensure your district takes similar steps if it is faced with a transportation-based disability harassment complaint.
LRP advises that, to start, sources advise you investigate complaints quickly. If districts wait a few weeks, it runs the risk of the people involved having more difficulty recalling what happened, said school attorney Timothy Gilsbach.
A school-related story is presently causing major headlines in Iowa that can serve as a good reminder to the school bus industry about conducting thorough background checks. This week it was reported that a central Iowa school district became concerned with a teacher’s aide criminal background the same day district officials were tipped off by the county sheriff about the aide’s involvement in a 1965 slaying.
After 17 years of federal supervision over special education school buses in Washington, D.C., a federal judge Thursday decided to grant control back to the local school district. Federal oversight began after parents filed a class-action suit in 1995 claiming that the city had failed to provide reliable transportation for students with special needs. The case is slated for a hearing date in December to finalize dismissal of the suit.
According to news reports, before the lawsuit, it was determined that the school buses were not properly maintained or inspected under the district’s supervision. Currently there are 3,500 students with special needs on 790 buses. City officials in April said they made major changes by replacing the fleet with new GPS-equipped buses and achieving a 95 percent on-time school arrival date.
Despite what sounds to be good news, the decision has to pass through a public comment period and a hearing.
A school-related story presently causing major headlines in Iowa can serve as a good reminder to the school bus industry about conducting thorough background checks. This week it was reported that a central Iowa school district became concerned with a teacher’s aide criminal background the same day district officials were tipped off by the county sheriff about the aide’s involvement in a 1965 slaying.
According to the news report, the BCLUW Community School District fired the aide, Paula Pace, for falsifying information on her job application when she began working at the district 14 years ago. Her firing took place six days after the local sheriff alerted the superintendent of an anonymous tip his office received about Pace’s past. Pace, who changed her last name from Baniszewski, was involved in the torture and death of a 16-year-old girl 47 years ago in Indiana. Since the firing, the superintendent allegedly advised board members to not comment or speak publicly about the situation, which has now prompted parents to mistrust the district.
The article states that BCLUW had a policy in place for conducting background checks on job applicants, including teacher’s aides, when Pace was hired in 1998, according to district officials. An attorney for the district could not confirm whether Pace had undergone a background check, but even if she had, an Iowa criminal search most likely would not have turned up convictions from other states, including Indiana.
From our "Fun Fact Friday" file, courtesy of our Facebook page, we were amused at a parody music video created recently by a school bus driver that so far has tallied more than 144,000 hits on YouTube.
Jeremy Byler, a school bus driver from Tennessee, recorded an acapela version of Vanilla Ice's 1990 hit song "Ice, Ice, Baby" that tells the tale of a school bus driver's average day on route. "School Bus Driver" starts with "Yo, CDL ... let's kick it ... Stop, collaborate and listen ... driver's back and I need your attention." The song ends with, "Yo, let's get these kids home. Word to your mother."
Talk about creativity, and we are pretty sure that many readers will not only laugh out loud but find that their day's are very similar to Byler's. The video shows Byler sitting behind the wheel of the school bus, and it appears he's driving while rapping. But, he notes on his channel that he recorded his version between routes, and the bus is stationary.
Want more Byler? Check out another parody he recorded, "Someone Has to Do It" to the tune of recording artist Montell Jordan's 1995 No. 1 hit "This Is How We Do It."