The motto for the Richmond Public Schools transportation department in Virginia is "Safety is our First Priority!" But an incident that occurred last week at a bus stop shows you that providing for student safety goes above and beyond what happens on or around the yellow school bus.
Loading and unloading safety is a constant concern in the industry, and in recent years so to has become the problem of child sexual predators at school bus stops. But the armed robbery of four high school students demonstrates that there is no end to the issues that we must be mindful of.
The good news is, according to news reports, that the alleged 18-year old gunmen was apprehended by police. And by the sounds of it, the man could have known the juveniles he held up at 6:45 a.m. on Friday. Just imagine waiting in the dark for your school bus, likely half asleep, and suddenly someone thrusts a gun in your face and demands you hand over your wallet.
This case just proves how difficult it is to anticipate the many dangers out there for students. School bus stops, after all, are unlike constructed transit bus stops. It's rare to find a set shelter for kids when waiting for the yellow bus if for no other reason than the routes are constantly changing. But this also presents a challenge in protecting children from any host of dangers, whether they be the man-made kind or a product of Mother Nature.