A Virginia state legislator said he is set to re-introduce a bill that would require specific training for school bus aides when supervising students with autism.
The latest push comes after a $20 million lawsuit was filed this week in Bedford County over alleged abuse of Timothy Earl Kilpatrick in September 2009 by the school bus driver and aide as they were transporting the boy to a special needs regional school. Driver Alice Davis Holland and aide Mary Alice Evans were charged with felony child abuse but were later convicted of misdemeanor assault. Both women were dismissed by Bedford County Public Schools.
"If the bill had passed, there would be less chance that the sort of conduct exhibited in the video would happen. But what it shows is inexcusable," John Maloney, a representative of advocacy group Autism Speaks, told the Richmond-Times Dispatch.
NASDPTS' recent push to get more states to record the number of incidents of motorists who illegally pass school buses appears to be working as more and more school districts are working with local police departments to keep an eye on school bus stops, even on board the bus.
Onspot Automatic Tire Chains is partnerning with Micro Bird by Girardin to equip the Type A small school buses with factory-installed options for the equipment. School bus drivers can engage or disengage the tire chains at the flip of a switch to enhance traction and to reduce stopping distances on snowy and icy roads.
The Micro Bird, a joint venture by Girardin and Blue Bird, is manufactured in Drummondville, Quebec.
From "the more things change, the more things stay the same" department...
Michael Shields, transportation director for the Salem-Keizer (Ore.) Public Schools and this past summer's STN EXPO co-chair, forward a letter dated Jan. 12, 1950 that was recently found while organizing the department's archives. Then State Superintendent of Public Instruction Rex Putnam congratulated Director of Transportation C.C. Ward for running an especially tight and efficient ship, er, school bus. Here's what he wrote:
My Dear Mr. Ward:
I received your trnasportation report for last year and I appreciate it a lot. I am very much interested to know the data on public school transportation in the state. The Salem Public Schools keep the most minute, accurate and detailed records of their public school transportation system that I know of. The Salem school buses are probably maintained better than any district's school buses in the state and they are certainly operated more economically. I have gone over the school bus shops thoroughly and I have checked all the school buses operated by the school district, and if I were to chose a model school transportation setup in the state, I would have to pick that of the Salem School District.
Supt. Public Instruction