New York School District Saves School Bus Animal Decals

Hermon-DeKalb CSD can continue using animal decals like the one show in the middle of the photo, above, to help young elementary students find their school buses each afternoon. Courtesy of State Sen. Patti Ritchie's office Hermon-DeKalb CSD can continue using animal decals like the one show in the middle of the photo, above, to help young elementary students find their school buses each afternoon.

The New York State Department of Transportation backed down from initial warning that a school district is violating regulations by using decals to help preschool and kindergarten students board the correct school bus, reports Syracuse.com.

Hermon-DeKalb CSD has been using a red squirrel, orange butterfly, green turtle and other animals to train its younger students to find their afternoon school bus for the ride home. But last month, NYDOT sent a memo warning that the decals represented a form "mission creep," a military or law enforcement term for behaviors that slowly expand beyond their original purpose.

In this case, NYDOT was reportedly referring to the potential of advertisements making their way onto the sides of the buses. The district was told its school buses would not pass inspections this if the decals were not removed. 

District Supertinendent Mark White contacted state Sen. Patti Ritchie's office, which contacted NYDOT Commissioner Matthew Driscoll, who reversed the order.

It was unknown if other districts across the state received similar NYDOT letters.