HomeBlogsRoundup: Sentencing in Illegal Passing Case, Busing History and More

Roundup: Sentencing in Illegal Passing Case, Busing History and More

Audience members at last year’s STN EXPO session on illegal passing no doubt remember watching a video of a semi passing a school bus on the right and almost striking a student. Everyone issued a collective gasp after witnessing the near miss. NASDPTS Executive Director Charlie Hood aired the video, provided by AngelTrax, during his workshop “Toward Zero Illegal Passing: It Takes a Community.”

Now the courts have spoken. On Wednesday the semi driver from that viral video was sentenced to 245 days in jail and two years of probation, reported TwinCities. Allen Morris, 48, of Apple Valley, Minnesota, was convicted of a gross misdemeanor passing a school bus on the right when its amber lights are flashing. As part of a plea agreement, the misdemeanor charge of disobeying a school bus stop arm was dismissed.

On May 30, Morris’ tractor-trailer rig was caught on video blowing by the bus on the shoulder of the road shortly after 7 a.m., and he did not stop. On June 3, he came forward after a video of the incident was posted online. According to the criminal complaint, Morris said he did not remember noticing a school bus, but stated he did recall “freaking out” when he saw the student standing there. He told police that he panicked and didn’t know what to do.

Sixth-grader Alexis Schwartz said the semi came so close to her that it kicked up wind and dirt as it sped by, causing her to panic as well.

“It came out of nowhere and tried to hurt me — dust kicked up on me, I had to step back, that freaked me out and made my heart go crazy,” Schwartz told KSTP last June. 

The Boston Public Schools (BPS) district has recently revised its history curriculum in order to include busing and desegregation in Boston. By next academic year, it this history will be a permanent part of the district’s curriculum.

“We don’t want kids who attend Boston public schools or kids who are growing up in Boston to not know this crucial piece of history,” said Kerry Dunne, director of history and social studies at BPS.

According to court documents, a recent school bus crash in New Hampshire may have occurred because the driver may have been downloading an app on her cell phone. The driver, Stephanie Boyd, is now facing reckless conduct and negligent driving charges. Three students were sent to the hospital as a result of the crash, although the extent of the injuries they sustained is unknown. 

Winter Storm Sparta is in full force and affected the operations of many school districts in places like Texas. Dallas ISD was open Friday but cancelled all after school activities. Abilene ISD was closed, while Frisco ISD, the host of the upcoming 18th Annual National Special Needs Team Safety Roadeo was open. 

Speaking of the TSD Conference, if you have not yet registered, there is still time! Don’t miss your opportunity to develop your professional skills and have fun while you’re at it! (And hopefully there won’t be a snow or ice storm.)

Blue Bird announced the results of its fiscal first quarter 2015, which. Some of the highlights included:

An 18-percent (1,824 unit) increase in total unit sales since first quarter 2014.

Total net sales of $165.8 million, a 14-percent increase over the same period last year

Parts sales of $13.8 million, a 15-percent increase over the same period last year

“We are very excited to have recently completed the business combination transaction with Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corporation and to begin operating Blue Bird as a public company traded on Nasdaq,” said Phil Horlock, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Bird Corporation.

The company’s stock (NASDAQ: BLBD) at $9.75 a share, up 1.88 percent. Hennessey Capital acquired Blue Bird on Tuesday from The Traxis Group B.V. with Cerberus Capital retainin ownership shares. Hennessey then promptly changed its name and stock ticker to reflect Blue Bird Corporation. 

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