When students constantly disrespect or display other inappropriate behaviors on the school bus, administrators suspend the student’s bus privileges which means the student can not ride the school bus. Many times the parents will state that they have no other means of transporting the child to school so he/she will miss school. Therefore, this results in truancy. When attending court, the judge suggestions that the student be displicined in another way because if the child is under the age of 14 there is little or no consequences for truancy. What I found even more interesting is that when special education students are suspended off the bus it is the school’s responsibility to provide transportation for that student to and from school.
Bus drivers have a tough job; and I want to support them as much as possible. However, there are times when I feel my hands are tied because of the laws and policies that are in place. If a student disrespects a teacher, the administrator can remove the child from the classroom and place him/her in In-School Suspension. However, if that same student disrespects the bus driver he/she will still have to allow the student to ride the bus. I am not sure that this is equal treatment for the bus driver, the students, or the parents.
As a result of reviewing policies and laws, I have changed the consequences for bus referrals by placing students in In-School Suspension for misconduct on the bus and scheduled conferences for the parents, bus driver, and student to meet with me to implement a plan of action to correct the inappropriate behavior on the bus. If the parent does not have transportation to attend the conference, the meeting is conducted via telephone conference.