More Authority for Bus Drivers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/05/04

More Authority for Bus Drivers

There are some new rules on Savannah-Chatham County buses that both children and parents need to follow. A new law gives bus drivers more authority to discipline students who get out of line. And parents will be held responsible.

If a student causes trouble on the bus or at the bus stop, they'll not only lose their bus riding privileges. But they could be also be charged with a crime. With a new school year quickly approaching, parents in Chatham County better beware.

"We're going to take aggressive steps to control the behavior of students aboard the school bus and we will act on any misbehavior that occurs on the school bus," said deputy superintendent George Bowen.

That also includes the bus stop. A new law, which takes affect this school year, will now arm bus drivers with more rights.

"If a child throws any object on a school bus or off a school bus or starts a fight, the building administrator has the prerogative of suspending his bus privileges for the remainder of the school year," said Bowen.

Bus drivers will not only have more authority over rowdy students, but this new law will also give them more authority over their parents as well.

"Any attempts by students or parents who interfere with the operation of the school buses will now be classified as misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature," explained Bowen.

With bus divers now considered school employees, legal action will be taken by the school board, and school board officials say with the discipline problem not getting any better, they're at wits end.

"Our concern is, these students are going to distract a driver and have an accident and I don't want people viewing us pulling bloody children off of a school bus," said Bowen.

You can read about the new law on the Georgia General Assembly site.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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