School Board Enacts New Bus Disciplinary Policy

For months people have been blaming Laidlaw for youngsters getting back and forth to school late, but the school board says there may be a good reason: bad kids. When the kids get out of hand, the bus driver has to pull the bus over, which creates problems all along the route. So the school board is making a major policy change to curb these problems.

"I had a little boy that took and just pounded another boy's head into the seat, just kept boxing, just kept boxing," said Laidlaw driver Cynthia Hayes.

And every time something like that happens, a bus driver will pull over to get the problem under control, making the buses run late. At first the school board thought it was Laidlaw's fault, but so many bus drivers complained about bad behavior and no solution, school officials started riding the bus to see for themselves.

"I understand the reason Laidlaw has been having so many problems keeping drivers on board, because I wouldn't work under those circumstances these people are working under," said George Bowen, the deputy superintendent.

Bowen found a main source of the tardy buses is unruly children. Because of bad behavior, new policies on these buses are being enacted and more severe punishments, even leading to suspension.

To curb the problem, it's one strike and you're off the bus. And the only way a student can ride again is if a parent talks to the principal, signs a behavioral contract, and agrees to go on the first bus ride with the student after the contract is signed.

The punishments get more severe each time, and on the third offense, the child will be banned from the bus for good. If you are wondering about the video cameras on board, all the buses in Chatham County do have the cameras, but they don't all work. The school board is working on getting them fixed.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro