Courtesy of:  Sarah Rae Fruchtnicht

Audio from inside the school bus stormed by Jimmy Lee Dykes in February of this year captures driver Charles Poland's brave refusal to hand over children.

"Sorry, you're going to have to shoot me," Poland told Dykes, a man he thought was his friend. Moments later Poland was dead and Dykes ran off with 5-year-old Ethan Gilman.

65-year-old war veteran Dykes boarded a Dale County, Ala., school bus on Jan. 29 and demanded two children. The audio from the bus surveillance tape, aired on ABC News, shows how the incident unfolded.

"I need two boys 6 to 8 years old," Dykes, armed with a handgun, demanded. "Six to eight years old. I mean it. Right now! Right now!"

Poland refused. "I can't do it," he responded.
“Do it!” Dykes shouted.
"Sorry, you're going to have to shoot me."
"How about I shoot a kid then," Dykes replied.
“No,” Poland said.
“Do it! Do it!” Dykes shouted.
"It's my responsibility to keep these kids on the bus. I can't turn them over to somebody else," said Poland.

There were 21 children on board.

“I can’t help that,” Dykes said. “Come here kid,” he said turning to the children.

Dykes then tried to take Ethan, who was sitting directly behind the driver. Poland put himself between Ethan and the gun.

A 15-year-old student on the bus, Tre’ Watts, called 911 as the children around him cowered behind bus seats.

“He is asking for kids,” Watts said on the 911 call.

Screaming can be heard as Poland was shot and killed.

“The bus driver is dead,” said Watts.

Authorities recovered the boy from Dykes' 6 by 8-foot tornado bunker on Feb. 4. Dykes was killed during an exchange of gunfire. The motive for the crime was never made clear. Dykes was apparently deeply paranoid and believed there was some kind of national or even global conspiracy.

Article and Audio Online:
Courtesy of:  Rusty Ray @

CONWAY (WBTW) - No one was hurt when a school bus caught fire Monday morning.

It happened shortly after 7:00 a.m. on University Forest Circle.

CLICK HERE for a list of still pictures of the damaged bus!

According to officers on scene, everyone got off of the bus safely.  No word on what started the fire.

Count on News13 to update you on this story as we learn more.

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A student was struck this morning by a bus as she was trying to walk across the cross walk. 

It happened around 7:30 this morning when a Bullard High School student was trying to get to school. 

Fresno Police Officer Joe Sacca said the bus was heading eastbound on Browning and was making a left turn on Palm. 

"We do believe from some independent witnesses that the student was in the right of way."

Sacca said the bus driver had just dropped off students at the high school.

"We're still talking with the driver of the bus to try to find out exactly what occurred."

Police said the female student sustained minor injuries to the face and hands and was transported to a hospital.

Article Online:

Courtesy of The Associated Press

Nine students around the nation, including one in Wyoming, died at or near school bus stops in 2011.

The horror of that death and the number of drivers who disregard rules involving buses stopped for students has prompted a
Wyoming legislative committee to consider ways to increase safety.

Initially, the interim Joint Education Committee will work from a new Iowa law that increases penalties for failing to heed school bus warning devices. In addition, lawmakers expressed interest in equipping all Wyoming school buses with cameras that can capture images of violators.

Work on a proposal will begin this summer, with a bill possibly going to the full Legislature next year.

The discussion on school bus safety is being driven by students and staff members at Fremont County School District 6.

On Dec. 20, 2011, a district student _ 11-year-old MaKayla Marie Strahle of Crowheart _ was struck and killed as she crossed a highway after getting off a school bus that had its flashing lights activated. The driver of the vehicle was convicted of several misdemeanor charges, including homicide by vehicle.

Diana Clapp, superintendent of the school district, said a dozen students have been working hard to research the safety issue and come up with solutions. Clapp and several students made a presentation on Monday to the Joint Education Committee in Casper.

"This is tied to a tragic loss of a young girl in our school and community and their classmate and friend," Clapp said Wednesday. "But I believe they did a good job in addition to that personal testimony looking to see what other states are doing and how it would apply across the state."

The district has installed cameras on six school buses to record vehicles that illegally pass _ an action called a drive-by or

Clapp said the rural district, which encompasses about 1,300 square miles, includes about 400 kindergarten through 12th grade students, and many rely on school buses for transportation.

"Students on the road is a big issue for us _ either on buses or driving themselves to and from school," she said.

In addition to tougher penalties and bus cameras, Clapp said she'd like to see safer practices involving unloading and road crossings made standard across the state.

Wyoming, which has been tracking fly-bys since 1999, counted 297 in one day in 2011-12. Over the entire school year that figure could have reached an estimated 52,000 violations, said David Koskelowski, program manager for traffic safety and pupil transportation with the state Education Department.

The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services estimated that more than 16 million illegal school
bus passings occurred in 2012.

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Durham School Bus Workers Speak Out About Safety, Wage Theft Concerns
ROSEDALE, Md., May 23, 2013 — /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 
School bus drivers and attendants with Durham School Services who transport students attending Baltimore City Public Schools
joined with Teamsters, political and other community leaders at a rally today to demand respect and safe working conditions.
Durham workers spoke out about workplace safety and service issues that may impact the safe transportation of area schoolchildren.

"I have reported mold problems on our bus for years and the problem is not fixed. I'm scared for the kids on the bus," said Stephanie Urosa, a six-year attendant on a bus for children with special needs. "Some of the children we transport have weakened immune systems and allergies and they don't need to be exposed to this. Mold is just one of a number of safety concerns we have."

In addition to mold, drivers and attendants spoke about fuel leaks, electrical problems, problems with the air brakes and a recent fire on a school bus. 

"Safety is paramount. Durham has ignored the workers' concerns about the unsafe conditions of the buses. Making matters worse, workers aren't getting a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. These workers deserve a strong union so their voices can be heard and our kids can be kept safe," said Sean Cedenio, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 570 in Baltimore.

"I support the bus drivers and attendants' fundamental right to collectively bargain. In light of the troubling reports about unsafe school buses and serious wage and hour issues, the workers here have a very important voice that should be heard," said J. Ronald DeJuliis, Maryland Commissioner of Labor and Industry.
More than 85 Durham drivers and attendants have signed on to a class-action lawsuit claiming wage theft by the contractor. In the lawsuit filed March 12 with the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the plaintiffs bring claims to recover wages owed by the company.

"This company has been taking the money we earn. I'm not paid for all of the hours I work and my paycheck hasn't been correct for the last year. We got so tired of reporting these pay issues without the company resolving the problem that the drivers and attendants had no choice but to file a class-action lawsuit to get the pay that we have worked hard for and earned," said Mildred Israel, a Durham driver in Rosedale.

In 2012 Durham workers filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over surveillance by the company as the workers began to organize to form a union with Local 570. The NLRB found in favor of the workers and issued Durham with a 60-day probation order in March 2013.

While under probation, Durham continued to violate labor laws and the workers were forced to file another unfair labor practice charge on May 1 against the company over illegal surveillance.

About 150 drivers and attendants work for Durham in Rosedale. Durham is the second-largest school bus company in the United States and a subsidiary of National Express Group PLC, a United Kingdom-based multinational transportation company.

Drive Up Standards is a national campaign to improve safety, service and work standards in the private school bus and transit industry. Since the campaign began in 2006, more than 35,700 drivers, monitors, aides, attendants and mechanics have become Teamsters

Read more here:
Courtesy of The Associated Press:

NORTH WEBSTER, Ind. –  A school bus slammed into the back of another bus, setting off a chain-reaction crash 
involving four buses in northern Indiana, leaving dozens of middle and high students with non-serious injuries and one driver seriously injured.

Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Chad Hill said the bus driver was taken by helicopter to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne. He said more than 100 students from Wawasee School Corp. were on the buses when the accident occurred about a mile north of North Webster, about 40 miles west of Fort Wayne.

Kosciusko Community Hospital spokeswoman Joy Lohse said 43 people injured in the accident were being treated there. None of them were in serious or critical condition. Lohse said she didn't have any additional information, including how many of the patients were students or their exact conditions. A nursing supervisor at IU Health Goshen Hospital said four students being treated there were in good condition.

Hill said several other students were released to their parents and may have been brought to area hospitals for minor injuries.

The cause of the accident about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday wasn't immediately known. Photos from the scene showed the bus in the back of the collision had heavy damage to the front end, with the hood of the vehicle lying in the road. The bus in front of it had a deep dent in the back. The damage to the other two vehicles  was not as visible.

Hill said the accident apparently occurred when the bus at the front apparently stopped to let a student off.

Children who were not injured were taken by another bus to Wawasee Middle School where they were picked up by their parents, Hill said.

Read more:
Courtesy of:  Doug Evans, FOX 5 reporter

A Haralson County school bus driver said he was fired from his job because of an angry Facebook post about a hungry child.

Johnny Cook said the middle school student complained that because his lunch money account had run out and cafeteria staff workers at Haralson County Middle School turned him away.

Cook posted his phone number in the after school rant on Facebook and said call him next time, he'd pay to feed any hungry child with no money.

The post quickly spread on Facebook.

Cook says the school system  told him to take down the post and face suspension or he'd be fired. Cook kept the post up and is no longer a bus driver.

"I'm terminated.  But me being terminated doesn't feed the next  kid that walks up in line and doesn't have money," Cook said.

Haralson County Superintendent Brett Stanton  would not comment on the reason Johnny Cook was fired, but he said that the  district has a social media policy against posts that disrupt the system.

Aside from that, Stanton says the lunch  incident never happened. He said that cafeteria workers routinely chip in their  own money to feed hungry kids and that there are policies to make sure every kid  is fed.

"In talking with the middle school  principal and the cafeteria manager, that just did not happen," Stanton said. 

Stanton admitted that the boy's story  would have outraged him as well.

"Well I think from my standpoint -- you've got to have facts and...looking into the situation, the facts don't tell me the child was neglected and turned away," Stanton said.

Cook trains horses for a living and need the job for its insurance benefits.  He said that he believes  the child's story and is contemplating a run for school board.

Video and article online:

Source:  "The School Staffing Surge
Decades of Employment Growth in America's Public Schools - Part II"
               by Benjamin Scafidi, Ph.D. - February 2013

"In the United States, the ratio of students to non-teaching staff is a bit higher than the ratio of students to
teachers, 15.9 versus 15.3, respectively. Those data indicate there are more teachers employed in American public schools than there are other non-teaching personnel. However, that difference has been shrinking for at least 60 years.
Furthermore, 21 states in FY 2009 employed fewer teachers than administrators and other non-teaching personnel.

Georgia is one of those 21 states.

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