Courtesy of:

A girl, 15, claims she was assaulted and had her pants pulled down Monday by boys on her school bus.

Channel 11's Amy Marcinkiewicz reported that the victim attends Central Valley High School and is scared to go to school, and until the bullying stops, her mother said she’d not sending her daughter back.

According to the victim’s mother, one boy on the bus grabbed her daughter and pulled her pants down while another boy recorded the assault on his cell phone.

The victim told Channel 11 that this was not the first time the boys assaulted her.

The girl’s mother told Marcinkiewicz that the school district previously promised that the boys would not be back on the bus. Now, she wants answers, and is concerned about what could happen next if action is not taken.

Article/Video online:
Courtesy of:  Jason Riley -The Courier-Journal

The mother of a former Watterson Elementary School second-grader has sued  the school’s principal and the Jefferson County Board of Education, alleging the boy was sexually assaulted on his school bus.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Jefferson Circuit Court, claims  several disciplinary problems on the child’s bus  were  reported
during the 2010-11 school year by the driver to school officials, including principal Vickie Talbott, but no action was taken.

In May 2011, in addition to being bullied and harassed, the child was “sexually assaulted” by another student on the bus ride
home, according to the suit.

“The most egregious thing to me about the case is the fact this bus driver begged for help with problems on this bus,” said attorney Wendi Wagner, who, along with John P. Nelson II, represents the mother. “And it appears to me that nothing was ever done.”

Because of the  experience, the suit says, the child withdrew from Jefferson County schools and has incurred health care and
psychiatric expenses. Claims made in filing a suit present only one side of the case.

Ben Jackey, a spokesman for Jefferson County Public Schools, said he could not comment on pending litigation.

Last year, attorney Ted Gordon filed  lawsuits claiming JCPS  staff and teachers failed to stop bullying and sexual assault.
Those cases are pending.

Article Online:

The National School Bus Loading and Unloading Survey is out - as of January 2013 - for the 2011 - 2012 School Year.

For the 3rd consecutive year, GEORGIA leads the nation in child
fatalities at the School Bus Stop (The Loading/Unloading Zone).

While efforts are being made in Georgia to influence the public to respect School Bus flashing STOP lights/signs, what is being done by State Leaders to implement oversight programs in each local school system?  For example, WHY are children forced to cross 2 or more lanes of traffic to catch their school bus?  WHY does the Georgia Department of Education NOT track non-fatality accidents related to School Bus incidents? 

This data MAY provide empirical data which would enable leaders to identify trends impacting safety.  It may also assist leaders of pupil transportation in the development of state-wide programs that could minimize or even PREVENT future child injuries and/or fatalities.

In addition, there does not appear to be a consistent state-mandated School Bus Maintenance monitoring policy which holds local school system transportation directors/managers to report maintenance records on a monthly or even a quarterly basis.

We Georgians worry about voting FOR or AGAINST Charter Schools and rely on external agencies to audit financial or moral ethics of our School Boards.  When will we begin to focus on the lack of systematic processes our elected officials have in place to govern the safety of School Bus transportation?  Why would ANY local school system allow the leader of school bus operations - who does not possess the licensure requirements (i.e., CDL) of that required of a School Bus Driver - to run a pupil transportation department?

When was your child's School Bus last inspected?
What qualifications does your local school system director/manager of pupil transportation have?
Has your school bus driver received the required, state-mandated training (i.e., Abuse Mandatory Reporter, Air-brake, etc.)?
Are you certain proper bus maintenance is being performed to ensure your child's safety?
Does your local school system have a "No Bullying" program? (Bullying frequently occurs on the school bus)

Your tax dollars are being spent on the above and you - YES YOU - have the right to know.

The National School Bus Loading and Unloading Survey can be found by clicking on the link below:  (2011 link)
Courtesty of:  Brenda Waters

BURGETTSTOWN (KDKA) – Police say two school buses crashed with students on board, but they weren’t even notified.

McDonald Police say two school buses, driven by 61-year old Gretchen Rheinlander and 64-year-old Nancy Halling crashed Thursday afternoon.

Police say had it not been for the towing company, they wouldn’t have even known.

Officer Jennifer Dempsey says, “When I arrived on the scene all that was there was an abandoned bus, no drivers, no students, no parents, nothing.”  Police say Rheinlander was behind the wheel of bus nine, when she ran into the back of bus 19 driven by Halling.

Officer Dempsey says the impact was significant.  “A lot of concussions, some sprains, whiplash, multiple parents called about
that. Because of the impact and the disabling, it should have been reported and these were kids K through 5 crying and screaming.” Dempsy says.

On the bus that was rear ended was 10-year-old Daniel Irwin who talked to KDKA’s Brenda Waters outside his home.

“I ended up smacking my head on the window real hard.” Irwin said.

The buses are owned and operated by the Burgettstown school district. Daniel’s mother said she has not been contacted by the district, and police say they haven’t either.

Online article and photos:

By Jan Skutch @ Savannah Now
Nine juveniles on Friday were ordered detained on charges stemming from what prosecutors contend was a gang-based attack on another student during a school bus ride home.

Chatham County Juvenile Court Judge Lisa Goldwire Colbert found sufficient evidence during day-long detention hearings to link each to the Feb. 21 attack on a 13-year-old female student in the back of the school bus.

Their next court appearances are scheduled for Wednesday  when they will enter pleas to the charges. Each is charged with a total of 11 felony and misdemeanor offenses, at least some of which are designed felonies, reserved for the most serious juvenile offenders.

They range from simple assault to aggravated assault, participating in gang activity, inciting a riot, riot, and disrupting schools.

“This was a gang activity and it is a serious offense,” Assistant District Attorney Kin Rowden argued Friday.

“This whole case has just been a terrible case,” Colbert agreed.

A total of 17 people, including a 17-year-old, are being sought in connection with the case. Eight more remain outstanding.

The incident occurred Feb. 21 on a bus carrying students home from the Ombudsman Alternative Learning Program site on Brampton Road in Garden City.

Those are designed for students who have run afoul of disciplinary rules in other system schools. Most of those charged Friday have juvenile records.

Testimony Friday was that Savannah-Chatham schools Superintendent Thomas Lockamy has determined that each offender be permanently expelled from the system.

According to Board of Education police officer Brenda Johnson, a group of students exhibiting gang signs and related behavior beat the female, including ripping braids and causing a four-inch bald spot on the victim’s head.

A second student, a male, also was attacked in the same incident, but that case remains under investigation, Johnson said.

“We see it quite often in schools,” Johnson testified of gang activity. “It appears that in the video you see different westside gang signs being shown.”  The 25-minute video, played in court, captured the entire incident, including prayers for the victims and chants prosecutors said are associated with gang conduct.

Johnson said that while she could not put her finger on who said what in the video, it showed what she called “known gang hand signs” and chants.  “It very much appeared to me either a beat in or beat out” of the victim, she said.

In the video, the First Student bus driver attempted to stop the attack before finally notifying campus police of the fight and turned the bus back around to return to the Brampton Road site.

Only three students on the bus were not charged.  At the end of the video, students are seen jumping through windows and out
the front and back doors to flee.

"I’m about to call campus police on your butts,” the driver tells the kids. “If you get out on the street, you’re on your own.”

Article Online:

By Marc Freeman, Sun Sentinel

There was never any doubt the Palm Beach County School Board was going to pay a significant price because a 3 1/2 year-old girl was sexually attacked by a 15-year-old ninth grader on a school bus on Jan. 16, 2007.

The board admitted negligence and it was just up to a jury to name a dollar figure after a five-day trial in Palm Beach County Circuit Court. After nearly three hours of deliberations Wednesday, the six-member panel ordered the board to pay $1.7 million in damages.

Online link:
Courtesy of Elona Weston

The bus driver and the monitor who were the subject of an internal investigation by the Calcasieu Parish School Board after being accused of leaving a 3-year-old on a school bus for hours are no longer employed by the school system.

That's according to Gary Anderson, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources/Auxiliary Service with the Calcasieu Parish School Board.  The incident reportedly happened Jan. 16.

The child was from J.D. Clifton Head Start and was reportedly left on the bus for seven hours. Superintendent Wayne Savoy told KPLC following the incident that there are protocols in place to prevent situations like the Jan. 16 one from happening.

Savoy said school officials will be examining the situation with the school system's risk management and transportation personnel.

Online link:
Courtesy of:  Bernard O'Donnell

A bus driver who allegedly left a special-needs child alone on a bus for several hours was on her second day on the job.

That's according to Jones County School Superintendent William Matthews, who said his office is investigating the matter Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Marlene Porter told 13WMAZ that her 10-year-old autistic son Aaron was picked up around 6:30 a.m., and remained on the bus until about 1 p.m. School officials told her the bus driver was in a hurry to see her husband in the hospital, and neglected to do a head count when the children got off the bus at Dames Ferry Elementary School.

Matthews said Wednesday that the driver was on her second day.

He said the department's policy is for the driver to check every seat before leaving the bus, but that didn't happen Tuesday.

Matthews would not identify the driver, but said she's not driving the bus Wednesday. He would not discuss her future until they're through investigating the matter.  Jones County Sheriff Butch Reece also said that his office is investigating the matter.

Full Story:

Courtesy of CBS 4 - Denver:

Boy Gets Probation For Sexually Assaulting Another Boy On School Bus

A teenage boy from Western Colorado has been given probation for sexually assaulting another boy on a school bus in April.
The students had come from Norwood to the Pepsi Center for the state wrestling tournament.

Prosecutors say the victim was held down and violated on a bus parked outside the arena.

In a plea deal the older boy pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual contact without consent. Two other students were sentenced over the summer.

The victim’s family claims they’ve been punished for reporting the crime.
His father is a school administrator and was placed on leave following the incident.


How do we entice great teachers to remote rural schools?
9:51 am November 18, 2012, by Maureen Downey

Author's response:

Unfortunately, having a great teacher in a rural Georgia school is not the only issue impacting our kids’ ability to learn.

In 2001, Ohio University completed a 5-state study – and yes – GA was one of the 5.  I know how cranky I can get on my commute to work but I’m an adult and can adjust.  I can’t imagine how our kids can be physically or intellectually
prepared to learn – after a 1 hour + morning School Bus ride.

In addition, with budget cuts and the fear that some school bus drivers have that they may lose their jobs if they report bus safety or maintenance issues (per AJC articles RE: Cobb County school bus drivers), bus break downs are happening more often than any of us know. 

Do you know when your child’s school bus was inspected last?  If you don’t, find out.

It took me almost 6 months to get Morgan County Schools (a rural system) to train some school employees on how to ID and report suspected Child Abuse.  Yes, 6 months…for training that is State-mandated for school system employees…and
now…mandated for school volunteers.  

Too bad they fired a dedicated school bus driver – just after she reported suspected Child Abuse to her Supervisor.  She had never received the State Mandated Reporter training but still reported anyway.  Soon after the School Bus Driver made the report, a 911 call was made from the child’s home.  The School Bus driver was placed on administrative leave and later fired.

If rural school Administrationators can’t train their own employees on a 1-hour, STATE-MANDATED training – I’m not sure the best Teacher available can make a difference.  A GREAT Teacher can’t stay great – if the school system’s
foundation is not solid enough to support her/him.

If interested, “The Rural School Bus Ride” study can be found @ the link below.  Take some time to review the impact to minority children in these rural towns.–studies.html

Twitter:  @ThomasConcerned