Courtesy of:  KMJNOW.com

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:  http://www.kmjnow.com/pages/landing?School-Bus-Hits-Student=1&blockID=691391&feedID=806


 
 


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:
http://www.heraldonline.com/2013/05/23/4887622/durham-school-bus-workers-speak.html#storylink=cpy
 
 
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:  http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/05/22/indiana-school-bus-crash-leaves-dozens-injured/#ixzz2UOncQwhv
 
 
Courtesy of:  Doug Evans, FOX 5 reporter

HARALSON COUNTY, Ga. -  
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:  http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/22418863/bus-driver-says-he-was-fired-for-facebook-post-about-hungry-kid?auto&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=8917034#.UZ_l0QHj7mt.twitter

 
 
Courtesy of Associate Press

LAFAYETTE — Lafayette Parish schools may make it easier to become a substitute school bus driver.

Transportation Director Bill Samec has asked the parish school board to suspend its requirement that a driver have a high school diploma or equivalency diploma, The Advocate reports.

Samec said that when the district sought part-time drivers in March, it didn’t find enough to meet its goal of 30 for the next
school year.

Part-time, substitute drivers are often promoted to full-time drivers in Lafayette.

Linda Matthew, former president of the Louisiana School Bus Operators Association, said the problem is low pay. Substitute drivers make between $56 and $86 a day.

“There is definitely a shortage throughout the state,” Matthew said. “It’s not a question of education…. It’s the pay.”

Matthew also said training on topics such as bullying prevention and ethics requires drivers to take time away from their second
jobs.

The number of available substitutes typically fluctuates with the economy, particularly the status of the oil and gas
industry, Samec said.

“When oil is between $90 and $100 a barrel, we can’t find drivers. If oil is $40 a barrel, we’ve got people knocking on the door,”
Samec said.

The substitute shortage is “critical” in the Iberia Parish school system, where there are only 13 substitutes for 129 drivers, said
Raymond Noel, Iberia Parish Schools transportation director.

“We spend a lot of time shuffling routes because of the shortage of substitutes,” he said. “It’s an ongoing issue. A couple of years
ago, we were down to three or four substitutes.”

In Lafayette, Samec said he fears the district will start the school year without enough people to cover for absent drivers.

“We have about a 10 percent daily absentee rate for  bus drivers,” he said. “That’s basically 30 people out about every day. Even
with 30 substitutes, I’ve got staff members driving buses.”

Article online: 


 
 
Article courtesy of:  Bill Hanna @ Star-Telegram.com

As his mother watched in horror, Haven Lee Norton screamed as a school bus  rolled over him Monday morning.  “Then he went silent,” said Shannon Norton, Haven’s mother.

The driver of the Springtown (Texas) school district bus didn’t hear her son as she drove over him, killing the 10-year-old, Shannon Norton said.  She told her son to cross in front of the bus, as he did every morning, while the lights were flashing and another child was getting on the bus, she said.  

“I saw him slip,” Norton said. “He hollered, but [the bus] started rolling and [the driver] had taken her foot off the brake. He tried to get out of the way. He hollered, and I hollered.”

 The Texas Department of Public Safety is still investigating the accident. Evidence at the scene showed the boy was apparently struck by both a front and rear tire, said Trooper Gary Rozzell, a DPS spokesman.  When the accident occurred about 6:30 a.m. at 121 Hilltop Meadows, between Springtown and Azle, it was already light, Norton said.  The bus driver usually had her window down so she could communicate with parents and children, but the window was rolled up Monday morning.
“If she had her window down, she would have been able to hear,” Norton said.  “I put my kid on that bus in her possession. It’s her job to protect my children and she took my child’s life because she wasn’t aware of her surroundings.”
 
Rozzell said the bus driver “stopped the bus and activated the lights” as she stopped to pick up another child across the street.
“The boy came up beside the bus as she deactivated the lights,” Rozzell said. “The bus started to pull forward, and the boy couldn’t get out of the way, and was struck.”  At the time, there were four children and another bus driver on the bus,
Rozzell said.

Haven, a fourth-grader at Springtown Elementary School, was pronounced dead at the scene.  Driver placed on leave
The bus driver, whose name wasn’t released, voluntarily submitted to drug and alcohol testing afterward, which is school district policy, Rozzell said.  She has been placed on administrative leave, said Springtown school district Superintendent Mike Kelley.
“It’s standard operating procedure to place the driver on administrative leave and evaluate the situation — see where she is emotionally,” Kelley said. “I’d have a hard time knowing when I’d want to come back.”

Kelley described the driver as “a wonderful lady” who’s had a good driving record as a bus driver.  “She’s done a great job for us the last two years,” Kelley said. Counselors were at the school Monday and will return Tuesday. Several ministers volunteered to help, and six area school districts offered counselors, Kelley said. Kelley said this was the first fatality that he knew of involving a Springtown school bus.

‘He loved going to school’ Norton said her son had been riding the bus for the last two weeks because one of the family’s cars had broken down. His 7-year-old sister also rides the bus but she stayed home on Monday, Norton said. She had recently met with school officials who reported that Haven had “caught up” to his fellow fourth-graders after moving to Springtown from Florida
last September. “He loved going to school, he loved his classmates,” Shannon Norton said. Norton said her son was also involved at Country Cowboy Church in Bridgeport, where their family worshipped. “He knew Jesus, he loved the outdoors, loved to fish with his Papi and his uncles and he loved to play with his uncles and his cousins,” Norton said. “He was just an awesome child.”
 
Before living in Florida, the family had resided in California. His mother plans to have a memorial service locally, but will have his remains cremated so she can eventually take his ashes to California. “He loved Texas, but he grew up in California,” she said. “California is his  home.”
 
Investigators checked the bus to see if the lights and brakes were working properly and found no issues. It was released back to the school district. Rozzell said.
 
Article Online:  http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/05/13/4847091/boy-dies-after-being-run-over.html#storylink=cpy
 
 
Courtesy of:

UPDATED (10:27AM):
Officials with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and Clay County Sheriff's Office confirm that a Pataula Charter Academy school bus was traveling along Highway 93, between Fort Gaines and Blakely, around 4:15 Tuesday afternoon.

Four miles South of Fort Gaines, the bus driver was negotiating a curve, lost control of the bus, went off of the shoulder into a ditch and hit a culvert where it came to a rest. Officers confirm that no drugs or alcohol were consumed nor was the crash the result of the driver using a cell phone.

The bus contained eight passengers, seven students and the driver. Four victims were transported by EMS , two by life flight to Tallahassee Memorial Trauma Center for further treatment. The bus driver is stable, but is still in Pioneer Hospital in Early County. The fatality, a 10-year-old child, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident is still under investigation by the Georgia State Patrol Specialized Reconstruction Team, the GBI Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team and the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Pataula Charter Academy confirms that a bus was traveling along Highway 39 in Clay County, between Fort Gaines and Blakely, when an accident occurred.

Seven students from Pataula Charter Academy were aboard the school bus at the time of the accident.

Multiple people were injured and brought to the hospital for treatment.

Online:  http://www.mysouthwestga.com/sports/story.aspx?id=895069
 
 
Article courtesy of:  The Associated Press

A 10-year-old who died in a south Georgia school bus accident has been identified as Jordyn Doughtie.

Clay County Sheriff Roger Shivers tells WALB-TV ( http://bit.ly/15prfcE) eight people were injured in the accident Tuesday afternoon near Fort Gaines. Authorities say Doughtie and another girl were sitting near the front of the bus and were ejected during the accident on Highway 39.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. The bus was carrying students from Pataula Charter Academy and grief counselors were slates to visit the school Wednesday.

Fort Gaines is about 55 miles west of Albany, near the Alabama border.

Online:  http://www.moultonadvertiser.com/news/state/article_01c33788-8bc7-5a76-9216-5d7ab64b17dc.html
 
 
Courtesy of:  Roberto Cruz  @ Poughkeepsie Journal

Bus service for the Rhinebeck Central School District will be provided in a limited capacity this afternoon, a posting on the
Rhinebeck Central School District website said. 

High school and middle school bus routes 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, and 11 will be available, the posting said. At the elementary school, bus routes 22, 23, 24, 25, and 26 will be available. 

School bus drivers who serve the Rhinebeck and Spackenkill school districts and the Dutchess Board of Cooperative Educational Services are once again on strike, protesting what they say are unsafe working conditions and abysmal
employee turnover.

Bus transportation to Rhinebeck schools this morning was not available in its usual capacity, a statement on the Rhinebeck Central School District website said. School officials advised parents to be prepared to provide transportation for their students this morning, leaving this afternoon’s bus service in question.

Rhinebeck High School Principal Ed Davenport said from his vantage point, no bus transportation was provided to the high school this morning. He said school officials remain hopeful to have transportation available this afternoon, but  they are planning to deal with increased traffic if none is available. 

Teamsters Local 445 business agent Lori Polesel says there will continue “to be unrest” from her union until Durham School Services, the contractor that provides bus transportation to the districts and Dutchess BOCES, addresses their concerns.


“They continue to put profit over safety,” Polesel said.




Article Online: http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20130509/NEWS01/130509005/SCHOOL-BUS-EMPLOYEES-STRIKE-AGAIN-RHINEBECK-PARENTS-RESPONSIBLE-FOR-STUDENT-TRANSPORTATION
 
 
Courtesy of:  Beth McDonough @KAALTV.com

There's a new push to keep as many trained bus drivers at the wheel as possible.
Toward the end of the school year is when at least 30-percent take other jobs to survive the summer months.

Some don't come back at all in the fall.

We're one of only three states in the country that don't give school bus drivers unemployment compensation over the summer.  That break in pay for two months, is driving an effort to change the law.

Five days a week, nine months out of the year, Ed Reynoso trusts a bus driver to take his son Adam to and from school safely.  Driver and Dad are on a first name basis.

It's the familiarity and experience he appreciates.  Every year, Reynoso worries he might not see his son's bus driver again in the fall.  That's why he's speak up, urging lawmakers to rethink unemployment compensation for all 10,000 drivers in the state, "sure as there is snow in the state of Minnesota we're certainly going to try to change the law."

Anoka County Veteran bus driver Bob Saba said, "We haul the most precious thing to people in the state of Minnesota, their kids and grandkids, and we're not given the credit that we're worthwhile."  

He dreads the same two months every summer:  July and August, because he's got zero dollars coming in, "It's tough, we've got to make our bills, the mortgage won't wait, they still want to get their money on time, have to put money away and make up the difference."

Recently, he's seen a number of trained drivers walk away from the so-called "seasonal" job here, for work in other industries with paychecks guaranteed year-round.

In fact, state records show the retention rate of bus drivers is only between 60-70%. 

State law recognizes drivers as independent contractors for private bus companies and therefore, aren't eligible for unemployment compensation. 

This session, lawmakers have received requests and petitions to reconsider, including Rep. Patrick Garofalo of Farmington.

"The first question is, how are we gonna pay for it, of course public safety is very important for school children but at the end of the day, money doesn't grow on trees, we gotta come up with a way to pay for this," said Garofalo.

On average, school bus drivers make $14-$17 per hour and collect health insurance benefits.

Article/Video Online:  http://www.kaaltv.com/article/stories/S3021416.shtml?cat=10728