KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The U.S. Department of Education will offer a free training program to help school bus drivers deal with bullying.
Kevin Jennings, assistant deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe & Drug-Free Schools, made the announcement on Monday at the Transporting Students With Disabilities conference, where he gave a keynote presentation on bullying.
“Students can’t learn if they don’t feel safe,” he said. “Bullying creates a climate of fear, which affects all kids.”
Jennings said that the program is expected to be released in July.
He said that when he spoke about bullying at the National Association for Pupil Transportation conference last fall, he was told that many school bus drivers feel that they haven’t had enough training in this area. That notion was also pointed out in a survey by the National Education Association (NEA).
“There’s an obvious gap that we can fill,” Jennings said.
He also cited NEA statistics indicating that the school bus is the No. 3 location where students are bullied, with No. 1 being inside the school building and No. 2 being outside of the school.