CLEVELAND — The School Bus Safety Co. (SBSC) has released three new educational courses to teach children how to be safe in and around their school buses.
In the past seven years, there have been 83 child fatalities — about 12 per year — when the students were outside of their bus in the danger zone. According to SBSC officials, analysis reveals that these fatalities could have been prevented if the children had behaved in a different manner.
“School busing is by far the safest form of land transportation, but even one fatality is unacceptable," SBSC President Jeff Cassell said. "If it is your child, the statistics mean nothing. We need to do everything we can to reduce these fatalities from 12 to zero, and it begins with teaching these important safety practices to the children.”
Cassell said that the youngest children, who are three times more likely to be killed, are not necessarily reckless — they’re carefree. The older children sometimes take the bus for granted, he said.
To address these different needs, the new SBSC programs are age-specific for three groups:
• pre-K to grade 2
• grades 3 to 5
• grades 6 and above
The courses also cover emergency evacuation procedures and, for the two older groups, how to identify and prevent bullying on the school bus.
Course materials include several videos and a cartoon, group activities and contests, and information to take home to parents, who are asked to reinforce the need to follow the safety procedures.
“As we designed these courses, we made sure we addressed all of the behaviors that led to the 83 fatalities, so that we can prevent future losses," Cassell said. "We’ve employed several different instructional techniques to maintain the children’s interest and ensure they learn what is expected of them.”
The Child Safety Network (CSN), a distributor of child safety information, reviewed the new SBSC courses. The organization subsequently awarded SBSC with its Safe Family Seal of Approval.
“These courses are outstanding; they will help protect our children," said Ward Leber, CEO and founder of CSN. "[SBSC is] the best in class for their extraordinarily effective school bus safety curriculum. Together, CSN and SBSC are making America a safer place for children to live."
For more information on the courses for children, go here.
Also see this new editorial from SBSC President Jeff Cassell: