Management

NAPT developing enhanced security training

Thomas McMahon
Posted on July 23, 2013
A new survey by NAPT gives insight into school bus operations' security-related training and procedures. Photo by Rachel Wilson

A new survey by NAPT gives insight into school bus operations' security-related training and procedures.
Photo by Rachel Wilson

With results of a recent survey showing that many school transportation professionals want more guidance on active shooters and other security threats, the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) is working on new resources specific to school bus security.

NAPT's safety and security survey gave the association insight into school bus operations' current security-related training and procedures, as well as what they may need more of.

Mike Martin, executive director of NAPT, told SBF that the project began in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting in December, and then it took on added urgency when Alabama school bus driver Charles Poland was shot and killed the following month.

"We've done a lot to make school buses safer, but clearly we need to do something more," Martin said. "We have to be open to new ideas, explore new technologies and re-examine the things we do."

The association put together a steering committee for the security project and recruited volunteers to help determine the course of action. The consensus for the best first step: ask people what they need.

A comprehensive security survey was sent out to NAPT members, and 500 responded.

Martin said that one of the key findings is that many pupil transportation officials want to bolster their security-related training. When asked whether they feel that their operation's safety/security awareness training is adequate, 43% of respondents said "no" and 25% said "not sure."

Also, survey responses indicated a need for more specific procedures that should be followed in the case of an active shooter or other violent encounter.

"They want to know what we should do if we're ever in that situation," Martin said. "And, more important, what we can do to avoid being in that situation."

Martin noted that a commonly recommended response to shooting attacks is "run, hide, fight," but he said that the logistics of that approach have to be considered for the school bus environment.

"In a school bus, how do you run and where do you hide?" he said. "We need to adapt that — what do we literally do?"

To that end, NAPT is working to develop a training program that would be short but very specific about logistics and tactics. The program would only take around 15 minutes, with the idea being that it would be practiced frequently.

"The approach would be more like fire drill training," Martin said. "If you do something that's 10 or 15 minutes long several times per year, you're going to be more prepared."

The survey results will also be used in developing security-related content for this fall's NAPT Summit in Grand Rapids, Mich.

A few highlights from the survey are presented in this PDF.

Related Topics: conferences, driver training, NAPT, school bus security, weapons

Thomas McMahon Executive Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • keith w

     | about 4 years ago

    sounds like a great idea. i know there are parents out there just as worried about things happening around the bus and bus stop areas. Keep up the good work NAPT

More Stories
In a video from Wichita Public Schools, a First Student training manager explains what it takes to become a school bus driver as the local operation looks to bring new recruits on board.
Article

Dealing With Driver Shortage Is Still a Big Deal

There are other commercial driving jobs that pay more than driving a school bus, but they don’t involve transporting students. The opportunity to contribute to children’s education and safety could spark interest in the job.    

Article

Great Ideas Abound on the Bus

Great ideas come in many forms. What all of these innovations have in common is that they promote the role of school buses in student achievement.

News

School Bus Driver Teaches Students to Fish

Gary Kelmer of New Jersey invites students he transports to a local pond on spring break to teach them how to fish and get them to spend time outdoors. He has offered the activity for over 20 years.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!