The yellow school bus often appears in movies and television, whether it’s the setting for a dialogue between students, a background piece in a school scene, or something more sensational.
For example, nearly a dozen school buses from Perry (Mich.) School District were featured in the 2014 disaster film “Into the Storm.” In the trailer for the movie, the buses can be seen speeding away from a massive tornado.
In a less hair-raising scene, the title character from the 2004 comedy “Napoleon Dynamite” boarded a school bus and engaged in an awkward conversation with a fellow passenger. (Incidentally, the bus used in that film was recently put up for auction.)
Sometimes, school buses and their drivers are depicted in unflattering ways. That was the case in Nissan’s “school bus race” commercial, which the automaker pulled off of the air last year after an outcry from the National Association for Pupil Transportation and others in the industry.
In most cases on the silver screen, the yellow bus is a bit player rather than the star of the show.
But what if there were a program that gave a genuine look into the world of school buses — not just the vehicles themselves, but the people who operate them?
That idea was discussed during a roundtable session on pupil transportation branding and PR efforts at School Bus eXchange last month.
Jeff Cassell, president of School Bus Safety Co., proposed a TV series that would delve into the daily drama of a school transportation operation. The idea would be to not only entertain audiences on a weekly basis, but to also educate them on the challenges that school bus professionals face and the vital service they provide as they safely transport students to and from school.
“Instead of another series about the police, the lawyers, or the hospitals, this could be about the important role the school bus journey has in children’s lives,” Cassell said. “Possible subjects are endless, as the series could explore challenges and opportunities of different students, the parents, the drivers, and even the public. Programs could explore and help with bullying prevention, creating friendships, and all the other challenges students experience.”
What do you think of this TV series proposition? Would you watch this type of show? More importantly, would the general public be interested enough to tune in? And who could you see starring in the roles of school bus drivers, technicians, managers, etc.?
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