We all know school bus drivers have a challenging and important job that requires a diverse set of skills, and tasks them with a significant amount of responsibility and accountability.
Knowing that makes it tougher to see the mainstream media cover so many “bus drivers behaving badly” stories, and not nearly enough of the norm: bus drivers doing their job safely, professionally and going the extra mile whenever needed, both on and off their routes.
To counteract that, I thought it would be good to bring some focus to the positive stories we have posted lately about bus drivers going above and beyond. I think these stories also illustrate how the many good school bus drivers out there not only help the students they transport to and from school almost every day, but the general public as well.
Since the beginning of 2015, we have already seen a good handful of stories that show some exemplary actions from bus drivers. Here are just a few:
• School bus drivers brave icy weather to pick up stranded students, staff. When 230 students and staff members of Round Rock (Texas) Independent School District were stranded recently on a weekend by inclement weather in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where they had been participating in an academic competition, the district's bus drivers stepped up. Fritz Klabunde, the district’s transportation director, drove a district Suburban that led a caravan of seven school buses along snow-covered highways from Round Rock to Fort Worth, where they picked up the students.
• School bus driver visits Peru for charitable work. Tiger Melhem, a school bus driver in Prince Edward Island, Canada, started a charity after an experience in 2007 while on vacation in Peru (he was convalescing after a car accident.) He gave some money to begging children and watched as they went to a nearby store and bought shoes. His charity, Help a Kid Wear Shoes in Peru, now donates not only shoes, but also medical supplies and school supplies. Melhem is making another charitable trip to the South American country with more donated goods.
• School bus driver saves home from fire. In February, Tammy Ritter, a bus driver for Baldwin City (Kan.) Unified School District 348, saved a home from catching on fire while she was driving on her morning route. After learning that no one was home, she stomped out as many of the flames as she could, got a neighbor to go to the house with a hose while she continued on her route, and brought the family’s dog with her to keep it safe.
• School bus driver rescues woman from overturned car. While driving his route in Morganton, North Carolina, on a mid-January morning, bus driver Larry Cornett was notified by another bus driver of a crash on his route. He saw the upside-down car with the driver still inside, pulled her out of the car, and waited with her on his bus until a highway patrol officer arrived.
These uplifting incidents have been a pleasure to learn about. I’m sure there are plenty more out there. If you have a story like this, please share in the comments below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.