HAMILTON, Ga. — Special-needs school bus drivers and monitors here recently participated in a bus evacuation training to prepare them to help their students in an emergency, the Ledger-Enquirer reports.
During the drill, which took place on Jan. 19, Harris County School District drivers and monitors were given two minutes to evacuate and get 100 feet away from the bus, according to the newspaper. Some of them played the role of special-needs students who needed to be assisted in evacuating, and all participants had to carry a 60-pound weighted dummy off the bus.
Cheryl Johnson, the director of transportation for the school district, told the Ledger-Enquirer that the students have a range of needs: some are nonverbal and some may try to run, and others are in wheelchairs and need to be carried or dragged out on a blanket during an emergency. Laurie Devitt, a special-needs bus driver, told the newspaper that in an emergency, it would be important to act as she normally does around the students, so they would not realize something is wrong.
Ten drivers and 12 monitors transport and attend to a total of 75 special-needs students on school buses in Harris County, according to the Ledger-Enquirer. There can be up to nine special-needs students on a bus with one driver and up to two monitors.
The school district shared the Ledger-Enquirer article on its Facebook page and stated that its transportation department “follows a strict training schedule to make sure our most precious cargo gets to and home from school safely.”
Watch video of the training, posted on the school district's Facebook page, below.