WALL, N.J. — Student Transportation Inc. (STI) has kicked off its seventh annual Anti-Bullying Awareness Month.
The company-wide “Bully-Free Buses” campaign started with Blue Shirt Day. Company employees wore blue shirts on Monday in a show of solidarity against student bullying, on and off the school bus.
"Blue Shirt Day is a great way for us to stand together as a company to show our students, customers, and communities that we will not tolerate any form of bullying, on or off the bus," said Shelly Hall, STI's vice president of safety. "A bully-free bus is a safe bus, and safety is at the heart of everything we do. It is one of our core competencies as a safety leader within this industry, and is a pillar in our longstanding safety culture."
As part of this year’s anti-bullying campaign, the company has partnered with school bus driver safety and training company School Bus Safety Co. of Hudson, Ohio, to offer a series of free safety videos on the subject of bullying awareness and prevention for children in grades 3 to 5 and 6 to 12.
"These videos are great tools to help educate children and parents not only on how to identify different forms of bullying, but how to talk with each other about bullying awareness and prevention," Hall added. "Bullying can be a difficult topic for children to address, so if we can help in any way to bridge that gap, then we have done a service to our communities."
During the month of October, STI's family of companies will also host awareness-raising events with the communities it serves across North America, including meetings and presentations from school district representatives, safety-based community organizations, and police officers and highway patrol.
STI locations have also planned activities to engage the more than 1 million children STI's drivers transport daily with posters, photo contests, and other interactive elements.
According to the company, STI also engages in anti-bullying awareness and prevention education throughout the year with its web-based learning management system, ST University.
"ST University reaches every one of our more than 15,000 employees," Hall said. "Our catalog of driver programs now features five different bullying prevention modules, from workshops and learning courses to best practices. We view the school bus as an extension of the classroom and want our buses to not only be bully-free, but a safe and welcoming place for all of our passengers at all times."