Pupil transportation industry groups are among those offering their condolences to the people of Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the wake of last week’s fatal school bus crash.
Five students from Woodmore Elementary School were killed and dozens were injured in the Nov. 21 incident.
The day after the crash, the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) and the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) issued a joint statement in which they extended “our heartfelt condolences to the families of the children whose lives were lost and those children who were injured.
“We also extend our deepest sympathy to residents of Tennessee in general, Chattanooga in particular, and especially the friends and schoolmates of these children,” NAPT and NSTA continued. “The loss of even one life has a devastating impact on the professional women and men in school transportation who dedicate everything we do to keeping our nation's children safe.”
With the National Transportation Safety Board having joined state and local law enforcement in investigating the crash, NAPT and NSTA said they would refrain from comment until the investigators complete their work.
The New York Association for Pupil Transportation (NYAPT) also issued a response to the Chattanooga crash.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and our hearts are with the moms and dads and families of those children who died in the accident,” NYAPT said. “We extend our care and condolences to the schoolmates and school family at Woodmore Elementary School at this very difficult time.”
The New York association also reminded the public of the safety record of school buses.
“The yellow school bus is far and away the safest means for getting our children to and from school,” NYAPT said. “National research data shows the school bus to be nearly eight times safer than any other form of transportation, including being driven in a parent’s vehicle.”
The association went on to highlight the safety standards involved in pupil transportation, including the construction and inspection requirements for school buses and the training, testing, and background checks of drivers.