ARLINGTON, Va. — On Tuesday, outgoing U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood celebrated the pupil transportation community at an elementary school here in honor of “Love the Bus” month.

During the event at Tuckahoe Elementary School, students in school bus yellow T-shirts sang and rapped for LaHood. A chorus of preschoolers sang “Wheels on the Bus,” and kindergartners performed a short rap about the rules of riding the bus.

LaHood, in turn, spoke to students in kindergarten through fifth grade about school buses.

Specifically, officials for the American School Bus Council, which developed Love the Bus in 2007, told SBF that LaHood focused on two themes: the school bus as the safest way to get to and from school, and the importance of being nice and polite to school bus drivers.

Officials also noted that LaHood touched briefly on the recent hostage situation in Alabama when talking about drivers, essentially saying that a very bad man tried to do bad things to kids on a bus, but the hero driver defended the kids. 

“I want you kids to thank your drivers when you go home today,” LaHood told the students. “They care a lot about getting you to and from school safely.”  

The event at Tuckahoe Elementary School marks the second time that LaHood has participated in Love the Bus festivities. In 2011, he visited an elementary school in Takoma Park, Md., where he recognized Wellington Abud, who had been a school bus driver for Montgomery County Public Schools for 10 years. He also spoke to students about the safety of school bus transportation.

For information on other Love the Bus events around the country, check out this news story.