D.C. Public Schools Changes Transportation Measures After School Bus Crash, Driver DUI
Administrators with the Washington, D.C., public school system are changing safety protocols after a school bus driver crashed a bus filled with elementary school students, landing himself a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge. System leaders are conducting a review of the district's transportation companies, according to The Washington Post. That process includes making sure drivers have the proper licenses and endorsements, checking drivers' traffic records, ensuring vehicles have the proper equipment. The district will also perform quarterly safety reviews of vendors, rather than annually. Individual schools are also required to make sure bus drivers have valid commercial driver’s licenses, as well as ensuring they complete other items on a new safety checklist before sending students out on trips.
Troy Reynolds was driving a school bus full of 44 children from a field trip in Centreville, Virginia, on Oct. 27, investigators say, when he veered off the road and hit a rock. Nine students were treated at the scene of the crash for minor injuries. One staff member was also injured and sought medical care.
The school system already has cut ties with Rome Charters, one of three transportation companies it used for field trips and extracurricular activities. City officials are also working to bar the company from doing any business in the District.
Administrators are working with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to fill driver gaps as the school system looks for a new transportation vendor.
New York School Bus Driver Accused of Driving Drunk
A Brockport (New York) Central School District bus driver was fired from his job after authorities reported he drove the bus drunk on Nov. 7. Police said Robert Manley had a blood-alcohol content of .14%. Manley was on an out-of-district bus run and failed a random alcohol screening, according to the district. He was driving five students, WHAM reported. Manley is charged with five counts of aggravated DWI, five counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and one count of driving a school bus while intoxicated.
The superintendent said the driver was immediately placed on leave and the students' parents were notified.
Men Reportedly Enter School Bus in Chicago Neighborhood, Yell Anti-Semitic Slurs
A group of men jumped onto a school bus carrying Jewish students in the West Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago on Nov. 9, yelled anti-Semitic slurs, and gave the Hitler salute, officials with a Jewish human rights organization reported to NBC 5 Chicago. Chicago Police would not confirm those details, but did confirm that a group stood in front of the bus, forcing it to stop, then entered and threatened to harm a 12-year-old boy onboard.
Three Pennsylvania Students, School Bus Driver Injured in Crash
Three elementary school students and a school bus driver were taken to local hospitals after a crash in Spring Township, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 9. The driver crashed into a tree after veering off of a straight, two-lane road during the morning route. Eight children were on the bus at the time of the crash. The driver, whose name was not immediately released, was flown by medical helicopter to a hospital with what authorities called moderate injuries, according to The Centre Daily Times.
The cause of the crash is being investigated. Administrators will review camera footage from cameras that were installed onboard the bus.
Rhode Island School Bus Driver Takes Students to Wrong State
A new school bus driver from Rhode Island took a group of students to the wrong state an hour away after a GPS mishap, according to WJAR. First Student, which provides transportation services to the district, reported that the driver typed in the right address but the wrong city into her GPS while transporting kids to La Salle Academy. The driver was headed toward Sterling, Conn., and had already crossed state lines by the time a parent caught up to it and called police.
A video clip taken by a student caught the father saying, "Open the door! I'm calling the police!" The driver also called police after realizing her mistake. The principal for the school the children were supposed to be driven to said they were never in any danger. Law enforcement escorted the bus to the school.