Roundup: Violent Student, Tracking App, Bus Funding Veto

An Oklahoma school bus driver handled the situation well when a fifth-grade boy became angry and attacked him on the bus.

During a route in the El Reno School District, an unidentified male student wanted to get off the bus and not wait for his stop. In bus video released by the district to media, bus driver Stan Mulanax is seen talking to the boy and not letting him leave.

The student then became agitated and started cursing, so the driver told him to get off the bus but the boy refused, said school superintendent Craig McVay.

Through it all, the bus driver “took a very loving stance. He backed away, he tried to talk him down. He tried to do everything he’d been taught to do,” said McVay.

After a short verbal altercation, the video shows the student cursing, ramming his head into the driver’s chest, and pulling back his fist for a punch. Mulanax merely continues speaking calmly to the boy.

“The training kicked in,” McVey said. “We have a great staff of bus drivers and Mr. Mulanax is a pro, takes his job very seriously and has a heart for kids.”

Mulanax is being praised for staying calm and handling the situation in the right way. McVey publicized the video to stress that bus drivers deserve higher wages and more respect for what they do.

As the new school year in Michigan’s Forest Hills Public Schools District gets underway, a bus tracking system is introduced to give parents more peace of mind.

The system in use is Tyler Technologies’ Versatrans My Stop, which has an app parents can download to track their child’s bus. “The school bus's location is automatically updated every five seconds (update frequency depends on your GPS hardware and data plan) and the ETA is recalculated to accommodate any delays due to traffic while in route,” the company says.

Transportation Director Darryl Hofstra said that now that parents have the ability to track the bus and see when it is anticipated to arrive at their child’s stop, they can stop putting calls in to the transportation department to collect that information.

Hofstra said that parents have been “wanting to be just more connected, know when the bus is running late, or maybe if it’s running early, just to have that information handy.”

Each parent has a custom login code to preserve the family’s privacy.

South Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman is encouraging that state's legislature to reconvene and overturn a veto by Gov. Henry McMaster that removed funding to replace the state’s oldest school buses.

In June, McMaster vetoed a provision that would have allocated almost $29 million toward replacing the more than 1,500 school buses in the state that are over 20 years old. The state is responsible for most school bus operations, not the district.

Gov. McMaster said he vetoed the money because it was supposed to go to scholarships, and after those were distributed there would have been barely any funds left for school buses. “You appropriate money for the important things as best you can, and having a wish list for money to be taken from money that’s not there is not right,” he said.

Molly Spearman, the state superintendent of education, was heavily in favor of that provision so the state could begin removing older school buses in the statewide fleet that were prone to catch fire.

However, Spearman said she understands the governor’s reasoning for the veto. She said she would like to see a continuous stream of funds for new school buses, not just a one-time allocation.


Last modified onTuesday, 05 September 2017 14:49