|Feds, NAPT Roll Out Bullying Intervention Training for School Bus Drivers|
|Written by Ryan Gray|
|Friday, 10 June 2011 10:52|
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools and NAPT previewed two new training modules designed for school bus drivers to respond to and curtail bullying to educational and student transportation professionals alike.
The curriculum was released on the NAPT Web site following the preview presented in Washington, D.C., on June 8. An overview of the training is scheduled to be presented at the 18th Annual STN EXPO in Reno, Nev., next month. The overview is designed for transportation trainers and administrators, and the full, four-hour course is targeted specifically at school bus drivers.
“It’s going to be designed to equip school bus drivers to recognize bullying behaviors among students on their buses and in addition deal with it effectively as part of ensuring a safe and respectful environment," said Mike Martin, executive director of NAPT.
The training is fully-funded by the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools and will be made available free of charge to school districts across the country.
The first module, titled "See Something, Do Something: Intervening in Bullying Behavior," will teach drivers what does and does not constitute bullying, how to respond to the behavior on or around the bus, and specific strategies for addressing and reporting bullying as it occurs. The module will include a PowerPoint presentation, handouts for driver activities, a train-the-trainer guide to facilitate the training, summary cards to give drivers, and posters to erect in driver break lounges that reinforce the messages.
The second module, "Creating a Supportive Bus Climate: Preventing Bullying," focuses on building mutual respect on the school bus. Martin said the training will encourage drivers to understand what makes a supportive environment. For example, Dr. Linda F. Bluth said school bus rides can be the only instances in a student's day when they are forced to sit in such close proximity to other students, and when they have the least adult supervision because the driver is focused on traffic. Martin added that drivers need to understand the importance of fostering respect on the bus for personal space.
"It helps drivers understand the connection between supportive bus climates and supportive school climates," he said. "Here’s what we’re trying to do in transportation. Let’s create a dialogue."
Joining several members of NAPT and NASDPTS at the June 8 presentation were superintendents and other school administrators invited by the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. Martin said several attendees mentioned that the training is applicable beyond just school bus drivers, as it could be used with a variety of educational audiences.
An overview of the training modules was added to the STN EXPO program next month in Reno, Nev., for Sunday, July 24.
“Part of the goal was to get this out so that people can in fact use it over the summer," Martin added.
The completion of the project was one of the last orders of business for Assistant Deputy Secretary Kevin Jennings before he left the Department of Education to return to the private sector.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 16 June 2011 11:06|