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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Violence on a school bus: What should a driver do?

In Anchorage, AL early this year, a 13-year-old boy stabbed a classmate on a school bus. The driver who failed to notice the attack was taken off his route. What should the driver have done?

According to an article in American School & University magazine, drivers should:

* If a student is observed carrying a weapon prior to boarding a bus, the driver shouldn’t let him enter. Tell the student he is violating the law and will be reported.
* If a student is observed carrying a weapon leaving a bus, notify the authorities.
* If a weapon is observed on a moving bus, avoid conflict and stay calm. Drive to a police station, fire house or the nearest school and try to get the weapon off the bus.
* If there is a conflict on the bus, stop it in a safe place and evacuate non-involved students.
* The driver should intervene in the conflict by talking in a firm manner, but not threatening the weapon holder.
* The driver must always use common sense to react quickly to an unpredictable and possibly violent situation.