School bus riders who repeatedly misbehave could face stricter penalties under new rules
BEAUFORT – Students who repeatedly misbehave on Beaufort County School District school buses will face stricter punishments when the 2016-17 academic year begins in August.
“Riding a school bus is a privilege, and we hope that all students will behave themselves so they don’t lose that privilege,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss.
New rules for bus riders state that students who commit three Level II violations or higher on buses during the same school year cannot ride the bus for the remainder of that year. Level II-or-higher violations can include fighting, assaulting a staff member, using profanity with staff or sexual harassment.
Administrators could previously suspend misbehaving riders from the bus for up to 10 days per offense, which meant that students who repeatedly misbehaved could return to the bus and continue to cause problems. The number of violations has increased in recent years.
“It’s a safety issue,” Moss said. “We want to protect the students who are behaving themselves, and we also want to keep our bus drivers from being distracted by unruly students. Our drivers need to be focused on the road, not on students who continually misbehave.”
The school district recently took over management of bus transportation from a private-sector provider, and additional training for drivers is planned by district transportation officials.