Sending children off to school means often putting their safety in the hands of a school bus driver. When you witness or repeatedly hear about a bus driver who is not taking the responsibilities of his position as seriously as he should be, you may need to take action to help protect the children being affected. Reporting a bad bus driver needs to be done in a calm, professional manner to ensure that claims and concerns are addressed properly.
Talk to other parents and community members about your concerns regarding the bus driver. Ask others if they would be willing to sign their name to any letters that you prepare or have prepared regarding the bus driver. Make sure to get everyone's full name and contact information.
Ask for photos, videos or written statements by children regarding any bad or inappropriate behavior of the bus driver. Do not have children or adults secretly or covertly record or document the bus driver by using hidden devices. Gather all the evidence you can.
Talk to the children on the bus to ensure that they are following the stated and accepted school bus safety rules and regulations. Understand that the driver's behavior could be a result of children acting out on the bus and not following rules. Determine whether the children are in compliance with all standard guidelines.
Write down all bad behaviors that have been witnessed or discussed regarding the bus driver. Include items such as talking on a cell phone while driving, using inappropriate language while talking to children, excessive discipline, smoking or or actions that are in violation of acceptable school employee behaviors. Show the list to others, mainly at the bus stop, and ask their opinion on the list and whether they agree with what was stated.
Write a letter to the individual school, the school district, your state's Department of Education and the National School Transportation Association. Be very clear in the letter what you are writing about. State your relationship to the child riding the bus with the questionable bus driver. State the location of the bus stop and then specifically list each incident witnessed. Be specific about dates, times and events. Write in the letter that you expect a response, in writing, within four to six business weeks regarding the issue. List your name and contact information at the bottom of the letter and list the names of all others who agreed to sign the letter.
Send a follow-up letter to all of the same parties again if after the six-week period, you get no response. Call the school district directly in the event you are not given a response after another four weeks have passed.
Do not make false claims or statements to enhance your point. Do not exaggerate facts to make your claim appear more pressing.
Keep a file of all information to have handy for when you are contacted about the incident or issue.
- school bus image by Lombok from Fotolia.com