Wired Mamma recently posted an article concerning school bus safety in Montgomery County, Maryland. Did you know that it is Montgomery County policy that any child who is not a special needs child can be left at a bus stop with no adults present, including kindergarten students? Many parents of elementary school children are not aware of this policy. Have you discussed with your children what to do if there is no one waiting for them at the bus stop? If not, it is a good idea to come up with a family plan. For instance, is there another family that you can make arrangements with to take your child home from the bus stop, and you'll take their child, if either child does not have a responsible adult at the stop when the bus arrives? Do you have cell phone numbers for other parents who pick up children from the same stop that you can call if you are running late? Figure out contingency plans and let your children know the plan.
In her blog post, Wired Mamma discusses another school bus safety issue that most parents do not consider. What should your child do if the bus driver fails to stop at your bus stop? Or, what if your child is not paying attention and does not get off at their stop? Should they get off at a different stop? If so, do they walk home alone? One suggestion is to let your child know that they are only to get off the bus at their designated stop. If the school bus fails to stop there, or your child fails to get off the bus at their stop, they should not get off the school bus. They should insist that the driver take them back to school. This is probably the safest plan. Once returned to school, the school administration will know how to contact you so you can safely pick up your child.