Tuesday, 15 October 2013 00:00

Montgomery County School Bus Safety Tips


     My six year old son rides the school bus to school. He has been nervous about riding the bus. He has fears about what will happen if a responsible adult is not at the bus stop to pick him up in the afternoon. He is the only student at his bus stop, there are no other parents we can rely upon to help out if we are not at the stop. We've reassured him that the bus driver will not let him off the bus if his adult is not present. We've reassured him that the bus driver will take him back to his school, place him in after care and a responsible adult will pick him up from after care. We have cleared this plan with my son's bus driver. But, this is not the bus policy in the Montgomery County, Maryland public school system. If you children go to public school in Montgomery County, Maryland, read on about the county bus policy.


     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.


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