School Bus Fleet

September 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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6 S C H O O L B U S F L E E T • S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 4 B ack in the '90s, basketball star Charles Barkley caused a stir when he argued, "I am not a role model." Despite that audacious claim, Barkley and other professional athletes have been role models to millions of children. Sports stars are constantly in the public eye, and that means that their actions may have an impact on multi- tudes of impressionable young minds. Similarly (albeit without the fame and fortune), school bus drivers are also role models to many children. We've often heard it said that school bus drivers are the frst and last school staff members that many kids encoun- ter each school day. The way drivers greet their passengers, handle disciplinary issues or respond to a student who's struggling can have a last- ing impact on the youngsters on their bus. Even when school bus drivers are off the job and out in public, they may be recognized by someone who rides (or rode) their bus. Also, because of the sensitive nature of their profession, school bus drivers are susceptible to ending up in the media spotlight. Sometimes we see heartwarm- ing stories of drivers' great deeds (saving a choking student, help- ing their passengers learn to read, etc.). For example, when Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback proclaimed School Bus Drivers' Appreciation Day last fall, Rannie and Diana Schmidt were among those who were recognized. The driving duo came across an accident and provided critical aid to a mother and daughter. The Schmidts won a state association award for her- oism, and their efforts were spot- lighted by several publications. But all too often, it's the in- stances of school bus driver mis- conduct that make the headlines. That was the case in New Jer- sey recently. Two school bus driv- ers were among 14 men who were arrested and charged in an operation targeting child por- nography offenders. The school bus drivers were called out in the headline of the state attorney general's press release and in the headlines of many of the ensuing news stories. Earlier this year, Fox 25 in Okla- homa City did an undercover investigation in which it found some school bus drivers gam- bling in a casino while they were on the clock during feld trips. These types of transgressions in no way represent the majority of school bus drivers, who car- ry out their duties with integrity, professionalism and dedication to the safety of their passengers. It's unfortunate that the misdeeds tend to get more attention. Here at SBF, we report the good news and the bad news, with the understanding that our readers in the pupil transporta- tion industry can gain insight from both. The recent examples of mis- conduct mentioned above are reminders that school bus driv- ers are in the public eye, and their actions can impact many people's perceptions of their profession. Because of the sensitive nature of their profession, school bus drivers are susceptible to ending up in the media spotlight. School bus drivers are in the public eye By Thomas McMahon, Executive Editor thomas.mcmahon@bobit.com editor's note www.schoolbusfeet.com VP, Bus and Rail/Publisher Frank Di Giacomo Associate Publisher Mark Hollenbeck Executive Editor Thomas McMahon Managing Editor Nicole Schlosser Editorial Assistant Kelsey Nolan EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD David Anderson, director of transportation and fleet service, Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Thornton, Colo. Michael Dallessandro, school transportation consultant; human resources manager, Rural/Metro Medical Services, Buffalo, N.Y. Ted Finlayson-Schueler, president, Safety Rules!, Syracuse, N.Y. Tim Flood, executive vice president, The Trans Group, Spring Valley, N.Y. Derek Graham, North Carolina state director of pupil transportation Charlie Hood, former Florida state director of pupil transportation Pam McDonald, director of transportation, Orange (Calif.) Unified School District Michael Shields, director of transportation and auxiliary services, Salem-Keizer Public Schools, Salem, Ore. Cheryl Wolf, special-needs transportation consultant, Lafayette, Ind. Senior Production Manager Sarah Paredes Production Manager Daryl Hoopes Art Director Yuda Chen Audience Development Manager Bill Ciesielczyk For Subscription Inquiries (888) 239-2455 Classified Advertising Sales Donna Stewart (405) 260-1678 Fax: (405) 260-1684 E-mail: donna_stewart@cox.net Edward J. Bobit (Chairman, 1961-2014) NAPT Hall of Fame, 1999 President and CEO Ty Bobit VP and Chief Operating Officer Cyndy Drummey Chief Financial Officer Richard E. Johnson BUSINESS & EDITORIAL OFFICES Bobit Business Media 3520 Challenger St., Torrance, CA 90503 (310) 533-2587 • Fax: (310) 533-2512 E-mail: sbf@bobit.com Website: www.schoolbusfleet.com VP, Bus and Rail/Publisher Frank Di Giacomo 49 S. Maple Ave. Marlton, NJ 08053 (856) 596-0999 • Fax: (856) 596-0168 Associate Publisher Mark Hollenbeck 3115 NE McDonald Ln. McMinnville, OR 97128 (503) 472-8200 • Fax: (503) 472-8228 PRINTED IN U.S.A.

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