DISTRICT LAUNCHES HOTLINE TO REPORT BULLYING
Reprinted from the November 19, 2013 edition of School Bus Fleet Newsletter
WENTZVILLE, MO — Wentzville R-IV School District, in partnership with SchoolReach, a school notification system, has implemented a CyberBully Hotline.
The program provides an anonymous, two-way means for students, parents, guardians and others to report incidents of bullying, harassment or intimidation. The hotline also provides a way for individuals to share information about potentially harmful or violent acts by others.
A designated school official is the only person who receives the hotline messages. No names or other information are associated with the received messages. The CyberBully Hotline gives the district the ability to have anonymous conversations, so students are more likely to provide information and get assistance, officials said.
The CyberBully Hotline can also receive text and voicemail messages. The service is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In order for the district to be able to reply to a voice or text message, the call must be from a cellular phone, and the reply will be in the form of a text message.
If a hotline user is providing a tip on violent or harmful acts that are being planned by others, the district requests that they provide as much specific information as possible immediately to ensure the safety of all students and faculty. Anyone who would like to leave a call-back number or their identity is encouraged to do so.
The district and the CyberBully Hotline have also partnered on a program to help prevent bullying on district school buses with a separate hotline number just for use on district buses. Hotline stickers with the number clearly printed on them have been installed in each of the district’s 141 school buses.
CHANGE IN STATE LAW AND FEDERAL REGULATIONS REQUIRES TWO
WEEK DELAY BETWEEN CDL WRITTEN TEST AND SKILLS TESTING
Drivers applying for a commercial drivers license (CDL) must complete a written test to obtain a learners' permit, and a skills test, including a pre-trip inspection and road test. Currently, the skills test can be taken on the same day that the permit is received. On August 28, 2013 changes in Missouri state law and federal motor carrier safety regulations go into effect that require the applicant to hold the permit for fourteen (14) calendar days before he or she is allowed to take the skills test.
For additional information, click here
On January 18, 2011, a 6-year-old Callaway County, Missouri boy was run over and killed by his own school bus after getting off the bus at his home. A Missouri State Highway Patrol report on the accident concluded that the bus driver did not wait long enough after the student got off to clear the area around the bus before he set the bus in motion again.
One year to the day after the accident, the 78-year-old bus driver, who had pled guilty two months earlier to second degree involuntary manslaughter, was sentenced to four years in prison. However, the judge suspended the sentence, and placed the driver on five years' probation. He cannot drive any vehicle, let alone a school bus, and must perform 100 hours of community service, speaking to area bus drivers about school bus safety. The victim's grief-stricken parents did not want to see the driver spend time behind bars. Instead, they wanted to use the tragedy to educate bus drivers and riders on the potential hazzards so that no other family would have to suffer the loss of a child. Members of the victim's family said the case was not about revenge, but about preventing something like this from happening again.
The Missouri Association for Pupil Transportation (M.A.P.T.) in cooperation with the Missouri School Boards Association (MSBA) has produced a video about the North Calloway accident, entitled "DRIVING DISTRACTED...and then it happened."
M.A.P.T. wishes to thank the MSBA for allowing us to post a link to the video, as a means of educating school bus professionals and the general public of the possible tragic consequences of distraced driving.
To view the video, click here