Local educators learn about school transit safety

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – School may be out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean school officials have stopped learning about ways to better improve the safety and well-being of their students.

“No matter where you’re from or what background you’re from, all kids across the state deserve to be safe when going to school,” said Brice Duncan, president of the Kentucky Association for Pupil Transportation (KAPT).

The KAPT is holding its annual summer conference at the Sloan Convention Center in Bowling Green, and transportation safety is the primary focus of discussion during the multiple presentations.

“KAPT is an organization that across the state of Kentucky helps transportation directors and their staff to ensure that they’re using all the resources they have for their position,” said Wayne Winters, transportation director for Crittenden County schools.

Lately, most school safety practices and teachings have revolved around protecting students inside the walls of a school building.

Often times, not much is said about child safety when transporting them to and from school.

“Nationally on the news you see a lot about school shooting and safety inside the school, but transportation may get left out from time to time,” added Duncan.

KAPT is working to address that lack of exposure, specifically in explaining the proper way to protect students at bus stops, and on buses in general.

“We’re just trying to make the aware to everyone, general public along with our directors that we have to work together to ensure safe bus stops,” Winters said.

Over the next three days, the conference will educate school district transportation directors from around the Commonwealth on bus safety, as well as several others.

The hope is that by having all the directors on the same page, transportation safety will be much easier to provide for kids from any and all counties.

“The value of this conference is just immeasurable,” said Winters. “The things that you learn, the camaraderie that you have with those around you.”

“This is just part of helping us be able to go back to our districts and provide the best possible training for those folks as well,” said Duncan.

In addition to bus stop safety, the conference will cover topics like student disciplinary procedures and student management on buses.