Safety is the primary concern in transporting students to and from school. Any behavior that would distract the driver is inappropriate. The following rules are to be followed on the bus:
- The driver is in charge of the bus and all pupils aboard. Students are expected to obey the driver or school administration promptly and respectfully.
- Be on time. The driver cannot wait beyond his/her regular schedule for those who are tardy.
- Wait in an orderly line off the street or road.
- Ride only the bus assigned by school officials.
- Do not run toward a school bus while it is in motion.
- Do not try to get on or off the bus or move about within the bus while it is in motion.
- Pupils must occupy seats assigned to them by the bus driver or school officials and remain seated correctly at all times. Do not exchange seats unless given permission by the driver.
- Behave on the bus as you are expected to behave in the classroom. Rude, discourteous, annoying behavior, vulgarity, unacceptable language, fighting, pushing, and offensive acts will not be tolerated.
- Do not engage in any activity or excessive mischief which might divert the driver's attention such as: a) loud talking, laughing, or unnecessary confusion; b) unnecessary conversation with the driver; c) extending any part of the body out of the bus windows or doors; and d) hitting.
- Do not engage in any activity which might cause damage or excessive wear. Do not litter the bus or other property. Make sure that all pens, pencils or other sharp objects remain in the book bags.
- The following activities are prohibited at all times: a) smoking, eating, drinking or chewing gum on the bus; b) spitting or throwing anything in or from the bus; c) possessing knives, sharp objects, or any other object that could be considered a weapon; d) bring animals/pets on the bus; e) tampering with mechanical equipment, accessories, or controls of the bus; f) sexual harassment.
- Students will not leave the bus on the way to school or home without permission of the driver. The driver will not give permission except in the case of emergency or upon the written request of the principal, assistant principal or student's parents. No student will be allowed to meet the bus anywhere other than at the designated bus stop.
- Students must be courteous to the driver, fellow students, pedestrians, and drivers of other vehicles at all times.
- No electronic or communication devices may be used in any manner which might interfere with the bus driver's operation of the bus or the driver's use of communication equipment on the bus. However, radios, tape recorders, or CD players (with headset), may be permitted with the driver's permission, as long as it doesn't become a safety issue. When students enter their school building they should put their personal electronic possession in their book bag or locker and leave it there until the end of the school day. If brought out during the school day, these items are subject to confiscation. The school is not responsible for these items if lost or stolen.
- Students are prohibited from using mirrors, flash cameras, lasers, or any other lights or reflective devices in a manner that might interfere with bus driver's operation of the bus. Students must not distract the driver from his/her primary responsibility: delivering students safely to their destinations.
As stated above, safety is the most important concern we have with regard to bus transportation. Oglethorpe County Schools transport about 1,800 students each day. We will not tolerate students who cause less than safe conditions for our riders. Generally speaking, the rules we have in the classrooms apply to the buses, plus all riders are expected to sit in a safe riding position and talk quietly among their seatmates.
The bus driver is the only adult on the bus and is responsible for reporting any inappropriate behavior.
The procedural steps set forth below represent the minimum action that will be taken whenever a student is referred to the school administration.
- 1st Step: written warning
- 2nd Step: 1 day off all OCS buses
- 3rd Step: 3 days off all OCS buses
- 4th Step: 5 days off all OCS buses
- 5th Step: 10 days off all OCS buses
- 6th Step: Removed from all OCS buses for the remainder of the school year
Serious offenses on the bus such as bullying, fighting, drugs, weapons, sexual harrassment, disrespect towards the bus driver, etc. could result in more serious consequences. These consequences may include, a meeting between the parent/guardian and appropriate school officials to develop a bus contract, removal from the bus, suspension from school, exclusion from graduation exercises and/or referral to law enforcement by school personnel.
When a student is removed from the bus for the remainder of the year, the parent/guardian may appeal the decision by contacting school-level administration.
Consideration may be given to those who have a porlonged length of time between offenses. At the discretion of the bus driver and/or administration, one or more steps in the preceeding procedures may be redeemed. The bus driver and school administration must have a conference prior to any decision being finalized in this regard.
Bus drivers and/ or school administrators will gladly discuss your child's behavior. Your up-front cooperation is needed to help your student become a safe passenger. The safety of our students is always our primary concern. Your child's school as well as your child's bus driver needs to know about any changes regarding after school transportation. If you wish for your child to leave school on another bus or with another person, you must send a written note to school with a specific request. Your help is needed to make the bus experience a positive one.