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Parents to sign ‘contract’ for children’s school-bus behavior

Published: Sat, November 6, 2010 @ 12:10 a.m.

By David Skolnick



From fighting to just eating, Youngstown school officials say they won’t tolerate inappropriate behavior on the district’s buses.

Parents of students in the district will receive a “contract” next week detailing unacceptable conduct on buses, said Superintendent Wendy Webb.

“We won’t tolerate bad behavior,” she said Friday.

The rules include obeying the driver and no fighting or verbal abuse, no eating or drinking on buses, no misbehaving at the bus stop and no yelling or shouting on buses.

“We are determined to provide a safe environment for the students,” Webb said. “Parents need to tell their kids to sit down on the bus and behave. It’s a life-or-death matter. A real tragedy could happen.”

Because it’s a new program, parents will have time to sign and return the forms.

But after a certain time, still not determined, the failure to return the form will result in the district’s not permitting those students to ride the bus to and from school or for field trips, Webb said.

Beginning next school year, the contracts will be sent home with students at the start of each school year, Webb said.

“We want to keep the kids safe,” said Dianna Rycek, a Youngstown school-bus driver.

“One child can cause a whole bus load of kids problems,” she said.

It’s against state law, Webb said, for students to eat or drink on the bus.

A student earlier this school year choked on food while riding the bus, she said.

There were a couple of instances with students having behavioral problems on the bus this school year, Webb said.

“We want for everyone to have a safe ride to and from school,” said Rachel Smith, principal of McGuffey Elementary School.

The written policy that must be signed by parents comes at a time when national attention is being focused on bullying, Webb said.

“Bullying and inappropriate behavior are not tolerated,” she said.

Each city school bus has video cameras to monitor student behavior.


1palbubba(802 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

I love the "after a certain time, still not determined, the failure to return the form will result in the district's not permitting those students to ride the bus to and from school or for field trips." Why wouldn't the time be determined? How will it be enforced? When will the first law suit be filed? Why are there field trips for students with the worst academic achievement in the state? What a joke this failed school district is.

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2unclebill(23 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Good idea. Should be adopted by all school districts.

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3Stormieangel(136 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Well, I am an older person who rode the bus to and from school every day. It has been 50 some years back and was a time when the bus driver was in control. We knew he was just like the teachers in the classroom. Ah, to have those days back when kids respected authority and knew consequences of not obeying the rules. Society is not like that today. The courts tell us we can't discipline kids by spanking them; hey, that teaches them violence. Well, look at the world today and how lack of discipline has created some little monsters that respect no one. A contract between the parents and the bus driver/school? That is really kinda funny. Does this mean this parents agree to drive their kids to school if that kid misbehaves and gets kicked off the bus? That should be a given! Parents should be teaching their children that some behaviors are totally unacceptable. Make the rules and stick by them. Some parents will be kicking and screaming but then maybe their parenting skills are not so good. Parents used to have to be accountable for their child's behavior until that child became of age. Stick to that and maybe more parents will become involved with child rearing and fear THEY will have to suffer the consequences along with their child.

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4NoBS(2758 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

I'll bet they don't get 10% of those 'contracts' returned signed. What are they going to do - throw the other 90% off the buses? The thing about issuing ultimatums is, every now and then you're called on them, and you'd better be ready to see them through to the end. If you blink, you lose all credibility.

Webb is a lame duck anyway - why is she still wasting money?

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5grazor50(104 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

try this: eliminate buses, eliminate school districts, go back to area schooling where everyone have home school ideals, Has proven to be the better education system with higher and better educations. Today so much money is wasted on administration and school upkeep, the teachers always want smaller classes. There are many teachers that can't find work. The ideas now that everyone needs busing for special schools, special students etc. the list just continues. Even after the education system is finished, the job market still relies on the same services that must be taught in the workplace and that is performed by the journeyman that has experience.

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6southsidedave(5189 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Anyone who thinks that having parents sign a contract will prevent inappropriate behavior by students, is not living in the real world.

Kids do what they want without fear of reprisals.

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7ConcernedCats(8 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

This contract won't do a thing because there's no way to enforce it. Even if the administration was willing to, which I seriously doubt, the school system would get sued for denying bussing.

The parents of these kids always scream that they can't afford clothes... or food... or school supplies... so the state and city have to provide them for free.... but you'd better believe they'll have NO trouble getting themselves a lawyer and go on TV saying how horrible the school is for not giving their babies a free ride to school so their lovely children can abuse the bus drivers.

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8pindrop(21 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Good idea... I guess. Too bad it takes 20-30 yrs for something like this to happen. Undetermined amount of time??? I would have said by the end of the week...

Strike 1: 3 days detention and suspension from the bus for 1 week.
Strike 2: 5 days detention and suspension from the bus for 1 month.
Strike 3: 10 days detention and suspension from the bus for 3 months (depending on the level of behavior suspension from the bus could be up to the rest of the school year regardless of strike count).

See? I am not an educator or a law enforcer and I can make sense of it.

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9paulydel(1598 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

If kids violate the contract then they get a warning after that they get thrown off of the bus and it will be the parents responsablity to get them to school. School bus drivers the teachers are not babysitters. Parents need to teach their kids to act responsabley instead of trying to blame the school for their kids behavior.

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10seminole(476 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

First and only issue that matters: getting the "parents" to sign it in the first place. They don't gove a damn, it's 7 hours free time to roll to the Dollar Store and the carry-out while the kids are in school, or thought to be in school, getting an education, or babysat, whatever...

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