New Jersey School Districts Train Bus Drivers for Anti-Bully Program
Provide your Bullying training to your drivers and transportation personal online using SafePUPIL's LMS.
School bus drivers are charged with serious responsibility as they not only operate large vehicles on city streets but also have to safeguard school children over 4.3 billion miles transporting 23.5 million children on school related trips every year. However, school bus drivers are also expected to help stop bullying by school children on the buses. The New Jersey School Bus Owners Association (NJSBOA) sought information on anti-bullying training from the Department of Education (DOE). Gary L. Vermeire, Coordinator of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Unit of the DOE, followed up with the applicable requirements in the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act (P.L.2010, c. 122), including N.J.S.A. 18A:37-17b and c.
A school district shall:
- provide training on the school district's harassment, intimidation, or bullying policies to school employees and volunteers who have significant contact with students;
- ensure that the training includes instruction on preventing bullying on the basis of the protected categories enumerated in section 2 of P.L.2002, c.83 (C.18A:37- 14) and other distinguishing characteristics that may incite incidents of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying.
Information regarding the school district policy against harassment, intimidation or bullying shall be incorporated into a school's employee training program and shall be provided to full-time and part-time staff, volunteers who have significant contact with students, and those persons contracted by the district to provide services to students.
According to these anti-bullying provisions, it is up to the school district to to provide the in-service training for contracted service providers, which includes bus drivers. Each local school district is responsible for determining the appropriate way to provide bus drivers with the required training in the board of education’s Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB) policy and procedures. It was for this reason that the anti-bullying push met resistance. Some school superintendents complained that the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights imposed new training and reporting costs on the districts during a time of budgetary constraints. Assemblyman John F. McKeon and Assemblywoman Mila M. Jasey, both of the 27th District, were prime sponsors of the measure. They issued a joint statement addressing the costs of implementation, saying they would “review if the necessary funding could be made available from the ‘Bullying Prevention Fund’ established in the Department by the legislation or explore additional funding alternatives.” They also advocated the use, when possible, of existing resources as argued by the state Department of Education in its petition to the Council of Local Mandates. Drivers who are interested in understanding anti-bullying responsibilities can find more materials and information on the New Jersey state website.
The New Jeresy legislature's passage last week (03/14/2012) a bill to add $1 million to New Jersey's school anti-bullying law is almost certain to satisfy a state ruling that threatened to nullify the legislation as an unfunded state mandate.
One thing that makes SafePUPIL's training so attractive is the cost associated with this type of training. Our online training can reduce the cost by over 60%. Each school bus driver will have a documented time, test, and completion of each driver that completed the bulling program.