Continuing a commitment to deal effectively with bullying incidents aboard school buses and at bus stops, the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) and U.S. Dept. of Education's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools (OSDFS) made free professional training available to the school bus industry to encourage positive interventions.
According to NAPT Executive Director Mike Martin, "bullying is a serious national problem that demands firm action, not lip service. Our industry wants to discourage the incidence of bullying and recognize and deal with it effectively when it occurs."
"We are very pleased that the U.S. Department of Education shares our view and stepped forward to collaborate with us on content and fund the training," Martin said.
NAPT President and professional educator Dr. Linda F. Bluth emphasized that school bus transportation is critical to learning by providing reliable and safe transportation. We want to emphasize, "what happens inside the bus should not stay inside the bus if it includes behavior that harms children and affects their school day negatively."
"School officials, bus operators, and parents in every community must understand that bullying can involve serious psychological and physical harm. All must work diligently to create effective deterrents and responses," Bluth said.
Martin and Bluth praised OSDFS Assistant Deputy Secretary Kevin Jennings for his leadership. Last October at NAPT's annual conference in Portland, OR, Jennings participated in a town hall meeting on bullying. Moved by the experience and an interest in shaping effective solutions, he arranged and led a June 8 conference in Washington, DC to preview the training modules his office developed, with input from NAPT, "Creating a Safe and Respectful Environment on Our Nation's Buses."
Jennings made fulfilling his promise to do something meaningful about bullying one of his last official acts before leaving the Obama Administration to return to the private sector. He chose NAPT as the partner because, "NAPT demonstrates a true commitment to addressing this issue," he explained.
Twenty-seven school transportation professionals from across the nation and representatives of the Safe and Supportive Schools Technical Center helped create the curriculum.
Included are two PowerPoint modules complete with trainer's guide, posters and other reference components: "See Something. Do Something: Intervening in Bullying Behavior," and "Creating a Supportive Bus Climate: Preventing Bullying."
For copies of the modules, visit the NAPT site.
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