To the Editor:
In my more than 20 years as a teacher’s aide and now as a substitute in the North Rose-Wolcott Central School District, I’ve watched students arrive at school each morning and depart for home in the afternoon without incident. But it’s their time in transit that I have always worried about.
Our bus drivers are amazing professionals, but having to focus on the road in front of them, the drivers around them and what the children — from 5-year-olds to 15-year-olds — are doing behind them isn’t an easy job. That is why for years I have been a staunch advocate for putting a monitor on every bus to help drivers tend to the children in their care and keep watch for motorists who put kids in harm’s way with reckless behavior.
As a longtime unionist, I have pushed for this policy at the district level. Now, there is state legislation in Albany that would require a monitor on every bus transporting kids in grades K–6. This monitor would help children get on and off the bus safely, crossing the street with them to ensure they are safe from motorists who ignore the bus stop sign.
In an era when school building safety rightly has been prioritized, any step that helps ensure kids are safe on their way to and from school should be included in safety initiatives.
New York State United Teachers
School-related Professionals Advisory Committee member