The Contractor shall be aware that the manifestation of children’s disabilities often result in behaviors that otherwise would appear to be unacceptable. For the safety of everyone on the vehicle, however, it is most important that children behave appropriately while in transit. Drivers and attendants transporting children with disabilities shall make a special effort to work with these children and their teachers and families in an effort to help children overcome or control any inappropriate behaviors.
The following procedures shall be followed for all children, i.e., disabled or non-disabled:
- As a first step, the driver and/or attendant shall speak to the child about any dangerous or inappropriate behavior and attempt to solve the problem by working together with the child.
- If a child continues to misbehave, the driver or attendant shall submit an appropriate behavior report, as described in Sections 1.2.1, 1.2.2 and 2.4, infra, to the child’s school. The Contractor shall retain copies of all behavior-related reports as part of the Contractor’s records required under the Contract.
- Begin by using the Note to Teacher Form to enlist the classroom teacher’s assistance to improve the child’s behavior. The teacher should work with the child to correct the problem and may suggest specific techniques the driver and/or attendant can use with the child.
If the child’s inappropriate behavior is serious, or if the behavior persists, the driver or attendant shall use the Behavior Report to Teacher Form. This form describes the specific behavior in detail. The driver or attendant may use this form to ask the teacher to schedule a conference with the child’s parent(s) or guardian(s) to attempt to improve the child’s behavior.
- In addition to making written reports of a child’s inappropriate behaviors, the driver and/or attendant must discuss these behaviors directly with teachers and/or the Transportation Coordinator, so they can work together to correct the situation and improve safety. Please note that, in all cases, speaking to someone personally at the school is always more effective than just handing someone paperwork.
- If the misbehavior is very serious or if there are repeated incidents, the driver and/or the attendant shall consult with the Principal or site director about the child’s behavior.
- If after repeated written behavior reports and repeated consultations with the school personnel or if the misbehavior is of an extremely serious nature (e.g., an assault in which another child is injured) the Contractor shall inform designated staff at OPT. In reporting repeated, serious misbehavior, the Company shall provide copies of behavior reports previously submitted to teachers and a list of the names of persons at the child’s school who have been consulted about the child’s behaviors.
- Switchblade knives, gravity knives and cane swords (a cane that conceals a knife);
- Daggers, stilettos, dangerous knives and straight razors;
- Billy clubs, blackjacks, bludgeons, chucka sticks and metal knuckles;
- Sandbags and sand clubs;
- Sling shots (small, heavy weights attached to a thong); and Explosive, incendiary bombs and bombshells.
- Acid or other deadly or dangerous chemicals;
- Imitation pistols, loaded or blank cartridges and ammunition; laser pointers;
- Any deadly, dangerous, or sharp pointed instrument that can be used as a weapon (e.g., broken glass, box cutter, chains, wire, etc.); and
N.B., The Contractor may not suspend transportation services for children who misbehave. If the serious nature or persistence of a child’s misbehavior warrants, OPT may arrange to have the child suspended from transportation or, depending on the child’s abilities, the child’s I.E.P. Committee may authorize OPT to arrange for an alternate mode of transportation for the child.
If the driver or the attendant finds a child in possession of any of the weapons listed below or if there is information that leads the driver and/or attendant to believe the child is in possession of any of the weapons listed below, the police MUST be called immediately. Depending on the circumstance, the driver or the police will confiscate the weapon. Regardless of whether or not the Child is arrested, the Driver MUST report the incident to the school Principal or site director as soon as possible. As a matter of course, the Contractor shall press charges in incidents of this type.
Forbidden weapons include:
- Firearms (including pistols, handguns and any gun small enough to be concealed on the body), firearm silencers and electronic dart guns;
- Shotguns, rifles, machine guns or any other weapon that simulates adaptability for use as a machine gun;
- Air guns, spring guns, or other instruments or weapons in which the propelling force is spring or air, and any weapon in which any loaded or blank cartridge can be used (such as BB guns);
The following items also are forbidden:
- Any manufactured or homemade device capable of ejecting a projectile that causes any type of physical injury or death.
All of the above items must be confiscated immediately and turned over to the school Principal or site director who will take appropriate disciplinary action.
All weapons possession incidents shall be reported immediately by telephone to designated staff at OPT. Any child found to be in possession of a weapon may be permanently suspended from transportation by OPT. A Weapon Possession Report must be completed on the same day as the incident. The white copy must be sent to OPT and the yellow copy to the school Principal or site director. The pink copy is for the Contractor’s own records.
Adult Passenger Misconduct
If an adult passenger becomes physically abusive, intimidating, disruptive and/or violent in a manner that is dangerous to the adult him/herself, his/her child, other passengers, the driver, the attendant and/or endangers the safe operation of the school bus, the driver shall stop the vehicle and provide for its physical security against other traffic. As soon as practicable, the driver and/or attendant shall summon appropriate police aid to deal with the misbehaving adult passenger.
The driver and/or attendant shall be responsible to provide a full written report of each incident of adult misbehavior, whether or not sufficiently serious to require police intervention, to the Principal/supervisor and to the OPT Director or his/her designee(s).