HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Kids are heading back to school and many of them will be riding the bus for the first time. So, WFLA traffic reporter Leslee Lacey met up with a Hillsborough County school bus driver to find out what kids need to know.
It turns out that when you ride the school bus, you may not physically be “in” school, but you are still “at” school.
“Whatever is expected in your behavior in school is expected on the bus,” says bus driver Cynthia Gibson. Gibson has been taking children to school for more than 30.years and she loves her job.
“Mainly I like that I’m transporting my future.” And to keep that future intact, Gibson says there are things to know if you’re a first time rider. “Well, right away they have to stay in their seat. and they have to know that. And you don’t stand up until I pull the brakes out.”
Tampa police traffic officer Roy Paz patrols around schools and wants kids to know good behavior is also important. “They don’t want to ruin that privilege because then their parents will have to take them to school. And that’s pretty inconvenient.”
And if children are being bullied on the bus, both Officer Paz and Mrs. Gibson say they want the children to report it. “I want them comfortable enough to say, ‘Miss bus driver or whatever he or she is, I’m having problems with someone.’ So we will address it immediately,” stressed Gibson, who says there are other things kids should do.
“They should learn their bus driver’s name. They should know to be at the bus stop at least ten minutes prior. The bus is coming and always wait for the signal from the bus driver before crossing the street or getting on the bus,” said Cynthia. And, of course they need to memorize their bus number.
Be sure to watch WFLA News Channel 8 from 4:30 to 7 a.m. during the month of August. Every morning, we’ll bring you a special back-to-school story to help you and your family prepare for the school year.
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- See more Back-to-School stories in our special section on WFLA.com