New law gives Houston bus drivers more defense against problem kids

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by Rucks Russell/ KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on June 25, 2013 at 5:48 PM

HOUSTON—School bus drivers in Houston applauded a new law that promises to give drivers more authority to discipline kids who behave badly.

“We need this law,” said HISD bus driver Ruby Carter. “We’re just fed up with the bullying.”

Last month, bus drivers across the state lobbied law makers to pass the measure. The governor signed it into law last week.

Under the measure, bus drivers have the power to send bad actors to the principal’s office.

Some drivers said HISD often ignored their complaints about unruly kids.

“They’re back on the bus the next day and we have to take that,” said Carter.

According to Wretha Thomas, the president of the Houston Educational Support Personnel Union which represents most HISD bus drivers, sometimes drivers would be punished for complaining.

“Instead of taking the student off the bus, they were just removing the bus driver off the route.”

Supporters of the law worried about how HISD might interpret it.

“It’s good that they passed it, but I hope that they look at it like a message,” said Carter.

A school district spokesperson said the law reinforces practices that are currently in place, and stood by the way the district trains and supports its bus drivers.

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