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Bus drivers learning how to help students stop bullying on the bus

Posted at 11:45 AM, Jul 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-27 14:57:23-04

Bus drivers can be the first line of defense against bullying because they are the first and last place kids are together in their school day. Sunnyside School District now teaches their bus drivers what to look for and how to make kids more comfortable on the bus.

The drivers are taught to look out for students who are aggressive or who group together while interacting with another student. They are taught to make the extra shy students that may be picked on feel comfortable by asking them how their day went. 
There are many verbal and non-verbal cues children give when something is wrong, and the training these drivers receive covers all of it so drivers can shut down bullying before it gets to the school. Most importantly though, they say it's all about being genuinely friendly with the students so they will feel comfortable sharing their feelings.
The district wants parents to know there is something they can do to help keep their kids from being bullied too.
"It's real important that the parents have the communication with their student that it's okay to tell somebody because a lot of times the student will keep it bundled up inside them until it's too late," said Valdez. "Parents need to have that conversation with their students that it's okay to tell the bus driver. "
All Sunnyside buses are equipped with video cameras as well, and these have helped in multiple cases to easily point out the bullies.
Sunnyside is still looking for more bus drivers, and there is training throughout the year. If you'd like to apply, the applications are all online.