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Pupil Transportation Association of Pennsylvania to hold conference

The Pupil Transportation Association of Pennsylvania will be holding its Annual Conference June 19-21, in State College, Pa.

Keeping children safe is the main goal as students are transported to and from school. Around the world, transporters are faced with possible violence associated with school bus transportation. Districts, intermediate units, contractors and law enforcement officials are joining again to revisit safe school policies and practices after the horrific shooting in Connecticut. As part of these discussions, we need to ensure that school buses are included in any safe school program. The shooting of an Alabama school bus driver and abduction of a student in January shows us all what “sitting ducks” our buses truly are.

Gun violence isn't the only cause for concern; so too are predators. After the Sandusky/Penn State case a new PA State law became effective on Jan. 3. Act 126, Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse, will involve training all of our school bus drivers. Like most new laws, the details of enacting it are worked out "as we go." PTAP and the PA School Bus Association have been working closely together with the PA Family Support Alliance and the Department of Public Welfare to facilitate the creation of guidelines for initial and continued training. PDE is interviewing other agencies to approve their training programs also. PTAP has heard from small districts and contractors that it will be difficult to train their drivers, especially new hires since some districts/contractors hire continually throughout the year.

Please join us at this year's Annual Conference as we visit these and other topics. For more information, email Jodi Pelletier, executive director at jodisnyder@comcast.net or call 717-856-2266. more


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