As the yellow school bus approached the stop, dread settled in the pit of young Sandra’s stomach. She knew what was waiting for her onboard. It wasn't just the bumpy ride that made her sick to her stomach—it was the bullies who lurked, ready to pounce on their prey. And their daily target? None other than Sandra. She was tripped or slapped as she walked up the aisle, was forcefully dragged to a different seat, and had her belongings stolen, broken, and thrown out windows.
Often, school bus drivers contact us for advice on how to handle bullying on their buses. They feel bad that despite their best efforts, they can’t both drive safely and keep an eye on every child in their care at the same time.
We can put an end to bullying, and it starts with speaking up and taking action. Let's make the school bus a safe place for every child.
Sandra isn't the only kid who fears for her safety in a school bus. BullyingCanada's Co-Founder and Executive Director, Rob Benn-Frenette had twin sisters as his school bus tormentors. It started with name-calling and the teasing, and progressed to them burning the back of his neck with a cigarette lighter. Later, Rob truly feared for his life when they pushed him in front of a moving bus.
Bullying can be particularly vicious on school buses. Bullies have a captive audience and prey on vulnerable ones who can't escape. Sandra and Rob were just two of many who've suffered at the hands of cruel children.
As a school bus driver, we know you can't keep your eyes on the road and on every child in your care at the same time. But here are some things you can do to help keep kids on your bus safe.
School bus drivers play an important role in creating a safe and respectful environment on the bus and preventing bullying from occurring. Here are some ways that school bus drivers can keep kids from bullying each other on the bus:
By taking proactive steps to prevent bullying and harassment on your bus, you can help create a safe and respectful environment for all of your young passengers.
In addition to our 24/7/365 Lifeline: Bullied Youth Support Network, we also offer school workshops.
Learn more by clicking the links below.