To the Editor:
After reading Kenneth S. Trump’s letter to the editor (April 18, 2007) criticizing the government for allegedly failing to address the issue of school bus security, I feel it’s necessary to respond and provide your readership with additional information. While I applaud Mr. Trump’s passionate commitment to the safety and security of the nation’s schoolchildren, I respectfully disagree with his characterization of the government’s response.
In the spring of 2004, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security began funding the Highway Watch anti-terrorism safety and security-training program for the surface-transportation industry. As part of the cooperative agreement between the department and the American Trucking Associations (administrators of Highway Watch), DHS required Highway Watch to coordinate safety and security efforts with other highway and roadway transportation professionals.
To help protect our most precious cargo, our children, Highway Watch worked in concert with the National Association for Pupil Transportation, the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, and the National School Transportation Association to develop the School Bus Watch program, and officially began training drivers in July of 2005. Since that time, nearly 100,000 school bus drivers nationwide have received the free School Bus Watch training, and tens of thousands more will receive training during the upcoming summer break.
The program continues to receive federal funding, and we hope to deliver the training to all school bus drivers. Those school districts wishing to receive the free training for their drivers should contact School Bus Watch at (703) 684-3200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A version of this article appeared in the May 23, 2007 edition of Education Week as School Bus Security Is Being Addressed