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Bala Cynwyd Middle School

Off-Canvas

Bus Discipline Procedures

Purpose

Pupils having the privilege of riding a school bus must conduct themselves in a quiet and orderly manner to and from school. The bus driver is legally responsible for the safe transportation of pupils and must be obeyed. Appropriate behavior on the buses which provide transportation for students is important for two reasons:

First: Inappropriate behavior can result in safety hazards not only for the individual student but also for other students on the bus;

Second: Socially unacceptable behavior can infringe on the rights of other individuals. These Bus Discipline Procedures have been developed with these two purposes in mind.

The Lower Merion School District Transportation Department meets with all students by grade level, in September. All students receive a Student Bus Contract. Students are not permitted to leave school (ex: to visit a friend or go to a store) and return to take a late bus home.

BUS CONDUCT FORMS will be submitted to principals in regard to the misconduct of those pupils who may be deprived of transportation, depending upon the infraction. It should be noted that these bus discipline procedures also apply to behavior at the bus stop area. Students should wait for the bus in a safe area, well off the roadway. Littering, “rough housing,” throwing things or damaging property are unacceptable behaviors. When exiting the bus to cross the street, students should cross only in front of the bus, making eye contact with the driver before proceeding. Students should NEVER cross in rear of bus.

In cases of criminal activity or serious safety concerns, the administrator in charge may suspend a student from bus privileges immediately.

It must be understood that these bus discipline procedures do not prevent the school from using the school’s discipline code and/or pressing civil or criminal charges in the appropriate court. Guidelines for enforcement will be handled by administrative procedures at each level.

Definitions of typical infractions are listed below. Offenses listed are typical and representative but, by no means, comprise a complete list.

Level I

  1. Harassing or aggravating other students.
  2. Littering on the bus.        
  3. Moving from seat to seat or in the aisles when the bus is in motion.
  4. Climbing over seats.
  5. Spitting.
  6. Tussling, horseplay, “fake” fighting.
  7. Failure to comply with the reasonable request of the driver, including assignment of seats.
  8. Putting head, hands or another part of the body outside of the bus.
  9. Abusive language to other students.
  10. Use of water pistols or other water propellants.
  11. Throwing things on the bus or out of the bus.
  12. Being on the wrong bus or getting on or off at the wrong stop.
  13. Bringing live animals (including pets) on the bus.
  14. Leaving school grounds on unsupervised activity and returning to school to ride late bus.

Disciplinary Options

  • assigned seat
  • parental contact
  • detention(s)
  • bus suspension (1-3 days)

Level II

  1. Abusive language to the driver.
  2. Vandalism (Restitution is required).
  3. Insubordination
  4. Fighting
  5. Behavior in a manner which would distract the driver, such as yelling, pounding on walls, floors or ceiling of the bus.
  6. Unmodified Level I misbehavior.

Disciplinary Options   

  • assigned seat
  • parental contact
  • behavioral contract
  • detention(s)
  • probation
  • in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension
  • bus suspension (1-10 days)

Level 3

  1. Possession, consumption, sale, distribution, transfer, or being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  2. Physical attack on the bus driver.
  3. Hitting the driver with a thrown object or throwing an object which constitutes a safety hazard
  4. Tampering with or operating the emergency door except in cases of emergency.
  5. Leaving or entering the bus via the emergency exit.
  6. Tampering with the bus controls.
  7. Behavior which constitutes a safety concern of a serious nature.
  8. Smoking
  9. Unmodified Level II misbehavior.

Disciplinary Options

  • detention(s)
  • consequences as listed in the Lower Merion Drug & Alcohol Policy and Guidelines
  • consequences as listed in the Lower Merion Tobacco/Smoking Policy and Guidelines
  • out-of-school suspension(s)
  • bus suspension (5 days-semester-entire year)

Bicycles

Bus transportation is provided for most Middle School students. Parents who permit their children to ride their bikes to school should note that the school is not responsible for loss or damage to the bike or accessories. Student bikes should be parked in the bike rack provided to the left of the Academy Building. Students must provide their own locks and/or chains, if desired.

Skateboarding and Rollerblading

Skateboarding and rollerblading is prohibited on school district property. Violators will be prosecuted under PA Statute Title 18, Sec. 3503 and PA (b), (b.1) and Public School Code, Sec. 7-777. The School District is committed to enforcement in order to reduce costs to repair damage and preclude injury to pedestrians as well as skateboarders and rollerbladers. The District’s Operations Department has authorized the Lower Merion Police Department to cite violators who refuse to leave after being requested to do so or are repeat offenders. DO NOT bring skateboards to school.

Parental Transportation

Parents who elect to bring their children to school should drop them off on Bryn Mawr Avenue. Students should enter the building through the main doors if they arrive before 8:00 a.m. At no time should a student arrive at school before 7:30 a.m., as no supervision is available. Parents, please be aware of pedestrian traffic. PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE INTO THE MAIN BUS DRIVEWAY AFTER 7:40 A.M. This practice assures a clear drive for the buses and prevents students from crossing in front of buses and between cars. Please note that students are not permitted to ride buses other than those assigned to them. Students who need to go home with another student should arrange transportation with a parent.