What is bus safety like in Livingston ISD?

District has a full handbook with policies for drivers, parents and students

Stock image. Suzy Hazelwood (Pexels)

Before being arrested and charged in connection with the murder of 11-year-old Audrii Cunningham, Don Steven McDougal regularly performed one task.

He would either take Cunningham to the bus stop or take her to school, and the Polk County Sheriff says he was the last person to see Cunningham before her disappearance the morning of Feb. 15 before school.

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The investigation is continuing into exactly what happened, but those who have kids in the Livingston Independent School district might be interested in a refresher on what the district’s bus safety policies are.

A complete version of the bus rider’s safety handbook can be viewed here, but below are some key points of the handbook:

  • All students must board and exit the bus at their designated bus stop. No student is allowed to ride a different bus without permission from a parent or guardian and a note from their school office or transportation department.
  • All drivers have a valid driver’s license from the Texas Department of Public Safety and have completed a 20-hour Texas Education Agency course covering first aid, passenger loading and unloading, bus upkeep and other important information. Drivers are required to take an eight-hour refresher course every three years and participate in monthly trainings.
  • Students are asked to be at the bus stop five minutes before scheduled pickup time.
  • If a child misses the bus, it’s the responsibility of a parent to get their child to or from school.
  • When loading on a bus, students must have a bus card ready to scan in hand starting three weeks after school begins.
  • Once the bus card is scanned, a student goes to an assigned seat.
  • Animals or insects are not allowed on the bus.
  • Students are not allowed to eat, drink soft drinks or chew gum on a bus. Bottled water is the only beverage allowed.
  • When getting off of the bus elementary age students in third grade or below need to have an adult present.
  • When a child in third grade or below gets off the bus, someone needs to be at home to receive them or have a signed note saying they are allowed to get off with nobody there.

Livingston ISD offers an app for parents called “Here Comes the Bus” or herecomesthebus.com, which enables parents and caregivers to look at the real-time location of a school bus on a computer, tablet or smartphone. The app and website can also offer alerts and notifications when a bus will arrive at a stop. Parents who use the app or website must create an account and user profile.

About the Author

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.