Rules of the Ride

School transportation is a very important part of the education process of the school system. The Transportation Department’s goal is to provide safe, efficient transportation for all passengers to and from school and school events.

Student conduct on the bus plays an essential role in achieving this goal. There are serious safety concerns involved with the operation of school buses. When a bus driver’s attention is diverted because of misconduct, a serious safety hazard develops.

Education is required by state law. Transportation is not. Because the bus is an extension of the school day, the code of conduct also applies to behavior on the bus. Eligibility to ride the bus may be revoked if students violate school bus conduct policy. This pamphlet explains the rules, regulations and policies of Williamson County Schools regarding student conduct while traveling on school system buses.

Rules and Regulations

The rules and regulations regarding acceptable student conduct are developed by the cooperative effort of the Transportation Director, school principals, bus drivers and administrators. School children being transported on a school bus are under the supervision, direction and control of the school bus driver and shall be subject to the discipline of the bus driver and student’s principal. The bus driver will be competent and fair in dealing with students and will be responsible to the principal for the conduct of students on the bus.

Drivers will provide all students the safest, most comfortable and least troublesome journey to and from school. In order to assure safe transportation while traveling on a bus, certain rules for pupils have been established by the Transportation Director.

  1. Students shall obey the driver. The driver must be totally in charge. Students shall respond promptly to instructions given.
  2. Each student will be seated in the seats which they are assigned, take their seats promptly upon entering the bus and stay in their seat while the bus is in motion. No windows or doors will be opened or closed except by permission of the bus driver.
  3. Students will not be allowed to tease, scuffle, trip, hold, hit or use their hand, feet or body in any objectionable manner.
  4. The use of electronic devices or other items in a manner that might interfere with the school bus communication equipment or the driver’s operation of the school bus is prohibited. This may include, but is not limited to, cell phones, audible radios, tape or compact disc players, mirrors, lasers, flash cameras or other reflective devices.
  5. The use of alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, eating, chewing gum or soda drinks on the bus is prohibited.
  6. Students must observe classroom conduct. Ordinary conversation is permitted. Loud, boisterous, profane language and obscene gestures or indecent conduct will not be tolerated.
  7. Students must keep the aisles clear of items such as musical instruments, books, backpacks, etc. If student must carry such items, they will NOT occupy another student seat nor extend above the seat back. Animals (alive or dead), oversized objects as well as glass containers are not permitted.
  8. At no time will a student put hands, head or other body parts out the window.
  9. Students must treat bus equipment as they would the furniture in their homes. Any damage to bus seats, windows, equipment, etc., will be charged to responsible student.
  10. Students must have a bus permit to ride any bus other than their assigned bus. Parents must send written notice in advance to school principal with appropriate information for child to ride a different bus. Principal or their designee will approve and issue a Bus Permit. Student will give bus permit to bus driver when they board the bus.
  11. Students will not ask the driver to let them off at such places as a store, job, etc. All extra stops must be approved in writing by the school principal or designee or Transportation Department in advance.
  12. Students are asked to use the hand rail when getting on and off the school bus.
  13. If students must cross the street or road to board the bus, they must wait for the driver’s signal. They must cross well in front of the bus.
  14. Students are expected to do the following:
    • Be at the stop 5 minutes before scheduled pickup time
    • Never run to catch the bus
    • While waiting for the bus, stay clear of the roadway and wait in an orderly line
    • Never exit using the rear door unless in an emergency and directed by the bus driver

Failure to follow the rules and regulations may result in the following disciplinary actions:

  • First Offense – Driver completes Bus Behavior Referral Form and submits to principal
  • Second Offense – Principal notifies parent
  • Third Offense – Suspension from school bus
  • Extreme or zero-tolerance offenses may bypass the above steps for immediate bus suspension.

Parents must assume responsibility for the behavior of their children while their children are riding the bus. If permission to ride the bus is revoked, the parent must provide transportation to and from school for the student until such time as reinstatement is made.