State making sure your child is safe while on school bus

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - A school bus driver in Georgia was recently charged with DUI while driving a bus load of children. Another arrested, accused of molesting a student.

The 22News I-Team reporter discovered what's being done to make sure your kids are safe when they get on the bus.

We spoke to the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative. They manage the buses for seven school districts. They told 22News, their drivers go through strict background checks.

"You do, you do worry," said Chicopee's Nancy Lefebvre.

School is or will be back in session by next week. That means it's back on the bus for many students. Some children are riding the bus for the first time and that means parents are trusting basically a stranger to take them to and from school.

"
I think they do a pretty good job of checking out the people who are driving our students back and forth to school," said Lefebvre.

Background checks are a multi-layered system between the bus company and the state.

"Even though something may come on our end is looking like that someone is qualified to be a school bus driver there may be something in their clearance the state looks at and says no they cannot have a school bus driver license," said Cheryl Wiblyi, Director of Human Resources at the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative.

The Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative which runs the bus company for seven school districts also performs random checks throughout the school year.

"We also do random drug testing and alcohol testing on our drivers and school bus monitors as well, everyone in the transportation department is on the random selection list," said Wiblyi.

The LPVEC also performs a criminal history check every 3 years and the bus driver is tested against the national fingerprinting database.

Another layer of protection is the state checks the national database every time a driver renews their license.

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