About 1.5 million kids ride a school bus every day in Pennsylvania. Now officials want to make sure school buses don’t become easy targets.
“This is an important issue. It’s something our kids face every day when they go to school,” said Sen. Gene Yaw.
School safety has been a major topic of discussion with state lawmakers this year. Just this month, the Senate Majority Policy Committee” has held four roundtable discussions on how to make schools more secure.
Senator Mike Regan is concerned that as buildings get safer, buses could become an easier target.
“If someone is hell bent on doing something destructive, and the schools have been fortified, they’ll look for a softer target. And school buses could be that target,” said Regan.
Mike Berk is the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania School Bus Association. They have been meeting with lawmakers throughout the summer.
“We want to make sure that they’re also remembering that this is part of the students’ day,” said Berk.
As lawmakers continue discussing the best ways to fund school security. Berk wants to make sure securing school buses isn’t lost in the mix.
“While we’re taking action and funding projects and programs to help the school buildings, we need to be very cognizant of making sure we’re doing the same for our school buses,” said Berk.
Berk says they are still starting to formulate ideas. One that has been discussed is working with PennDOT to redo bus driver manuals, in order to include specific security protocols.