Talon News - Good Local News

By Pilar Owens



August 31, 2018

Photo and Story by Pilar Owens, TALON

After talking to Aztec Schools' Transportation Director John Laws about school bus safety, it's hard to think of anyone who takes safety more seriously than the people in the school's transportation department. "Our job day in and day out," said Laws, "is to transport students to and from school safely." The bulk of that task goes to bus drivers.

In the summer they attend the New Mexico Transportation Academy at San Juan College along with drivers from other districts in the county and BIA schools. Every semester they complete eight hours of training. Topics covered during training include defensive driving, first aid and CPR, and dealing with an active shooter situation.

On their own, drivers learn their routes and get to know the kids. "Our drivers are really good, they know the students," said Laws. By the end of the first week they already know the new kids on their routes. Since drivers know their passengers and routes they can spot anything out of place. "Drivers are really good about radioing in any suspicious behavior," commented Laws. The transportation department has a good relationship with the Sheriff and Aztec police, which makes it easy to get their help if needed.

In a phone interview with the TALON, Aztec bus driver Keri Cunningham said, "I think for me personally my entire employment is about keeping kids safe."


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