It’s not often that local school bus drivers have to discipline out of control students, however, when problems do occur Lake Stevens bus drivers now have tools and tips on how to handle and defuse most any situation that may arise.
Lake Stevens Police Officers and School Resource Officers Jim Barnes (Cavelero Mid High) and Bob Guertin (Lake Stevens High School) met with bus drivers for de-escalation training to prepare them for the 2011-2012 school year.
The SROs encouraged bus drivers to get to know their students, greet them, be aware of different body language – including their own, give positive feedback, be polite and to be firm, fair and consistent.
The drivers were also taught behaviors that are ineffective when dealing with bad behavior such as yelling, arguing, cussing and being confrontational or sarcastic.
While these occurrences are few and far between on most bus routes, bus drivers need to know how to handle each situation and this training provided bus drivers and local SROs a place to build relationships as well as receive the training they need to do their job.
“My goal was not only to give bus drivers more tools to use but also to get them to know our SROs and feeling comfortable collaborating with them,” Arlene Hulten, Community Relations Director for the Lake Stevens School District said.
Learning to really listen to students and controlling their emotions will help students and bus drivers enjoy a safe and uneventful ride to school each day.