GREEN  Bus safety is an important part of any school system, and Green Local Schools showed that Sept. 15 when it held a basic safety class for elementary students at Green Primary School. The purpose was to inform and show the students how to safely act on and around school buses.

A similar training exercise had been conducted a week earlier for older students.

"We want to show the children a number of things that they need to be aware about when boarding and riding a school bus," said Rachael Rininger, one of Green's youngest bus drivers. "Today, we will go over with them about the 10-foot safety zone around a school bus; learn the proper procedure for being picked up and dropped off; how to safely cross the street when approaching or leaving a bus; and the safety exits inside the bus such as the various doors, windows, and hatches. We also stress the proper way to sit with their backs against the seat, staying seated and keep feet on the floor. Finally, we go over the 'danger zone' around the bus and how they should never stop to pick up something that is dropped until it can be safely done after telling the driver." 

The training involved classes being brought out by grade and being assigned to one bus. Once in place, the drivers went over all the proper procedure with the students and then walked them around the bus, explaining what the "danger zone" was, and how they should constantly watch the driver for signals when it is safe to move. One thing stressed was that when students exit the bus they should look both ways before getting off.

Even though it is still early in the school year the bus drivers already know most of the kids who ride on their buses by their first names, and the students waved happily back at the drivers.

Deb Pompeo, a bus safety instructor, said "Ohio is No. 1 in bus safety in the nation."

"It is fantastic that the Ohio Department of Education has implemented state wide busing safety procedures so that we can all be on the same page. Here at Green, we really take the safety of our students as our number one concern," she added.

This sentiment was echoed by Green Primary Principal Carrie Marochino.

"This training is another example of our staff working together to make our children safe. This is our top priority," she said.