First I would like to say that my main duty as a bus driver is to transport your children to and from school safely.
I am sorry to raising my voice on the bus, but sometimes it is necessary to speak loud and firm. The bus is large and for everybody to hear me (50-plus students) I must speak loud. When the children are doing something unsafe (putting hands and heads out windows, standing while bus is moving, throwing things, etc.), I must speak loud and firm so they stop right away so nobody gets hurt. While all this is going on, I am still driving the bus; I must keep my eyes on the road so your children get to school/home safely and on time.
When we arrive at the bus stop, I wait for all children getting off to line up at the door before I open it, so I can remind them to wait for my signal before crossing the street. It is loud on the bus because the children are talking, so I speak loud and firm so that all the children make it across the street safely. These are rules that you read to your child/children from the parent handbook they brought home from school, and I know they forget (I have a 9-year-old), so I try to remind them.
When a child is being disruptive or not being courteous to me or others, I will walk back to the child's seat and tell the child in a firm voice that this is not the way to act. This might seem to the child like I am getting in their face. I am just trying to stop the disruption so we can get on our way safely.
Once again, I would like to say I am sorry for being loud and firm, but it is for the safety of the children. Also, for the school year 2007-2008, there were no complaints, student bus write-ups or student suspensions on my bus route.
Barry W. Knoll
Former bus driver
for Route 24 KUSD No. 20