NAPT MultiView News Brief
Dec. 18, 2012

Sandy Hook Elem msg

The National Association for Pupil Transportation joins all Americans in the raw emotion we are feeling over the horrific shooting in Newtown, CT. As school transportation professionals dedicated to the safety and security of children, we mourn the loss of 20 precious youngsters and seven adults. At times like this, words seem so inadequate, but to the families of Newtown we extend our heartfelt condolences and prayers.

The incomprehensible act at Sandy Hook Elementary School was an assault on all our most cherished values, and the safety and security we all expect and deserve. We pledge to be a part of the urgent national conversation about what can be done to reduce the violence now too frequent in our culture.

The yellow school bus is the safest way for children to get to and from school. We want to reassure parents everywhere that this remains our passionate focus, and in the wake of this tragedy will re-examine operational policies and procedures to make sure children entrusted to us are as safe as humanly possible at all times.More

Vendor Spotlight: On the spot? Come to the spotlight

Business Partners are special members of NAPT. They provide expertise, products and services to the pupil transportation industry, helping to maintain and improve upon the safety and efficiency of operations and processes. Knowing who to call when you're on the spot is important.

To help you find solutions, we highlight three of our business partners in a scrolling logo format on the NAPT homepage every two weeks. Just click on the company logo to find out more. You never know, you may find just the right answer to a vexing problem.

Featured in our "Business Partner in the Spotlight" section are: American Logistics Company, Blue Bird Corp. and Radio Engineering Industries Inc. Their logos will be posted for the next few weeks, so please take a moment to become familiar with the products and services they offer.

American Logistics — is a national passenger transportation management company serving transit agencies, school districts and the health care industry. Blue Bird — offers a complete line of Type A, C and D school buses in a variety of options and configurations; and Radio Engineering Industries Inc. (REI) — offers an extensive line of commercial electronics for thousands of manufacturers, suppliers and operators in the transportation and agriculture industries. More

Generosity: Pass it on
VideoBriefYoung people love to help out when given the chance and in this spot they get an enthusiastic dose of encouragement from a classmate. This message puts the spotlight on young heroes who give from the heart.More

Obama heads to Connecticut to grieve with families
The Wall Street Journal
President Barack Obama joined a grieving community on Dec. 16, as authorities continued to piece together how a gunman stormed an elementary school and killed 20 children and six adults, in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. Obama met with the families of children and adults slain at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and spoke at a vigil that evening.More

EPA tightens soot rules by 20 percent
The Washington Post
The Environmental Protection Agency recently tightened the nation's soot standards by 20 percent, a move that will force communities across the country to improve air quality by the end of the decade while making it harder for some industries to expand operations without strict pollution controls. The new rule limits soot, or fine particulate matter, which stems from activities ranging from burning wood to diesel vehicle emissions and which causes disease by entering the lungs and bloodstream, causing inflammation.More

When bullying happens, why do some children intervene while others stand by?
Prevention Action
How do children respond when they see bullying? Neither group dynamics nor individual children's characteristics fully explain it. But combine the two and you have a powerful picture, new research argues.More

How will the fiscal cliff affect education funding?
PBS NewsHour
Education and politics in the U.S. are far from strangers, and the current ruckus in Washington over the so-called "fiscal cliff" is making no exceptions. With tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect in January if lawmakers and the president fail to reach a debt-reduction deal, education providers are being forced to plan for tighter budgets. In many cases, that would mean jobs lost and reduced services for students.More

Converting school buses to natural gas a good step
The Desert Sun
One of the saddest images of the modern era is children walking away from a school bus as it takes off leaving a cloud of diesel exhaust. Thanks to the Sentinel power plant mitigation fund, that era could be coming to an end, at least here. The staff of the South Coast Air Quality Management District in Diamond Bar, Calif., has recommended $1.5 million be allocated for school buses powered by compressed natural gas and a fueling station for the Coachella Valley Unified School District.More

Distracted holiday driving can also lead to accidents
The holiday season isn't always filled with joy and glad tidings, strong eggnog and laughter. A new study has been published just in time for the holidays which has found that a "substantial portion" of automobile accidents occur when a driver's mind begins to wander and think of things other than driving. A smaller percentage of these accidents has been blamed on a driver having "disturbing" thoughts. This report is particularly pertinent as the roads become more populated during the holiday season.More

Minneapolis school attendance down in wake of bus passes
Star Tribune
Minneapolis school officials had hoped that putting high school students on Metro Transit buses would boost attendance, but student absenteeism instead went up this fall. Overall, the district went backward on attendance by an average of almost one full day per student who used a pass during the fall quarter.More

School bus checks to be more thorough
Alpine Avalanche
Big Bend Sector Border Patrol Agents recently met with local school officials to review new policies for checking school vehicles for illegal substances, and to answer any questions that may have arisen in light of the almost 500 pounds of marijuana that was found on a Van Horn, Texas, school bus that was returning from a basketball game in Presidio last month. "We know how big of an event this was," said agent and K9 Coordinator Stephen Crump. "We want to make sure you guys are all comfortable knowing what's going to happen the next time something comes through one of our checkpoints. Again, our intent is the safety of all your people and buses when traveling to and from school functions."More

Texting, music put distracted pedestrians at risk
USA Today
Many pedestrians crossing busy streets are also busy doing something else — usually listening to music, texting or talking on a phone — and those distracted walkers are often failing to look both ways for traffic or follow other safety rules, a new study confirms. More

Parents: School bus fee threatens safety
Westborough Patch
Implementing a bus fee next year would jeopardize student safety, some parents recently told the Westborough, Mass., School Committee. The fee would be "coercive," as some families live within walking distance of schools, such as the Mill Pond School, that lack sidewalks, Old Nourse Street resident Jennifer Rudolph told the school board. "I think the school district is asking for a lawsuit when one of those kids gets hit by a car. And it will happen," said Rudolph.More

South Carolina Office of Highway Safety: Number of school bus crashes up from last year
VideoBriefThe number of school bus crashes is up slightly in South Carolina this calendar year compared with last, according to the state Office of Highway Safety. Local and state transportation officials are focusing on what's called "on-road monitoring" to cut back on the number of school bus crashes. State officials hit the roads every day, following and observing bus drivers. They report what they see to local school districts. More