MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral) – This week marks National School Bus Safety Week, and many school districts across the valley are preparing their students if an emergency were to occur.
According to the Texas Education Agency, there were 943 school bus accidents reported during the 2020-2021 school year. While Mission CISD is not part of that number, school bus drivers like Raul Guerra Jr. said students still need to be prepared.
“We have someone else’s children, lives are in our hands,” Guerra said. “We taught them how to use the front door, the rear door, or the emergency window, there’s four of them on this bus or when to use the top emergency escape hatch.”
While Guerra has not been in a school bus accident himself, he wants his passengers to know what to do even if the driver passes out at the wheel.
“They know how to stop the bus, they are not going to slam on the breaks because that is not safe, they are going to pull the emergency brake,” Guerra said. ” And once they do that the next step is to call for help and we taught them how to use the two-way radio.”
Mission CISD has a fleet of 110 buses that transports students every day. Transportation Director Nora Tijerina said bus drivers are also staying up to date with their safety measures through certification programs.
“We are training in-house just reminding them, just general reminders because that is what we do,” Tijerina said. “Just how to make sure that the student that they are driving transporting are safe at any event.”
Mission CISD drives between 4,000 to 5,000 kids, but there are still many students that don’t take the bus every day. That is why bus drivers are still reminding all students about safety through this training.
“Some of them knew them knew the answers but some of them I guess like all of us they forgot, and so that’s why repetition is the mother of retention,” Guerra said.