Hiring process for school bus drivers - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Hiring process for school bus drivers

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Two instances this week involving school bus drivers have many people questioning who is behind the wheel?

One of those instances was in Texarkana where the driver was caught crossing the center lane of traffic to beat a traffic light. A second one happened in Texas after a driver was caught on camera allegedly bullying a student on the bus.

Westside Superintendent, Bryan Duffie said they have zero tolerance for that sort of behavior. They take the hiring process for that position very seriously.

"Definitely want drivers who can deal with issues yet at the same time be courteous to parents and handle things professionally, if there are issues that arise," said Duffie.

When it comes to safe and qualified drivers, several requirements are met.

"The person has to have a commercial driver's license and they have to submit and pass a Department of Transportation physical," Duffie said. "They also have to pass DHS child maltreatment background checks, Arkansas State Police and FBI background checks."

In some cases when an aid is needed on the bus, Duffie explains even they must be properly trained.

"As far as hiring drivers, recommending drivers, or even aids who have to ride the bus to help with issues, it's important to have properly trained personnel on buses," he said.

Even with a shortage in drivers there are no cutting corners when it comes to the requirements.

"Every district is experiencing this, there is a shortage of CDL and trained and licensed drivers," said Duffie. "However, trying to find those quality drivers is priority for us."

Duffie said it is standard procedure that a bus driver is drug tested if they are involved in an accident.

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