Students write bill that would place adult monitors on school buses

ATLANTA — Channel 2′s Tom Jones was with some middle school students who went to the state capitol Thursday, but not for a tour.

They dropped off a bill they helped write that they hope will help cut down on school bus fights.

The Renaissance Middle School students say adult bus monitors would take the stress off bus drivers and be another adult set of eyes to keep kids under control.

The students dropping it off is the first step in getting a bill before the legislature.

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12-year-old Keri Watford smiled as she handed the bill over to the Clerk.

“Mr. Clerk, we want to present our bill,” she said proudly. “Very good,” the Clerk replied.

The bill is one the students helped write, and one they hope will help keep students throughout the state safe.

The students say riding their school bus is an adventure.

“There would usually be, like, fights on the bus,” Keri said.

11-year-old Kai Leite says there was a fight on her bus and it didn’t faze her bus driver. “She didn’t really do anything about it. She just kept driving,” she explained.

They all realize fights on buses endanger lives.

They put not just students in danger, but nearby cars as well.

“Cause it could tumble over hit another car,” 7th grader Regina Ogoun said of buses having to swerve because of fights.

State Representative Roger Bruce talked to kids at the school about how bills are passed. So the students in the group “Girl Code” decided to create a bill that would make bus rides safer.

Their idea? Adult bus monitors.


“They would be able to redirect the kids. Because the bus driver they need to be focused on the road,” Keri said.

“Stop the fight and hopefully calm down the kids and like help them come their senses,” Kai said of the idea behind adult bus monitors.

Representative Bruce says the students talked to legislative attorneys and helped craft the bill that would place monitors on buses.

And he was with them with they dropped it at the Clerk’s Office.

“I mean I’m so proud of them. I can’t say how proud I am,” he gushed.

The girls say they want to prove you can affect change no matter how young you are.

They look forward to the bill working its way through the legislature and hopefully to the Governor’s desk. Jones asked Regina how excited would she be if it became law. “Really excited. Just really excited,” she said.

Representative Bruce says the bill would allow school districts that need bus monitors to apply for state grants to help pay for it. He says he doesn’t see how anyone would be against this.

The bill’s first reading is Monday.

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