Local News

Recent Deaths Put Focus on Bus-Stop Safety

Posted January 21, 1998

— Two families are mourning the deaths of their little loved ones. Could a tragedy at a bus stop happen to your child? Wake County Public Schools hopes that it won't.

The Wake County School System is ordering bus drivers to be on the look out for children waiting alone at bus stops.

Wednesday, seven-year-old Jerdana Woodhouse was struck by a car and killed, while trying to cross the street to her bus-stop in Johnston County. And, two weeks ago in Hoke County, Brittany Locklear was kidnapped while waiting for her bus. She was found dead three miles away.

The Wake County Public School System wants parents and bus drivers to take special notice of children who are waiting for the bus.

Wake County Schools' Transportation Director Dr. Wyatt Harper has sent letters to the district's 700 bus drivers to be on the lookout for children who wait at bus stops.

Listen toauorreal audiofiles. "Identify any young children who are waiting alone, particularly in an isolated area. And number two, contact that child's parents, and ask them, please, for additional supervision at the bus stop."

But, parents can't always be there. That's why interactive teaching tools, like "Buster," are used to teach bus safety.

North Carolina requires all teachers to teach a school bus safety lesson in the classroom in kindergarten through the second grade. Lessons like the Buster program go a step further. And the children, like six-year-old Amelia Lumpkin, seem to be learning from them.

Listen toauorreal audiofiles. "You might get really hurt and have to go to the hospital if you don't listen to the rules and stuff."

In the warmer months, Wake County uses a larger bus in outside safety presentations. And through a grant, the school system soon will launch a website on bus safety, giving children a fun way to learn these important lessons.

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