- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A union official says more than 60 percent of bus drivers for Jefferson County Public Schools say they have felt unsafe on the job.

School district Chief Operations Officer Michael Raisor tells The Courier-Journal (https://cjky.it/1PaFiXj ) that school officials will be tougher on misbehaving students by suspending bus privileges or expelling students from the bus in the most extreme cases. He also says the district is going to work closer with drivers.

The district’s database records show that drivers submitted 2,763 official complaints during the first 70 days of the school year. Among them was a complaint by a driver about having to mop up blood caused by a violent fight.

“A lot of the time, you see these little kids and you don’t think it could be that bad until you get on the bus,” said John Stovall, president of the Teamsters Local 783, which represents about 1,000 bus drivers. “But to the district’s credit, they have in the last couple months really made a conscientious effort to work with us on that.”

JCPS officials said the rate of incidents isn’t large or widespread, as the district transports about 70,000 students to and from school each day.

“To date, we’ve been in school almost 100 days - that’s 14 million student trips on JCPS buses that have resulted in about 6,500 referrals,” said JCPS spokeswoman Allison Martin. She added, “that’s a rate of 0.04 percent.”

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, https://www.courier-journal.com

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