Everyday, parents walk their children to the closest bus stop, expecting them to get to school and come home safely. Unfortunately, there have been instances when a student never made it home due to negligence from bus drivers who forgot to check their vehicles before clocking out for the day.
Recently, in Arkansas, one child was located in the the school bus parking lot all day because she fell asleep. The experience left her "hungry and tired, but otherwise okay," a local CBS affiliate reported.
"It's very preventable and I'm sure it was just an accident but if they would just walk the buses that would be an easy fix," parent Shannon Taylor told the source.
In Calhoun, Georgia, parents and school officials hope their text messaging service will be a way to alleviate these concerns. The system is in the early stages, which means participation was voluntary.
"Each child has a card that is attached to their backpack and if they enter on the steps of the bus a reader reads it and it sends it to my computer," Geary Cooper, Gordon County transportation director told CBS Atlanta. "Parents can also sign up and get a [text] message sent to their phone that their child has entered the bus."
The centralized system goes off and notifies the bus driver whenever the the card "passes off at the wrong spot," Cooper explained. Alerts could occur when most students have left the bus or when a child gets off a different stop that they are assigned to.
Based on the success of the beta program, Gordon County hopes to implement this system on all 108 school buses. Communities that want a similar safety measure implemented in their school district can reach out to Swift SMS Gateway.