GCCAS BUS CONDUCT RULES
The bus is an extension of the school campus. Therefore, students will adhere to all conduct rules, including those addressing medication, while riding a GCCAS school bus. Only a student who is regularly enrolled as a transported student and whose name appears on the bus driver’s enrollment card for that bus, shall be permitted to ride such a bus while it is being operated on a regular school bus route except upon the written request of the parent(s) or legal guardian of a student and with the written approval of the principal/designee. Such approval may be granted only when the student’s welfare is involved due to an emergency condition in the home.
Section 1006.10 (1-7), Florida Statutes gives school bus drivers the authority to monitor and control the behavior of students any time they are being transported to and from school or school functions at public expense.
Students being transported on a school bus must comply with the following rules:
- Get on/off at their regularly appointed bus stop unless written parent/guardian permission is provided to the school administrator early in the day to allow time for verification.
- Occupy the seat assigned by the driver and refrain from moving around while the bus is in motion. Seat belts must be correctly fastened upon taking assigned seat and worn at all times if the bus is designed with seat belts.
- Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop before entering or exiting the front door of the bus. Students shall form a line in order to ensure safety in getting on or off the bus.
- Be at the bus stop at least five minutes before bus arrival but not more than fifteen minutes before arrival. Observe proper rules of conduct while waiting for the bus. Students shall stay at least five feet off the road.
- If it is necessary for a student to cross a road to board a bus, the student should wait until the bus arrives and the driver deploys the stop arm and flashing red lights. The student should make visual contact with the driver, watching for the Department of Education’s (DOE) adopted crossing signal. The student should then make a right and left check for traffic and cross twelve (12) feet in front of the bus. If it is necessary for a student to cross a road after unloading from a bus, the student should stand at the side of the bus in sight and hearing of the driver. The student should make visual contact with the driver, watching for the DOE’s adopted crossing signal.
- Obey the driver, monitor, and volunteers at all times and follow the standards of conduct while riding the school bus. Report promptly to the principal when instructed to do so by the driver. Bus infractions may result in an out of school suspension.
- Keep all body parts and belongings inside the bus windows.
- Keep from littering, throwing, or propelling objects inside the bus.
- Keep from throwing or propelling items outside the bus windows. (Behavior that violates this rule/expectation may be classified as a felony. The student and the parent/guardian shall be held responsible for any damages that result from such an act.)
- Keep from defacing or vandalizing a school bus. Restitution will be required for any damages sustained to the bus.
- Use the handrail when entering and leaving the bus. Be careful that loose straps or drawstrings on articles of clothing or backpacks do not get caught on the handrail.
- Follow emergency evacuation procedures when appropriate.
- Observe classroom conduct rules at all times (except for ordinary conversation). Silence on the bus shall prevail while the bus is stopped for railroad crossings or for discharging students. When the bus is in motion, only talk to the driver if it is necessary and be quiet when the driver turns the dome lights on, raises a hand, etc. One of these signals will be used at railroad crossings.
- Use of profane or objectionable language or engaging in any other objectionable conduct is prohibited. There shall be no pushing, fighting or any other type of misconduct at any time.
- Possession of sharp/dangerous instruments or any type of weapons on the bus is prohibited.
- Bring no animals, glass containers, skateboards, food, or drinks on the bus.
- Use or have no tobacco products (smoking, chewing, dipping) or other mood altering substances while on the bus.
- Bring no bulky or inappropriate objects on school transportation. This includes but is not limited to musical instruments, athletic equipment, etc., that cannot be held in the student’s lap. No objects may block the aisles or emergency exits.
Note: GCCAS busses are equipped with video/audio cameras for security purposes. Students are being taped during their ride. These tapes may be used to determine violations of the Code of Student Conduct. Only authorized school personnel can view a bus video/audio recording, when the need arises, due to the protection of other students’ privacy.
- While cell phones and other electronic devices are normally not allowed to be visible on the bus, in a situation when there is a substantial delay, the bus driver may give permission for students to use their cell phone.
- When a student is suspended or expelled from the bus, they are not permitted to use any GCCAS school bus for extracurricular activities or field trips during the suspension or expulsion timeframe. At the principal’s discretion, a student with a Level I or II infraction may be allowed to ride the bus for extracurricular activities only or field trips that are academic in nature.
- Parents are responsible for their children at the bus stop. However, school officials may address misconduct by students at a bus stop. Bus drivers may issue bus referrals based on behavior they observe at bus stops and administrators may investigate and discipline accordingly. §§1006.07(2)(h), 1006.09(1)(b), and 1006.10(3), Florida Statutes.
- Without specific permission of the principal/designee, a parent may not board a school bus that is being operated by a GCCAS bus driver. Violation of this provision may result in the loss of bus riding privileges for the student of the parent and possible prosecution under Florida law.
Gulf Coast Charter Academy South has a “Zero Tolerance Policy” for violations on school busses. Therefore, the following consequences are mandatory:
- 1st Incident Referral Warning or a 1-10 days Bus Suspension, at principal’s discretion
- 2nd Incident Referral 3-10 days - Bus Suspension
- 3rd Incident Referral 5-10 days - Bus Suspension
- 4th Incident Referral Bus Expulsion (90 day minimum) or at principal’s discretion, a 10 day Bus Suspension with a parent/guardian/principal conference and a written, signed, behavior agreement, may defer expulsion.