Honoring Bus Appreciation Day and Safeguarding Our Students


As we approach Bus Appreciation Day on February 21st, my heart is filled with appreciation for the bus drivers and transportation teams who ensure the safe journeys of our children. This sentiment runs deep within me, as my grandfather, Ralph Stussy, served as the Director of Transportation for Pine Island Schools for several decades, and my grandmother dedicated years as a bus driver. Holding a bus license myself, I am proud to continue this legacy, having jumped behind the wheel whenever the need has presented itself.

The significance of Bus Appreciation Day extends beyond a mere celebration; it is a reminder of the indispensable role school buses play in our communities. Serving as symbols of reliability and safety, these buses transport millions of students each day.

Bus Appreciation Day is not just a date on the calendar; it is an opportunity to express gratitude to the dedicated drivers who navigate our streets with the precious cargo of our children. It is a call to raise awareness about the importance of adhering to traffic rules, particularly when it comes to respecting the school bus stop arms.

The stop arm on a school bus is not just a mechanical extension; it is a crucial safety feature signaling when students are boarding or disembarking. The law clearly states that when the stop arm is extended, it is illegal to pass the bus from either direction. Yet, despite the clear signals and the potential consequences, instances of cars violating these warnings continue all over Goodhue County.

In Kenyon-Wanamingo, stop arm cameras have become a vital tool. These cameras serve as a watchful eye, identifying those who disregard the safety measures put in place for our children. Our transportation department has witnessed far too many instances of drivers ignoring the extended stop arm, putting young lives at risk.

As we celebrate Bus Appreciation Day, let us also use this occasion to renew our commitment to school bus safety. Whether you are a parent, a fellow driver, or a pedestrian, we all play a pivotal role in creating a secure environment for our children. Let us collectively pay attention to school bus stop arms, follow traffic rules, and promptly report any violations to the authorities.

A special thanks to the memories my grandparents gave me in the transportation world, Jon Held, at Held Transportation and all of the transportation team that transport our amazing kids at Kenyon-Wanamingo Schools!