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School officials remind bus drivers of safety following shooting, standoff

Published 1:30pm Friday, February 1, 2013

Hartselle school officials have sent reminders of all bus drivers in the system about school bus safety following the Midland City school bus shooting, which left the bus driver dead and a student involved in an ongoing standoff.

School Superintendent Dr. Mike Reed said he sent a bulletin to all school bus drivers and transportation officials reminding them of the safety procedures regarding intruders on school buses.

“Any person who attempts to get on a bus other than the students and bus driver are trespassing,” Reed said. “Bus drivers are instructed not to allow anyone to get on the bus. If they do attempt to get on a bus, we could press charges.”

In the community outside of Dothan, Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old retired truck driver, is accused of kidnapping the boy from a school bus Tuesday and killing the driver who tried to protect the 21 students aboard.

The suspect locked himself and the boy inside an underground shelter for the past three days.

Reed said he is not aware of any incidents with trespassers trying to board a school bus in the school district’s history. However, he said bus drivers are trained to deal with this situation.

“It’s part of their school bus driver training,” Reed said. “We also have a school-owned cell phone on each of the bus so that the driver can contact us or the police if something happens on the school bus.”

Reed said he won’t speculate on the specifics of what happened until the standoff has ended.

“Right now, our thoughts and prayers are with the child, his family and the family of the bus driver,” Reed said. “We are hoping and praying for the safe return of the child as soon as possible.”

 

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