Active-shooter training for school bus drivers

A new form of training teaches Clark County school bus drivers how to react in case of an intruder, whether that’s a parent, a student or a gunman.

Greenon Local Schools hosted about 150 bus drivers on Monday from several school districts to go through the training. It was organized by Greenon Transportation On-board Instructor and bus driver Cindy Sandlin.

“The world is changing. It’s not all changing for the better,” Sandlin said. “…On a bus you can’t really run. You can’t really hide so you sometimes have to fight.”

Drivers from Greenon, Clark-Shawnee, Northeastern, Southeastern, Springfield, Yellow Springs and the Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center participated.

Explore RELATED: The Dome open house brings in Springfield community

The drivers role-played a number of scenarios. One where a student overdosed and was holding a bag of drugs. Another where a student boards a bus to start a fight with another student. And another where a student enters the bus with a gun.

“We need to train and train,” she said. “You react how you train.”

Teachers and staff in several local districts have gone through similar training, she said, but bus drivers need it too.

“Buses are on a schedule. You can usually set your watch to us,” Sandlin said. “We are very easy targets.”

Drivers should call for help as fast as possible, Enon Police Lt. Mike Holler said. He organized the training along with Sandlin.

Explore RELATED: Mentoring program launched in Springfield

“This is the first time we’ve ever done any scenarios where we put the bus drivers in those type of situations,” Holler said.

Schools are more prepared than ever for active shooters, he said, and now its drivers’ turn.

“If you’d ask me that years ago, I’d say no that’s crazy,” he said. “But now, absolutely I think everyone needs the training.”

As a driver, Sandlin said the training makes her feel more comfortable and like she has the tools to keep her students safe.

“When they’re on that bus I take care of them like I would take care of my own children and I will not let anybody hurt them,” she said. “If I can do anything at all possible to keep them safe that’s what I will do.”

Sandlin hopes to expand the training in future years.

About the Author