December 2010 Issue
November 19, 2010

Letters: School bus safety a serious issue

Source: NYSUT United

School bus safety a serious issue

More than a million underage New Yorkers are currently riding in motor vehicles without the use of seatbelts. 

A 1987 state ruling mandated implementation of seatbelts on all school buses. Twenty-three years later, the use of these seatbelts is still not required. 

In a collision, a seat with a high, padded back offers little protection to an unbelted occupant striking it with thousands of pounds of force. In the event of a rollover, serious injuries are far more prevalent in unbelted passengers.

The use of seatbelts would reduce vandalism, horseplay, and violence on school buses.

Furthermore, school buses should be equipped with shoulder harness seatbelts and a warning device that alerts the driver of an unbuckled passenger. This technology is standard in our new cars.

It's a disgrace to witness the safety of our youth on school buses taking a back seat.

Ed Komperda | Greene

Not the whole truth

I shed more than a few tears for the kids who weren't "winners" in the school lotteries filmed in Waiting For Superman, but I was even more saddened that the film did not leave me optimistic about any miraculous transformation of America's schools. 

I know that despite the 15-hour days I worked to transform myself from a terrible (1965-70) teacher to a terrific (1970-2003) teacher, my classes always included some students who, despite my best efforts, just wouldn't listen, follow directions, do their homework, etc. 

Even when one of my 1991 students (Lauren) and her family ("the creative Capewell clan") took it upon themselves (when my class won tickets to a baseball game and I suggested that someone make a "Let's Go Mets" banner to take to the ballpark with us) to transform my likeness into "Superman" (photos available upon request) and I subsequently used their banner to try to inspire all of my students to make themselves into "SUPER Students," not all of them were willing to put in the necessary time and effort.

So I know that blaming all the problems of America's schools solely on teachers and their unions is NOT "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."

And I'm sorry if that's "An Inconvenient Truth" for Waiting For Superman director Davis Guggenheim to hear.

Richard Siegelman | Plainview