The Cyr Foundation for Excellence in School Transportation is proud to announce the unveiling of a new educational program that will increase the awareness of and sensitivity of school bus drivers, attendants and monitors to gender-related issues on their school buses.

Designed for the Cyr Foundation by the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute (PTSI) of Syracuse, NY, and sponsored by the Utica National Insurance Group, the course will offer drivers and monitors with an understanding of the laws governing bullying and discrimination of students who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered or questioning their gender.

The program also explores the social trends in this arena in a way that applies to school bus management, and helps the attendees to develop their skills in creating a positive environment for all students who ride their school buses.

The program includes data about LGBTQ students, bullying trends and patterns, violence toward and personal injuries of these students and more. Importantly, it provides participants with practical approaches to gender-related bullying and an awareness of their roles as leaders and supporters on the school bus.

Gender-related bullying has increased in recent years and students who are victims of bullying have been known to avoid school entirely or the school bus ride specifically. The Cyr Foundation believes that it’s critical that drivers, attendants and monitors be provided with professionally valuable information on key social and educational trends. School bus drivers are the first personal contact that students have with their schools and they need to be prepared and ready to greet their riders and to be supportive of them so they are ‘ready to learn’ when the bus pulls into the schoolyard.

“We are so happy to bring this new program to school bus professionals in the state and proud that this effort will help each of them to create a safe place for all children who ride our yellow school buses,” noted JoAnn Martin, Tuxedo UFSD, and past president of the Foundation.

Cyr Foundation Executive Director, Peter Mannella, said that “school bus drivers and monitors are vital to the safety of our children and ensuring that they are prepared to address and support all students who ride their school bus is vital to their effectiveness in the drivers’ seat.”

Peter Mannella;