Owen H. Johnson

February 07, 2012

    The New York State Senate today passed a bill that would ban certain criminal offenders from working on school buses (S.6157A). The bill, sponsored by Senator John Bonacic, prohibits people who are convicted of offenses, such as sex and drug crimes, from being school bus monitors.

    The bill also bans anyone convicted under Leandra’s Law from being a school bus driver for five years after conviction. Leandra’s Law makes it a felony to drive drunk with others in the car who are under 16 years old.
    “In an effort to better protect our school children, my colleagues and I have introduced a variety of legislation addressing school bus personnel,” said Senator Bonacic. “Under current law, a person convicted of Leandra’s law, could conceivably drive a school bus six months after that conviction, which is completely inappropriate. An individual who is irresponsible enough to drive while intoxicated, let alone with a child in the car, is not an ideal candidate to drive or supervise children on a school bus. Again, government has a moral obligation to provide laws to keep each and every child safe.”

    Under current law, individuals convicted of certain offenses involving children, including sex offenders and those convicted of drug offenses, are disqualified for a certain period of time from being a school bus driver. This bill would hold school bus monitors, who regularly ride buses with children on board, to the same standards as school bus drivers.   

    The bill has been sent to the Assembly.