Houston school bus drivers demand increased security measures - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Houston school bus drivers demand increased security measures

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The two HISD bus drivers we spoke with have more than 30 years of experience together getting your children to and from school safely.

One says, "it's kind of frightening that it could happen anywhere and if it were to happen here in HISd I think my panic button would kick in and I wouldn't know what to do."

The drivers are talking about the terrible tragedy in Alabama where a bus driver was killed and a child taken hostage. It has left HISD drivers pleading for more security measures. The drivers didn't want to be identified.

Another driver says, "we need four or five extra hours of training because you never know when something like this will happen."

HISD sent FOX 26 news a statement saying they are providing additional counter-terrorism training to drivers this week. A refresher course to the training they received last year. But drivers say they want more like metal detectors on the bus and a hidden panic button.

The driver says, "our panic button is so we can alarm them to let them know we're calling for some help."

Hanan Yadin is a security consultant who grew up in Israel. At 16 he was trained to fight terrorists who could potentially enter his high school.

He says HISD should take the bus drivers seriously because there's always that potential of a crazed gunman getting on a bus.

Yadin says buses should be scanned at the beginning and end of day...drivers and students trained to identify a threat and a strong police presence at schools.

Yadin says, "training should be reviewed and se what else can be added. The more layers of security the more range of security you add around the bus and the school the better it is."

Those HISD drivers agree...while they're appreciative of the refresher course the district is offering - they want more tools including those metal detectors and panic buttons on their buses.

HISD released the following statement in response to the bus drivers' concerns:

The safety of all HISD students and bus drivers is a top priority but there are no plans to install metal detectors on HISD school buses. However all HISD bus drivers have received extensive hands-on training in counterterrorism which included a mock disaster drill on a bus involving an armed intruder and an actual overturned school bus. These drills involved staged student and adult injuries which allowed bus drivers and attendants to use their certified training in American Red Cross first aid. And finally, bus drivers received extensive training in the importance of both pre-trip and post-trip inspections looking for suspicious items.

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