Jul 20
 “Lawmakers heard today about the need to add bus drivers to laws mandating reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect at a hearing of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. “Bus drivers see kids as they’re coming on in tears or leaving fearful of what’s going to happen to them at home and this is important that we add to statutes to make sure bus drivers are added as mandatory reporters,” said Rep. Geraldine Creedon, the sponsor of H 50 that would add bus operators or monitors to the state’s mandatory reporting law. Adam Bond, an attorney representing a bus driver in lawsuit brought against the driver’s attorney for alleged retaliation after reporting an incident, cautioned against being specific when amending the law. Bond said he would prefer to see the law adjusted to include a broader definition of a mandatory reporter, suggesting language specifying “any other person employed by or under contract with the school whose job brings them into contact with children.” He noted that H 78, filed by Rep. John Scibak, would be the appropriate vehicle to achieve this clarification. “The problem I have is that if you change the statute as proposed and simply add bus drivers, what about the cafeteria workers or crossing guards?” Bond told the committee. Speaking for his experience in his court case, Bond said arguments have been raised suggesting contracted bus drivers are not covered under the existing law because the bus is not a school facility. Bond is seeking a ruling from the courts that would categorize buses as an extension of the school, and said adjusting the language in current law to capture all contracted or direct school employees who have contact with children would not negatively impact his case.” View the article.