ALIQUIPPA, Pa. (KDKA) — The Aliquippa School Board has implemented new safety measures after a 5-year-old boy fell out of a school bus at a busy intersection.
The incident happened last Friday when the bus was stopped at Brodhead Road and Mill Street near the CVS Pharmacy in Aliquippa.
The boy fell out of the emergency exit and was helped by a man driving behind the bus.
On Wednesday at a school board meeting, the district debuted a new bus behavior plan called “Quip Being Good.”
The district said the new behavior plan will include weekly and monthly contests between buses.
“Students will receive a card when they are monitoring appropriate behavior, listening and respecting the bus driver at all times, keeping their hands to themselves and remaining seated while the bus is in motion,” said Pete Carbone, the Aliquippa School District superintendent.
They also called on members of the community to become monitors after parents voiced their concerns following the incident.
The aide assigned to ride the bus on the day when the child fell out was absent.
“My daughter has been hit, punched, hair pulled,” Farran Giardina said. “The bus driver would have his hat pulled off, things thrown off of him while he was driving the bus.”
Jeff Smith, the man who helped the boy after he fell, said the 5-year-old told him he was pushed out.
“I noticed a boy was getting pushed out, up against the backdoor,” Smith said. “And the boy fell out and landed right on his face.”
Representatives from the bus company attended the meeting but refused an interview, only saying they’re working with the district.
According to R.J. Rhodes Transit’s website, the bus company operates more than 200 vehicles, transports about 20,000 students per day and serves multiple districts, including Aliquippa.
There is a region-wide bus driver shortage and some parents said routes have been combined.
The district will also be meeting with bus drivers on a monthly basis.