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FM Schools Update Bus Policy

The Fort Madison School Board has simplified and modernized the district’s discipline policy while students are on school buses after several months of discussion.

The new policy fits neatly on one page.  It lists five violations for which students can be punished.

The list includes disruptive behavior, vandalism, or bringing food or drinks on a school bus.

The previous policy (711.2 - R - 3) spanned four pages.  It listed and categorized every possible offense a student could do, such as spitting, bringing shaving cream, or using profanity.

The new policy does allow students to now use electronic devices, such as cell phones, laptop computers or music players, while riding on a school bus.

Superintendent Ken Marang says there is a catch as students must use the devices in an acceptable manner.

"So if you are there taking pictures of some kids and putting them on the internet," says Marang, "that is not going to fly.  If you are there standing up in the bus, showing people pictures on your phone or whatever, no, you have to sit down and face forward."

Marang says the school board can re-examine the policy if problems arise, but he does not anticipate that occurring.

The penalties for students misbehaving on a school bus have also been simplified.

They now range from a warning for a 1st offense to the loss of bus privileges for the 4th offense. 

Fighting on a school bus will lead to minimum 30 day loss of bus privileges.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.