Officials at the Battle Ground School District recently sent out a letter to students’ parents warning them of an unauthorized school bus that has reportedly been offering rides to children in the area.
According to news reports, parents of BGSD students received a letter from district officials Monday night warning that they had received reports of a school bus offering rides to students. The problem is, according to officials, that the school bus is not affiliated with the district or the transportation company the district has hired to transport students to and from school.
An excerpt from the letter, according to KPTV in Portland:
"Hello parents and families of battle ground public schools,
"An unauthorized school bus has been reported to be offering children a ride in our district. As per our policy, we do not ask children if they need a ride, and we only transport students to designated locations at designated times. Battle Ground Public Schools contracts busing services with Cascade Student Transportation. We have contacted local law enforcement for further investigation."
School Bus Riders Better Safe than Sorry
While claims of the unauthorized school bus have not been officially verified by the district, NBC affiliate KGW in nearby Portland reported that the news came to light after a parent posted on Facebook that a bus had pulled up and offered a ride to two grade-school students.
According to district Superintendent Mark Hottowe, the students were smart enough to decline the ride from the unauthorized bus driver, who has not yet been identified. The bus reportedly drove away from the scene as a concerned parent walked towards the vehicle.
Hottowe added that parents should remind their children of the dangers of strangers approaching them, particularly in vehicles. He also said that it’s important for students to be aware that official district buses will always have “Battle Ground Public Schools” or “Cascade Student Transportation” printed on the side of the vehicle with a route number, and that buses are only allowed to pick up students at designated stops.
Any child who is approached by a suspicious bus driver or other vehicle should report the incident to Cascade Student Transportation at 360-687-7173 ext. 10, the Battle Ground School District transportation office at 360-885-6577, or the local police at 911.