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Why are school buses such Soft Targets and Crowded Places (ST-CP), especially when you consider that most schools today aren’t?
It’s beyond time that we hardened our school buses and one way to do it, at least from domestic threats, is to federally protect them.
Doing any of the following on or to a school bus on public or private property anywhere in the United States should be a federal offense with a high mandatory minimum prison sentence if convicted:
- To intentionally block passage or otherwise cause a school bus to stop by any means or to intentionally prevent by obstruction or other means the ability of a school bus to move forward or backward from a parked or stopped position.
- To board a school bus without authorization from the school bus driver or to attempt to board or explicitly threaten to board a school bus.
- To fail to obey verbal orders issued by a school bus driver pertaining to the safety and security of a school bus and its occupants except for students lacking criminal intent.
- To attack or attempt to attack a school bus from afar, proximity, or from within or from any position by any means with or without any weapon or weapons or to explicitly threaten to do so.
- To molest or attempt to molest a school bus in any manner that places its occupants reasonably in fear of imminent bodily injury.
- To enter or attempt to enter a school bus with illegal contraband or “deadly weapons per se” which are defined as weapons that by themselves are likely to cause injury or death, such as a firearm, regardless of the user’s intent.
- To enter, or attempt to enter, knowing you’re not licensed or privileged to do so, a school department or district transportation facility, also known as a school bus barn and school bus garage, where school buses are housed and maintained.
- To tamper or attempt to tamper with an attended or unattended school bus including its electrical, electronic, and mechanical systems.
- To place, or cause to be placed, on an attended or unattended school bus, any foreign device or devices, defined as anything not factory installed by the school bus manufacture, in or on a school bus, or in proximity of a school bus, without written authorization from the school bus lessee or registered owner of the school bus.
While the federal law should be for any school bus anytime at the very least the applicable parts should pertain to when public or private school students are on board school buses.
Some naysayers will say that such a federal law is too much. Nonsense. We’ve enacted lots of federal laws over the past decades with high mandatory minimum prison sentences for offenses involving drugs, firearms, and explosives. Heck, it’s a federal offense to steal postal mail—some of which is probably nothing but junk mail. Don’t our children deserve the same level of federal protection as junk mail?