Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Freddie A. Banks, Jr.


The purpose of this study was to research the scope and degree to which school bus discipline was a problem for school districts in the Illinois Educational Service Center #11, and to determine if there were any consistencies in the school policies, procedures and behavioral management plans used by these districts. Since there has been little written research regarding the issue, this study was a method of providing data regarding bus discipline, and synthesizing this data to compile a school bus resource manual for school personnel.

Data were collected from 28 school districts representing 177 administrators, special education coordinators and/or transportation directors in the ESC #11 service region. A survey instrument was developed by the researcher to seek information regarding demographics, most common bus discipline problems; most common and effective bus disciplinary methods; differing methods, if appropriate, for special education students; types of district policies and behavior management training for bus drivers.

Evaluation of the data revealed that a majority of the districts did have a written policy on hand; however, there were inconsistencies among these districts on procedures for bus disciplinary referrals. The most common discipline problems for bus drivers were: 1) Out of Seat Behavior, 2) General Disruption, 3) Foul Language, 4) Throwing Things, and 5) Physical Behaviors. The least common disciplinary problem was Smoking/Drinking on the bus. The data also revealed that the significant difference between the disciplinary treatment of regular education students and special education students was predominantly in the area of expulsions. Special education students did not fall under the auspices of expulsion; however, other disciplinary methods were used more frequently such as reward systems and both forms of bus monitors (people and cameras). The least effective disciplinary methods for special education students were: 1) Bus Expulsions, 2) Parent Riding the Bus, 3) Assigned Seats, and 4) Buddy Systems. The review of literature and policy analysis revealed that although the majority of disciplinary referrals were initiated by the bus driver, there is still some controversy regarding the bus driver's role in behavior management. There are some districts in which the bus driver has no role except for reporting the problem to the building principal. Finally, survey data revealed that there is little being done in the form of staff development training for bus drivers. This was another area of concern supported by the review of literature in this study.

This study supported the researcher's opinion that there existed a need to continue research in the area of bus discipline with further emphasis being focused on staff development for bus drivers, and the use of video cameras to control behavior on school buses.