Using the recently completed digital school bus drivers training kit, supplied through Busing on the Lookout (BOTL), Tennessee has finished training all school bus drivers and daycare front-line workers statewide.

“The addition of the School Bus Drivers on the Lookout for Human Trafficking training has been a great experience,” said Tennessee Highway Patrol Lieutenant Ray Robinson, director of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement/Pupil Transportation. “This course has empowered almost 15,000 school bus and daycare front-line workers to help Tennessee’s most valuable resource at what could be their most vulnerable time. The course had excellent reviews throughout Tennessee. The most telling of all reviews are the school districts who have made this training part of their local curriculum.”

Tennessee will continue using the training as a part of their curriculum during the 2020-21 school year. Kentucky has set a goal of training 14,000 pupil transportation staff, including directors of transportation, driver trainers, and inspectors, statewide by the end of the summer. So far, approximately 10 percent have reported training completion. Many districts are still in the process of training, while schools are opening a bit later than normal this year.

Elisa Hanley, branch manager of Pupil Transportation at the Kentucky Department of Education, commented, "This training is important, because our drivers are the first people to see these students in the morning and the last to see them in the afternoon. Unlike many of the school staff, bus drivers know the living conditions of so many students. They know when something doesn’t look right, and they know who belongs at the bus stops. As mandated reporters for the state, it’s important for them to know and understand what to look for. Human trafficking is happening in our state, just like every other state in the nation. These drivers may see something and may just save a life in a way they never thought of."