Wise HS

Inside PGCPS

In Loco Parentis: The Role of School Bus Attendants

In Loco Parentis: The Role of School Bus Attendants

  • Inside PGCPS |
  • Team PGCPS |
  • October 25, 2018

School bus attendant Linda Charles-Lynch helps students on and off of the bus and determines how best to seat students for a safe trip.

But she is more than an aide.

Less visible than drivers, school bus attendants play a critical role as a driver’s assistant, responsible for students with special needs, disabilities or emotional issues.

Linda acts in loco parentis daily — making it a priority to offer students who may be in distress exactly what they need in that moment, whether assistance buckling in, a word of encouragement to keep them calm or a smile.

It’s not always easy.

As excited as Linda was to begin working with students nearly a decade ago, after her first day she admits feeling the trip was a “nightmare” and questioning her new assignment.

By week two, she says she was ready for the kids. The most important skill: learning how to love, nurture and speak to students in a kind voice.

Today, Linda is still on the bus and on a mission of safety and compassion.

“You’d be surprised how a kind word can stop a child about to act out,” she said. “As a grandmother I’m pretty good at discerning what kids need. Your mom may not be here, but I’ll be your mom this morning. Many times, hurt and problems start at home. So part of my job is to say a kind word and let them know someone cares.”

For School Bus Safety Week, we are recognizing the PGCPS transportation team for the role they play in student safety and in our community.