Montgomery County, TN – On July 26st, 2022 about 250 school bus drivers with the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System (CMCSS) Transportation took on the role of student as the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) held a class on methods and techniques to de-escalate disruptive or potentially dangers situations.
The class topics included when a bus driver or bus aid may have a duty to intervene, developing specific techniques to intervene and de-escalate high-risk situations, and exploring specific ways of communication to ensure personal safety while enhancing professionalism and performance.
“I think the major takeaway from this [class] is they know they have support for when something happens on the bus that we got teams like you guys out there that’s going to help us. Because for them (bus drivers and aids) there by themselves with sixty students on the bus so when something breaks out, knowing that [law enforcement] is there for them is a going to be a big help,” said Elizabeth Kong, Assistant Transportation Manager CMCSS.
The class closed with a segment on Verbal Judo, which is the skill of using methods of persuasion to obtain an objective or desired outcome. Lt. Robert Boone, MCSO Director of Training, explained to the attendees, “When engaged in an interaction with someone who is upset, you should respond to people, never react to people.”
“We are proud to continue our strong partnership with CMCSS, including providing training and education wherever possible. Bus drivers and their aides work tirelessly to keep all children under their care safe to and from school. They continue to show up and make a difference and so will my staff. Classes like this one on de-escalation should equip and empower drivers and aides with the right tools if things turn sideways and the need arises to de-escalate for the safety of everyone involved on that bus,” said Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson.