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Bus Behavior Rules

The district’s school bus behavior rules and expectations outline a code of conduct that ensures all students are safely transported. The school bus is an extension of school itself, and expectations regarding behavior should be clearly communicated. Families are encouraged to regularly review bus behavior rules and expectations listed below with students to limit potential discipline issues.  

Violations of district rules (bus and/or school) committed as a passenger or at a district bus stop may result in loss of bus riding privileges and other more severe disciplinary measures as determined by the responsible authorities. The bus driver is responsible for the safety and discipline of students on the bus. The transportation team, building principal and/or school security are available to assist when a situation is beyond the control of the driver. Suspension of bus riding privileges applies to all buses unless otherwise designated by Transportation Administration. At the discretion of the bus driver, student(s) may be given an assigned seat.

These bus rules have been established for all students to follow to ensure a safe ride to and from school for all students and staff. 

Prior to Loading the Bus:

1. Students and or parents are responsible for getting to the designated bus stop 5 minutes prior to the posted stop time. The driver cannot be expected to wait.

2. Parents are responsible for their student's behavior prior to loading the bus.

3. Students should stay at least ten feet away from the roadway while waiting for the bus and at least ten feet away from the moving bus and wait until the bus stops before approaching it.

4. Prior to loading/unloading no pushing and shoving to get on the bus.

5. Students will only be picked up at designated stops.

While on the Bus: 

  • Respect the bus driver and other students
  • Obey the bus driver’s instructions/directions the first time given.
  • Keep hands and feet off other people and their property
  • Always stay seated while the bus is in motion.
  • Driver can assign seat at any time for any reason.
  • No food or drink should be consumed while on the bus.
  • Speak only to those around you in conversational (inside) voices using respectful words.
  • Communicate any problems or conflicts to the bus driver before exiting the bus.

After Leaving the Bus:

  • If a student must cross the road after leaving the bus, the student/students shall wait for the driver's signal and then cross in front of the bus.
  • If a student lives on the side of the road on which the bus stops, the student/students shall move away from the bus immediately after getting off.
  • Students will be dropped off only at designated bus stops unless they provide a bus pass from the school office to get off or go home with a student at another location. Students will only be admitted to the bus if there is space on that specific run.


Cell phones and computer use and the bus:

  • Cell phones may only be used for emergency purposes.
  • Cell phones must be placed on vibrate and may not be visible while on the school bus.
  • Students may not use cell phones for social reasons.
  • Cell phones should not be used to take selfies, pictures of other students and/or the bus driver for any reason. Using a cell phone for taking pictures of others without their permission is illegal and will be considered inappropriate use of the cell phone, which may result in disciplinary action.
  • Parents/students will assume all responsibility for loss of the phone and will be responsible for its safe keeping. 

Students may only use their cell phones on sports/activity trips in two situations:

  • To call a parent for a ride
  • In a medical emergency


Electronic devices such as iPods, iPads, music devices, Gaming devices, computers, etc. should not be brought on the bus or used on the bus. These items could be lost, damaged, stolen, or become a distraction to the bus driver and other students. The Puyallup School District and/or The Puyallup School District Transportation Department are not responsible for any electronic device or cell phone that is brought on the bus and ends up lost, damaged, or stolen.


With student safety as our number one priority, Puyallup School District has established guidelines for transporting musical instruments. 

In accordance with Washington Administrative Code (WAC 392-145-021-(3), heavy, sharp, bulky, and/or other articles which may be hazardous in the event of an accident, or an emergency stop shall not be transported unsecured in the passenger area of any school bus. Specific attention is directed to items such as . . . large musical instruments.

All musical instruments transported in the passenger area on a school bus must be positioned in such a way that they do not block or obstruct in any way the aisle, stairwell, or emergency exits.

To provide a clear understanding we offer the following list to show authorized and unauthorized musical instruments. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Transportation Office at (253) 841-8627.

Unauthorized Musical Instruments

  • Tubas, Euphoniums, Sousaphones
  • Large Drums
  • String Basses
  • Baritone Horns
  • Baritone Saxes
  • Full-sized Cellos

Authorized Instruments

  • Guitars 
  • Trombones
  • Bass Guitars                                    
  • Bass Clarinets
  • Less than full-sized Cellos              
  • Snare Drums
  • Cellos in soft cases                          
  • Flutes
  • Violins/Violas                                  
  • Oboes
  • French Horns                                   
  • Clarinets
  • Tenor Saxes                                    
  •  Alto Saxes
  • Trombones                                       
  • Trumpets

Keep in mind that emergency exits cannot be blocked, spacing between seats on buses range from 7” to 12”, and that instruments must either fit on the student’s lap or within the leg space between each seat.

Careful attention to these procedures will ensure safe transportation for students and their musical instruments.

Students are cautioned that failure to abide by these procedures may cause the forfeiture of the privilege to transport their musical instruments on a school bus.


Video Cameras

All buses have been equipped to videotape for the primary purpose of preventing disciplinary problems and vandalism on the bus. Access to and use of videotapes from buses shall be limited. Only the transportation director, bus drivers, principals, police, and the District Administrator shall be authorized to view the videotape for the purpose of documenting a problem and determining which student(s) may be involved. Disciplinary action may be taken with students based on video documentation. The School Transportation Liaison will view all bus videos for investigation purposes. The Transportation Liaison may ask School administrators to view segments of a specific tape to help in identifying students. If a parent/guardian wishes to review a bus video, please contact our Transportation Department via email (put video request and the bus number in the subject line)

Please include the following information:

  • Student Name
  • Bus Route Number
  • Driver Name
  • Concern
  • Date and time of incident
  • Your name and phone number

Co-Curricular Trips
(Athletics, Music, Field Trips, etc.)
Although the bus driver is responsible for the safety of all who ride the bus, an adult chaperone (school staff or parent) will always be on board during co-curricular trips. The school or parent chaperone is responsible for the management of the students on the bus, student attendance counts, and follow-up with parents and/or administrators concerning student behavior problems. Chaperones should check with the driver for driver expectations regarding noise level and student behavior. Students are expected to follow all school and bus rules and expectations when on co-curricular trips.

Issues on the bus:

If your child has an issue on the bus, please go to our Transportation website and complete the following steps:

  • Click the forms tab
  • Click the report a school bus incident tab
  • Click the Bus incident report link and report the incident.

 Someone will respond to you within 48 hours of receipt of your report.