By Dan Hust
LAKE HUNTINGTON April 10, 2007 The Sullivan West Central School District is just a few weeks away from completing a comprehensive set of rules for student drivers.
With several teenage driving deaths in and around the district over the past two years still fresh in people’s minds, a community committee formed by Supt. Alan Derry has laid the groundwork for the new policies.
“Unfortunately, our committee members were all too cognizant of the fact that there are no panaceas or ‘magic wands’ in resolving such concerns thereby providing foolproof remedies,” wrote Derry to the board.
The idea is to educate kids AND parents about the dangers of driving and effective solutions to it.
Though still to be fleshed out further, following are Derry’s plans for the coming school year (culled from discussions at the committee meetings):
• “Driving to school will be a senior privilege. Juniors who have successfully completed an approved driver education [program] may also drive.”
• “No one will be allowed to transport other students to or from school or practice. The only exception to this will be a sibling to a senior student.”
• “In that this is a school privilege, student drivers may not appear on the AIM’s [Academic Intervention] list or encounter disciplinary issues in school. If so, the driving privilege will be temporarily revoked.”
• “We strongly recommend parental seminars about teen driving before this privilege ensues. We are investigating resources herein at the present time.”
• “We are in the process of gathering local school policies about driving practices and will revise our own policies according to ‘best practices.’ We are also investigating a countywide approach to such parameters.”
• “It goes without saying that any reports of reckless or foolish driving will generate harsh restrictions.”
Committee members include Debbie Owen, Dorothy VanLoon, Greg Brewer, Jeanne Leewe, Karry Johnston, Margaret Tenbus, Nancy Ference, Rich Sandler and William Smith III.