School Bus Safety

As many residents and parents are no doubt aware, there was a horrific bus crash that occurred on May 17th involving students at Paramus’ East Brook Middle School, on their way to a class trip.

On Tuesday, it came to light that

“The bus driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Paterson, has had his license suspended 14 times since he began driving in 1975, said Mairin Bellack, a commission spokesperson. Muldrow has eight speeding tickets on his record, as well as one careless driving ticket and a summons for unsafe operation of a motor vehicle, from 2003, Bellack said.”
Source: Bergen Record

Yesterday, it was announced that the driver has been “charged with two counts of death-by-auto, also known as vehicular homicide, for allegedly driving recklessly and causing the deaths of bus passengers Miranda Vargas, 10, and Paramus social studies teacher Jennifer Williamson Kennedy, 51.”

As a resident, a father, and your soon-to-be representative, this is the kind of thing that shook me to the core. Many times, we discover after the fact, that there are warning signs, but no one knew to look for them.  Today, we know there was a problem in Paramus.  Are our procedures different?

I reached out to the Teaneck Board of Education and asked about the procedures we have in place to ensure that a driver with a record of suspensions, would not be entrusted with our children in Teaneck.

I will update this post with information from as it comes in.


This is an email that was sent by Acting Superintendent of Schools Vincent McHale on Friday May 18th:

Dear Parents,
I am writing this letter in response to the Paramus school bus accident that took place yesterday.  The Teaneck Public Schools community shares the grief of those in Paramus affected by the school bus tragedy.
I want to assure the Teaneck community that the safety and well-being of our students and staff is our highest priority.  Today, Fayth Petrucci, Transportation Coordinator, communicated with our three bus companies to ensure that the safety measures we expect are in place.  The following procedures are in place as safety measures for our students and staff who are transported by school bus:
  • All drivers have background checks prior to employment;
  • Motor Vehicle Driving Record of each driver is checked every six months;
  • Regularly scheduled driver training is provided by each of the three bus companies;
  • Two hour training for bus drivers is provided by the bus companies’ insurance provider;
  • Bus company managers frequently ride with drivers to monitor the drivers’ safety practices;
  • The bus companies log and address all reports pertaining to safe driving issues;
  • An Active Safety Committee reviews the bus companies’ policies, manuals, concerns and accidents.
Yesterday’s bus accident, with two fatalities, may be concerning to children who hear about it on the news.  I ask that you let your child’s teacher, counselor or principal know if your child is expressing any concerns regarding the bus accident.  I am including the following resource that may help you in supporting your child through this tragedy, especially if he/she is having fear about riding on the school bus:  The Child Mind Institute –
Let us keep the Paramus students, families and staff in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Vincent McHale
Acting Superintendent of Schools