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Bus drivers to take part in survey

April 25, 2012
By KATE EVERLY - For The Weirton Daily Times ( , Weirton Daily Times

NEW CUMBERLAND - The State of West Virginia has asked that all school bus drivers participate in a survey, counting every vehicle that drives through the buses' stop sign and red lights that signal traffic to stop for children boarding and getting off of the bus.

According to Hancock County Superintendent Suzan Smith, the problem of vehicles speeding through these stop signs and lights is becoming a more widespread issue.

"This is happening much more often," said Smith at Monday's Hancock County Board of Education meeting.

The first survey will be conducted today and the second on May 9. Smith invited local law enforcement to ride along on the buses those days to witness the act and aid in the survey.

In other safety issues, Smith said West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin had visited Weir High School Monday to speak to students about his anti-texting while driving law which will become effective on July 1. After that date, texting while driving will become a crime.

According to Smith, Tomblin was very well received by the students.

Also Monday, Weir High freshman Jakob Hartley approached the board with the concern over the fate of the school's planetarium.

Hartley said students had heard a rumor that when renovations take place to the school's science labs the planetarium will be removed. Hartley presented the board with a petition with the signatures of more than 300 students in support of keeping the planetarium.

Smith said because the renovations being planned for the school are currently in the design phase, she could not say for certain what the fate of the planetarium would be, but her impression is the planetarium will not be touched.

In other business, Smith introduced the board to this year's theme for Let's Move! West Virginia which encourages students and staff in West Virginia schools to get the recommended amount of exercise. This year's theme is "Let's Move-A-Palooza" and will take place May 1 to May 4, with May 2 being Let's Move! West Virginia Day.

On May 2 at 10 a.m. school's are encouraged to participate in either the Statewide Cha, Cha Slide or the All Children Exercise Simultaneously (ACES).

According to West Virginia State Superintendent Jorea Marple, "Research shows that quality physical education programs can contribute to students' regular participation in physical activity and can increase moderate to vigorous physical activity. The challenge is to help students identify a sport or activity they can enjoy as much as watching television or playing computer games."

The next regular meeting of the Hancock County Board of Education is May 14 at 6 p.m.

(Everly can be contacted at

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