Beachwood 3rd graders successfully lobby for seat belts in school buses

Updated: Dec. 17, 2018 at 10:28 PM EST
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BEACHWOOD, OH (WOIO) - You’ll have to excuse a group of third graders in the Beachwood school district if they don’t believe it is all that difficult to manage the land mines of the political process.

The students in Vicki Challenger’s social studies class came up with the idea that, for safety reasons, district school buses needed seat belts.

The budding politicians took their case to city council and in the end an ordinance was passed that earmarks $250,000 to pay for seat belts in every new bus the district purchases.

“They worked really hard as we learned about the three branches of government,” Challenger said.

She added, "They came up with the idea to make Beachwood safer, council members came and visited all my classes and now I am very excited and proud.”

Seat belts in school buses has been a bit of a controversial issue for years.

Now, however, the National Transportation Safety Board and the American Medical Association are among those who recommend that seat belts should be used in school buses.

Beachwood councilman James Pasch was instrumental in helping the third graders work to get the ordinance passed.

Pasch broke his back and his neck when the school bus he was riding in rolled over when he was a young student in New Jersey.

“The schools in Beachwood have always met the highest safety standard, this is going above and beyond that standard,” Pasch said.

After the ordinance was passed, during a regular city council meeting, the successful third grade lobbyists who were at the meeting were treated to an ice cream party.

Win-win for them.

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