About 60 bus drivers from around the state took part in an anti-bullying training on Thursday morning.
Hartford Healthcare offered the training to hundreds of drivers through the month. It included recognizing the signs of bullying and how to handle it before a situation gets out of hand.
Drivers said while they're eager to learn and implement some new practices, good behavior begins at home.
“Being a parent, I think it's your duty to help every child, not just your own, go through this tough world that we're living in right now,” bus driver Kelly Greaves said. “Like I said it starts at home, but it's a community effort."
Greaves said for years she has taken the training but sadly, she said the bullying has reached a new height.
"I have kids on my bus who don't want to go to school sometimes. Who are always complaining about someone's teasing them, someone's poking them, someone's pushing them," she said.
Hundreds have already completed the training, which is a chance for them to share the challenges of their job.
"You're always aware of the situations that are going on because not only are you driving the bus and watching out for traffic and everything else, but you're also paying attention to everything that's going on behind you. You can hear it," said Jeff Whelan, who is also a bus driver.
Experts said tackling the issue of bullying begins at home with the support of parents.
"The bus driver has them for a very short time, and it all stems from what starts at home, what continues on the bus, what continues in school," said Sheryl Sprague, of the Rushford Center.
The training also updated drivers on the state's anti-bullying law.
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