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Charles "Chuck" Poland, Jr., Act Signed Into Law

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05-31-2013 (MONTGOMERY) - A person who stops or delays a school bus in an unauthorized manner could face jail time under a new law named in memory of the Midland City bus driver who died while protecting the children he transported to and from school each day.

The Charles “Chuck” Poland Jr., Act, passed recently by the Alabama Legislature and signed into law by Governor Robert Bentley, now makes it a Class “A” misdemeanor to trespass on a school bus. Such offenses include a punishment of up to a year in jail.  Poland was fatally shot on January 29, 2013, when a gunman boarded his bus and Poland refused his demand to hand over two children. Due to Poland’s heroic actions, all but one student escaped. The gunman took that child to an underground bunker, from which he was rescued unharmed after a six-day standoff.

Alabama Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, and State Rep. Alan Baker, R-Brewton, were instrumental in introducing the bills that led to the legislation. Alabama State Department of Education Pupil Transportation Director Joe Lightsey commended the lawmakers for their hard work on behalf of the state’s students and drivers, noting that unauthorized entry on Alabama school buses has increased dramatically in recent years.

See more on this new law at the Alabama State Department of Education website.

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