HONOLULU – As many schools across the nation observe National School Bus Safety Week (Oct. 16-20), this year's event is extra special for former Kapolei Middle School student, Branden Pagurayan, whose drawing is featured on the 2017 National School Bus Safety Week poster.
"We're so proud of Branden on being selected as the national winner," said his former eighth grade art teacher, Mr. Daryle Mishina. "It's a wonderful honor for him to be chosen from among the entries received nationwide and to have his drawing displayed during this important annual event."
This year's theme is "#STOP ON RED!" In Branden's artwork, the hashtag is used to depict the extreme importance of drivers stopping for a school bus when loading or unloading students.
"Branden's poster is a perfect reminder for all drivers to stop when school buses have their red lights flashing and to be aware that students may be crossing the street," said Kapolei Middle Principal Richard Fajardo. "We need our motorists to help keep our children safe and to always obey the law and drive with extra caution around schools and school buses."
Branden, who currently attends Kapolei High School, was an eighth-grader at the time when he entered the poster contest. This is the second consecutive year Kapolei Middle School has a national winner. Melia LaFleur's drawing was featured on the 2016 National School Bus Safety Week poster.
As part of National School Bus Safety Week, the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) is encouraging the importance of school bus safety in our neighborhoods with the help of parents, students, teachers, motorists, school bus operators and community members.
Hawaii State Law requires vehicles to come to a stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red signals flashing. All traffic traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop when the red signals are flashing, regardless of the number of lanes, and cannot proceed until the flashing signals are turned off. All traffic in the opposite direction must also stop in these conditions, regardless of the number of lanes, unless the road is divided by a median, barrier or space not intended for vehicles.
For more information on National School Bus Safety Week and school bus safety tips, please visit the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT)