Puetz stresses safety in school buses, football

Former NFL player runs Forsyth school buses

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CUMMING, Ga. – Garry Puetz, director of transportation for Forsyth County Schools, has led an interesting career.

Puetz was the guest speaker at the Cumming chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America’s June 2 meeting at Golden Corral in Cumming.

The school district has 330 bus drivers who transport 25,000 children to school and back safely every day of the school year, he said.

Puetz’s first career was not in the school yard, but on the football field. Puetz played in the National Football League for 10 years, where he was an offensive lineman for the New York Jets and the Washington Redskins.

He then worked with the coaching staff for the Atlanta Falcons before joining Forsyth Schools to run its bus system.

School bus driving is a “noble profession,” Puetz said, one that takes talent, patience and a true love for children.

Puetz said his daily focus is the safety of the children and drivers.

Asked for his take on the recently reported concerns among NFL players about concussions, the former lineman said football is a rough game and a significant number of players are affected.

That’s one reason he believes children under 13 years old should not play football and why he wouldn’t allow his own boys to play when they were young.

Puetz said the NFL is working with youth football coaches, parents and players to demonstrate ways to tackle and block without using their head as a weapon.

He thinks better equipment designs will ultimately help reduce injuries.

FH 06-18-14