AP NEWS

New State Representative Visits Riverside Elementary In First Public Appearance Since Election

April 1, 2019

TAYLOR — Riverside first grader Rylie Secor and her classmates gathered Monday to advocate for seat belts in school buses during a visit today from state representative-elect Bridget Malloy Kosierowski.

Rylie was thrown from her school bus seat in December after the bus hit a curb. She bounced out of the seat and hit her face on a metal rail inside of the bus, her mother Melanie Secor said. The incident left Rylie, 6, with two black eyes, which have since healed.

Surrounded by her peers and flanked by her two sisters and her mother, Rylie showed Kosierowski photos of her once-bruised face. Kosierowski, D-114, Waverly Twp., listened as Riley told the new state representative about the accident. Other students in Shannon Malamud’s class also read letters to her.

Brayson Stecik wants Rylie to “not get injured anymore.” Carsyn Refice said without seat belts on buses, kids could hurt their heads or break bones. Casey McKeefery noted that other states have laws that require seat belts on buses.

“I was a nurse for 26 years, so I don’t like to see little kids get hurt,” said Kosierowski, whose appearance Monday was her first public since she won a special election last month. The former Northeast Surgery Center nurse will officially be sworn into office on Monday.

Kosierowski told the class she was there to listen and learn about the student’s concerns.

“Being safe on the school bus is something I’d like to help you with,” she said.

Kosierowski, who was elected to fill the seat of the late Sid Michaels Kavulich who died in October, also shared a moment with her predecessor’s daughter, Loni Loiselle, a teacher’s aide for the class.

Riverside Superintendent Paul Brennan added that they were also teaching the students about taking action on Monday.

“We’re really for rallying behind our students,” he said.

Kosierowski asked Rylie if she thinks she would have fallen if she was wearing a seat belt.

“No,” Rylie said.

Rylie then handed Kosierowski a letter she wrote to Brennan after the accident.

“I’m going to put this on my wall to remind me what I’m doing,” Kosierowski said.

Contact the writer: kbolus@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100 x5114; @kbolusTT on Twitter