Midland City, AL - It's been one week since Charles Poland gave his life to protect the students on his bus in Dale County.
On their first day back to school, many parents at Midland City Elementary opted to drive their children to school.
"I'm a little nervous about it now, but I think if I give it a couple of weeks things will die down," said Susie Davis.
In the meantime, the Alabama Department of Education Transportation Director, Joe Lightsey, says they are doing what they can to protect these students.
"Mr. Bynum, Mr. Parker and people here at the school have thought about that for days. They had a plan in place this morning to work with all the students, not just the ones on that bus," said Lightsey.
Part of that plan was having a strong presence of police officers at the school. Also, Pastor Charles Littlefield had a seat with students who rode Poland's bus.
"They were familiar with him. They knew him. They knew that he knew Chuck Poland. That encouraged them and made them felt better, certainly this morning," said Lightsey.
Going forward, Lightsey says drivers and students will continue to receive training.
"While it's probably impossible to train for some kind of mad man situation like this, they have had training that would help them address the situation." said Lightsey.
Training that Charles Poland put into action while saving dozens of students a week ago.
"Would everybody do that? I don't know, but this man he stood fast. He didn't flinch. He did what he had to do to save lives," said Midland City Elementary Principal Phillip Parker.
That sacrifice has a school, community, and nation calling him the ultimate hero.
More than a handful of students weren't on that bus this morning because they still can't return to their homes. We've also learned Poland's bus and number will be retired.
The Alabama Senate began its 2013 session by passing a resolution memorializing Poland. They voted unanimously for the resolution Tuesday morning.