Surveillance upgraded to improve bus behavior: CLT Observer

School bus safety is of particular concern in the Charlotte area, along with other parts of the state. According to today’s Charlotte Observer, digital cameras will be installed on up to 200 buses this fall.

See this excerpt:

CMS has been pushing to improve discipline, and for some parents, buses have been a particular concern. Teachers sometimes struggle to keep control of fewer than 30 students. Drivers, meanwhile, often must supervise more than twice that number — with their backs turned — while also watching the road.

Statistics on bus behavior were not immediately available from CMS. But Sheila Chandler says bus-safety concerns helped fuel the move of her children to another district.

During the 2004-05 school year, three kids punched her son on the bus home from middle school, says Chandler, who now lives in McDowell County. Cameras might have discouraged the violence, she says.

“Kids are not stupid,” Chandler says. “They know they are on tape — are they going to misbehave right in front of it?”

The tapes could also be used if there are complaints about drivers.

More than $300,000 has been set aside for the cameras, says CMS executive transportation director Carol Stamper. District leaders hope to award a contract by the end of next month and have the cameras rolling this fall.

E.C. 🙂

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