District to add security cameras, microphones to buses

Posted on July 24, 2014

BOSTON — The Boston Globe reports that Boston Public Schools is equipping all of its 750 school buses with cameras and microphones to help school officials to more thoroughly investigate reports of bullying, other disciplinary issues and traffic accidents.

Carl Allen, transportation director of Boston Public Schools, told the newspaper that no single incident prompted the initiative, but the district wants more data, so it can respond quickly to incidents and keep students and employees safe.

According to The Boston Globe, the American Civil Liberties Union said the installation of recording equipment on school buses creates a culture of fear, but the Anti-Defamation League, which has worked to stop school bullying, sees the cameras as a useful tool to investigate cases of bullying, which can be complicated.

Boston school officials told the newspaper that overall, students behave well on the buses. The school system transports more than 30,000 students a day, and during the past school year, drivers wrote up about 5,600 incident reports documenting bad behavior by students, such as swearing, refusing to stay seated, throwing items out the window, vandalizing property, or bothering others. Allen added he hopes the presence of cameras might reduce some of that misconduct.

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Related Topics: Massachusetts, video surveillance

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