LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In an attempt to reduce the number of school bus fights, Jefferson County Public Schools is hiring police officers, increasing use of video cameras, and offering incentive pay to more experienced bus drivers, WAVE 3 News reports.

Although the overall number of fights on the district’s school buses is decreasing — fights are down from 269 two years ago to 172 last year — incidents on routes for alternative schools rose sharply this year, according to the news source.

The president of the union that represents local bus drivers told the news source that when some drivers report fights to the principal, the only one with the power to suspend a student from the bus, the incident is sometimes dismissed. The district’s chief academic officer told WAVE 3 News each school's code of conduct is different, and the principal has to weigh the severity of a school bus fight against the need to keep those sometimes troubled kids in school.

The district is hiring police officers in unmarked cruisers to monitor the ride home for some of its most troubled routes, stepping up the use of video cameras on all buses and working on a deal to offer incentive pay to experienced bus drivers to drive routes with a history of violence, WAVE 3 News reports.

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