They are Watching You: Schools Place Cameras on Buses to Preclude Bullying

Carrie Schmelkin : Gossip from the Hallways
Carrie Schmelkin
Web Editor, TMC

They are Watching You: Schools Place Cameras on Buses to Preclude Bullying

school bus pic.jpgDo you recall the days of sitting on the school bus and standing by helplessly as some pompous older student stole your hard-earned lunch money? How about the time those two girls who you thought were your friends refused to let you sit in the seat with them (even though it was meant for three) and you were forced to sit with that weird smelly kid who liked to eat paint?

Albeit tough circumstances, the types of bullying that occur on the school bus nowadays are far more personal and upsetting. From using cell phones to send text messages to your friend about someone sitting five feet away from you to kids talking about the Facebook invite they received to Kim’s birthday party (while they know that the kid in the seat next to them wasn’t invited), bullying and cyberbullying have found their way onto the school buses.

In an effort to curb bullying on buses, many districts have begun equipping school buses with internal video cameras so that in the event that a parent or student reports a problem while riding the bus, administrators can consult the video after that fact to see what really happened. 

Recently, of Fairfield County, where I live, legislation was passed last session that prohibits bullying outside the school setting and, accordingly, that means that schools can get involved when bullying occurs on buses. Many area school districts have already installed cameras on buses to indentify bullies and prevent fighting. Moreover, many schools are giving their school bus drivers training on how to better manage student behavior and address issues such as bullying.

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to talk with Pat Fiel, school safety expert for ADT, a company that equips colleges and schools with the latest security technology, and Fiel explained that one of the main things the company suggests is placing video surveillance systems in hallways to helping to dissuade bullying. By “adding more eyes” to those areas through security cameras, according to Fiel, administrators are able to live monitor these spaces or consult video footage after the fact to determine what really happened during the bullying incident.

When you look at what companies like ADT and counties like Fairfield County are doing to counter bullying, one thing becomes clear – everyone must present a united front when using technology to fight bullying. From school bus drivers to parents to school principals to community organizations, towns must take a cohesive stand as it is more evident than ever that bullying is here to stay and it takes on life forms well beyond the school walls.

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1 Comment

I think this is a good idea, though things can get out of control because some people tend to freak out about their children's control and this is not a safe environment for child to be brought up!

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