STRONGSVILLE, Ohio- There is new standard equipment on school buses in the Strongsville School District.
Each bus is now equipped with four interior cameras that allow administrators to see and hear what happens on every route.
The superintendent of Strongsville schools says the cameras are designed to improve safety for students and drivers, and make sure all guidelines are being followed. “On any bus, you have minor issues that you’ve got to work with, in terms of kids being properly seated, kids eating on a school bus which they are not allowed to do — the kids, you know, having disagreements or arguments or not sitting in the right seat or things escalating into something; students can get physical on a bus, or do inappropriate things to passersby,” said Cameron Ryba.
The superintendent says another major factor in the decision to spend $121,000 on the cameras was the amount of time it took to investigate prior incidents on district buses.
“Sometimes you’re calling in an entire busload of students to figure out who sat where and who heard what and who was nearby, and you’re taking kids out of core instruction, which is not what we want to do,” said Ryba.
One of the major issues facing modern education is bullying and administrators believe the new cameras will help them quickly identify bullying behavior on district buses.
They point out video can serve as evidence, if the district needs to take preventative measures or disciplinary action. “We can see the behavior, correct the behavior and then if it goes forward, we can say ‘this is bullying; this is sustained; this is systematic’ and we deal with it in one day instead of days later,” said operations manager Stephen Breckner.
Administrators say video from the new cameras was already used during the first week of school to settle a couple of minor issues on buses in the district.