Electronic Surveillance On School Buses
DSB Policy: EDB
The safety and personal security of students being transported on District school buses is the primary concern of the District’s transportation program. The school bus driver has direct responsibility for maintenance of a safe and secure environment for students riding the bus. Because the driver must operate the bus and monitor the activities of the students on the bus, there may be occasions when it is prudent to augment the driver’s observation by installing electronic surveillance devices on the bus.
The following directives will apply to the use of electronic surveillance on the District’s school buses:
All District buses/vans may be equipped with electronic surveillance devices.
Electronic surveillance may be authorized by any District or SAU administrator either a) selectively on buses when there are known safety or security problems, or b) randomly to permit evaluation of daily operational conditions across the bus fleet.
Tapes created by surveillance devices will be handled as “personal and confidential” materials, and safeguarded to protect the privacy of students and staff. The school administration will catalog and maintain custody of the tapes and will oversee the placing of the surveillance devices and the replacement of tapes on the buses, as needed.
Tapes will be viewed strictly on a need-to-know basis and access will ordinarily be limited to the Principal, the Assistant Superintendent for Business, or a school employee designated by the Principal or the Assistant Superintendent. In cases where the tapes are used as evidence in a disciplinary or legal process, the parents of the involved student(s) will be permitted to view the tapes, as well as the Hanover High School Judiciary Committee when this is part of the discipline process. In extraordinary situations in which the privacy of a student(s), other than the one requesting judiciary hearing, is a concern, the Principal may not allow review of tapes by the Judiciary Committee. In such cases, the Principal will meet with the Judiciary Committee to present reasons why the tapes should not be viewed. In cases where the tapes are needed to investigate an alleged violation of the law, the District will cooperate fully with local law enforcement agencies. In cases where the tapes are needed to evaluate the performance of a bus driver, the bus contractor will be permitted to view the tapes.
Tapes not needed for review or evidence will be erased within ten (10) school days.
A sign reading “Video Camera May be in Operation” shall be placed on each bus/van notifying all students that the video monitoring camera may be in use on the bus/van.
ADOPTED: Dresden, 26 October 1999
School Bus Discipline Procedures
Discipline will be handled according to the following procedures:
- For unacceptable behavior in the judgment of the driver, the driver will complete a Bus Conduct Report form, which notifies the Principal of the problem.
- The Principal will speak to the student(s) and, if appropriate, speak to or send a letter home to the parents. The Principal will advise the bus contractor of action taken on each conduct report submitted by drivers.
- A serious offense, or behavior which creates a safety hazard, may result in a suspension of up to two weeks, at the discretion of the Principal. The driver may insist on a suspension for a student whose behavior creates a safety hazard.
- Unusually serious offenses may result in permanent suspension from the bus. If this action becomes necessary, the Principal will notify the parents and the Superintendent in writing. The actual suspension will be made by the Superintendent, with the right of appeal to the School Board.
- If a student is suspended from the bus as a consequence of a bus conduct report, or of reported poor behavior on the bus, the punishment will take effect the following morning. However, if at the discretion of the school administration the safety of other children is in question, the student may be suspended from the bus immediately. In that case, an attempt will be made to contact parents to make other transportation arrangements for the suspended student. If the parents cannot be contacted, the school will arrange for the student to be transported home only on the day suspension occurs. Thereafter, it is the responsibility of the parents to arrange for their students’ transportation to and from school.
School Bus Rider Responsibilities
- Riders and drivers will treat others with courtesy and respect at all times.
- The use of profanity, vulgar, obscene, or abusive language will not be tolerated.
- Fighting, shoving, or bullying others on the bus, or while waiting for the bus, will not be tolerated.
- Throwing anything on the bus is prohibited.
- Talking should be carried on in conversational tones.
- Smoking, or use of tobacco, is prohibited on the bus at all times.
- Students must obey immediately any request or suggestion from the bus driver pertaining to safe pupil transportation.
- Defacement of or destruction to the bus will not be tolerated. Any vandalism of the bus or bus seats will be billed to the person responsible for the damage.
- Aisles are to be left free of books, lunch boxes, coats, and other objects at all times. Students should sit totally in their seats, and not put their arms, legs, etc., into the aisles, except when inadequate space makes this impossible.
- Students must remain seated at all times when the bus is moving; arms and heads must be inside at all times.
- Students may be required to walk up to one and one half miles to a bus stop, or two miles to school.
- Students must be ready to board the bus at least five minutes prior to its scheduled stop. Drivers are not to wait for pupils who are not ready. Pupils should not crowd onto the street or road when waiting for the bus; instead, they should line up and enter the bus in an orderly fashion when it arrives. Middle and high school students boarding the buses in front of the Richmond School in the afternoon should stand behind the white line until the buses have come to a complete stop.
- Students must board the bus in an orderly and courteous manner, go immediately to a seat, and sit down. The driver may assign seats.
a.) For Norwich middle and high school students only- when boarding in the afternoon buses in front of the Richmond School, students should board the first bus in line until it is filled, then the second bus should be filled, and so on.
b.) For Norwich students only—when the bus reaches the Marion Cross School in the afternoon, all middle and high school students will fill in the seats from the back of the bus forward, unless a seat has been assigned. The younger children will fill in from the front to the bus back.
- Students loading and departing from the bus will do so from the front door of the bus. If the road must be crossed, students will cross at least 10 feet in FRONT of the bus, and use caution, even though the flashing lights are on.
- All school rules are in effect on the school bus for transportation to and from any school or any school event.