Stop the bullying! Place cameras and volunteers on all school buses.
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Everyday, multiple times a day, children get bullied and nothing is effective at preventing this on the school buses. The bus driver cannot keep a close eye on numerous kids on the bus when s/he is supposed to be watching the road therefore, many children are highly subjective to being bullied. Because of the lack of supervision, bullies find it easy to torment other children and get away with it. There is no evidence by camera footage or another adult to witness, only other children who could be friends of the bullies and help them lie their way out of trouble. With camera footage, school authorities and parents will be able to see everything first hand and take necessary action. With volunteers, authorities and parents will be able to have a legit eye witness. Children should not have to resort to violence to defend themselves against persistent, aggressive, taunting, abusive children. I have seen children first hand lie about defending themselves, because they are afraid of getting in trouble and the bully being set free. In most cases, the bully is actually Scott free while the defender sits in detention, suspended, or expelled.
Here is a link to an article that speaks about new research revealing lack of training for bus drivers in dealing with bullying on school buses and how it is a breeding ground for both physical and verbal bullying.
"The report reveals shocking new findings:
67.4 per cent of school bus/coach drivers have witnessed bullying on the school bus
78 per cent of school bus/coach drivers have never been given advice on how to handle instances of bullying
73.6 per cent of school bus/coach drivers have not received any training in working with children
93.4 per cent of school
bus/coach drivers said that they have been distracted by children and/or their behaviour on the bus/coach
98.9 per cent of the bus/coach drivers have witnessed verbal abuse
43 per cent of the bus/coach drivers said that there are no procedures set in place by the company they worked for to report incidents of bullying
89 per cent of respondents said there is no other adult or older pupil to help with passenger control on the school bus/coach
90 per cent agreed that it would benefit to have another adult or older pupil on the school bus/coach
Over half (58 per cent) of respondents said that their coaches did not have CCTV cameras on their school bus/coach
84 per cent of the coach drivers agreed it would benefit them to have CCTV on the school bus/coach"
I urge Van Wert to find a way to fit cameras on buses into their budget and to make a HUGE point to ask for volunteers on buses as well to help. These drivers get so overwhelmed with the commotion and need to be able to drive safely. Anti-bullying practices should be a top priority. School buses should be a safe place for children, not something they fear riding on 5 days a week.
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