School bus cameras helping districts investigate bullying
Cell phone videos of school fights are fodder for YouTube. But now, some school districts are upgrading cameras on school buses to let bullies known they're watching. Clermont Northeastern Schools contract with Petermann and each bus is equipped with cameras in the front and rear of the bus. They also plan to add dash cams later this year, according to Sharon Stark, transportation supervisor for the district. Superintendent Michael Brandt said the cameras come in handy when investigating bullying on buses. "A lot of times it's more difficult to prove bullying inside the building than it would be on the bus because you don't have the camera coverage all the time," he said. Clermont Northeastern hands out a bullying policy to students and parents at the beginning of the school year. It applies to activities on the school bus. The district's bullying policy is based on the Ohio Department of Education policy. "Kids get into yapping at each other or, in some cases, we had one case of bullying on a bus last year," Brandt said. "So, we have to deal with it." School officials check the video if a bus driver alerts them to a developing problem. Brandt said it's hard to dispute. "When you show the film, a lot of times it changes the view of the parent as to whether their child was or was not involved," he said. "For us, it's been great."