Cameras on buses: LPSS has them, St. Landry looking to get more after incident

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – School district’s across the state are now investing in cameras on buses, to get answers on conflicts like what happened in St. Landry Parish.
 
The Lafayette Parish School System has cameras inside all of their route buses, and school administrators say they’ve been a huge help.
 
Especially in cases involving bullying or worst case scenario an accident, the cameras give the school system eyes and ears inside and outside the bus.
 
It’s something the St. Landry Parish School System says they’re investing in.

“It’s something that any transportation supervisor or any kind, dreads the thought of,” said Joey Simon, Transportation Coordinator for LPSS.
 
He says what happened to the bus driver in Palmetto, who was allegedly assaulted by a student at North Central High, is a reason the School System now has five cameras in each of their roughly 260 route buses.
 
“One forward, one in the back, and two mid-line cameras crossing each other,” said Simon.
Including a camera on the driver.
 
The system was installed in the buses last school year, at an estimated $1300 per bus according to Simon.
 
“Any time there’s an accusation against our driver the footage is pulled immediately, and we review that footage first and foremost. Then we decide from that footage, where to proceed afterwards,” he said.
 
With the video evidence, LPSS officials can quickly and accurately investigate an incident.
 
“I just want to ensure the public that their children are safe in St. Landry Parish Schools and on the buses as well,” said Patrick Jenkins, Superintendent of St. Landry Parish Schools.
 
He says there was not a camera on the bus when the incident took place.
And only a few of the buses in the Parish are equipped with cameras.
But that’ll soon change…
 
“We’re looking to add cameras to all new purchases to the buses that we’re going to have. So as we purchase additional buses, we will install cameras on each of those,” said Jenkins.
 
An investment Simon says has paid dividends in Lafayette Parish.
 
“Those that don’t (have cameras), really should look into it as far as I’m concerned. I mean it’s well wroth the investment,” he said.
 
Jenkins says if the allegations are true involving the high school student, they will do everything in their powers to discipline him.
 
The School System is also looking into the possibility of adding more ‘bus aides’ to strategically put on buses throughout the Parish, wherever they’re needed the most.

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