What happens on your child's school bus won't stay on the school bus for much longer. Two cameras with audio capability will be installed on every Weston bus in October, transportation director Dave Lustberg says. Parents like Lisa Sollazzo are talking about the changes.
"Every little bit can help," said Sollazzo, who said she would "definitely" feel more comfortable about her 15-year-old and 5-year-old's rides on the Weston buses. Sollazzo said that even though some students might be deterred from acting out at first, the novelty would wear off.
"I have heard of wild behavior on the bus," she said, sharing a friend's story of how a boy urinated in his backpack on the bus. A few years ago, another student spit on her daughter.
Even without the cameras, Darcy Barrera, another mom, was fine with her two preschool sons riding the bus when they start kindergarten next September. "I know there are other children their age who ride the bus. So, they'd have friends that they know, and it stops right in front of our house," said Barrera. She said cameras wouldn't deter the youngest children from misbehaving. "[I think it would help] with older kids, probably. Younger kids, I don't think they process it."
The equipment is being installed as a part of a renewed contract with First Student Bus Co. Weston requested new safety arrangements, including the cameras, which the town will pay for, and a GPS tracking system, which the bus company will provide. These changes and amped up background checks for bus personnel occurred after former Weston bus driver Scott Deicas was arrested for allegedly threatening town officials and on child pornography charges.
Despite the arrest, Sollazzo said she feels comfortable with her children's bus drivers.
"I actually happen to know the driver of my little one. ... I know that he's a good guy and that she's safe. And as far as the 15-year-old, she's pretty self sufficient."
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