Reporting Dorothy Tucker
CHICAGO (CBS) – Another big change is coming to Chicago Public Schools. For the first time,on the first day of school, all buses will be equipped with video cameras. That means big brother in the main office will have his eye on every student, every bus driver and anyone else who steps inside the big yellow vehicle.
Dorothy Tucker takes a look at what it means for the district.
CPS school buses sit idle this week, but when they roll out the first day of school for the first time every one of them will have video cameras.
A California company called Seon is among the contractors providing cameras to Chicago bus vendors. 1,400 buses will have two cameras, one in the front and one in back. CPS officials stress the new requirement is not because of any one incident or heighten concerns, it’s part of CPS’s commitment to student safety and security.
“I think they are a great idea,” said Dr. Scott Clay, superintendent at East Maine School District 63 in Des Plaines. His district installed cameras in buses last spring.
“Bullying has always been an issue in schools…and buses are often a place where that can take. We wanted a way where we could check on that and lower our incidents of bullying,” said Clay.
The cameras also monitor the action of bus drivers. Clay says it’s made a difference in how everyone acts.
“I think the fact that they’re there and the kids know that somebody’s watching or could be watching helps them to stay behaved better,” said Clay.
CPS transports about 22,000 students. Bus vendors will pay for cost of the installing cameras, as part of the their contract.