Mahwah May Install Security Cameras On School Buses
The cameras may help stop bullying incidents on buses, district administrators say
The Mahwah School District will likely install security cameras on its fleet of 11 school buses, according to district Business Administrator Ed Deptula. “In the long run, I think this will be a terrific investment,” he said at last Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting.
The camera footage would become an “actionable” part of future district Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying investigations. According to Deptula, some of the HIB incidents in Mahwah over the past year have happened on buses, and the cameras will either provide evidence in those cases, or “discourage bullying in the first place.”
The district is in the finishing stages of researching cameras and would need to write and pass a policy governing the use of security cameras on buses before installing them. According to Deptula, the policy would be similar to the one in place for the cameras that are in every Mahwah school district building.
In addition to the buses the district owns, it also uses about 15-20 buses from other local companies. Though Deptula said he could not force the companies to install cameras, “I will let them know what we are doing to our buses, and encourage them to consider it as well,” he said.
The security cameras, which he said are “high quality” and offer an “incredibly better” picture than they did a decade ago, are digital, with focusing and zooming capabilities. They will be paid for out of the district’s general repairs budget. The exact cost is not yet known, Deptula said, because the specific model the schools will buy is still being negotiated.
The district is hoping to pass a new policy and install the cameras within the next six to eight weeks, he said.