Districts work to keep students safe on bus rides to and from school

Before students can hop on the bus to head back to school, districts work to make sure buses are safe to ride.

In addition to make sure buses are mechanically sound, one thing that helps ensure student safety on buses is cameras.

Wichita Public Schools says there are two cameras on every bus in the district.

USD 259 Transportation Director Fabian Armendariz says those cameras can be used to resolve discipline issues. The district can catch what's happening outside the bus as well.

Drivers go through intruder training, so they know how to keep people who shouldn't be on the bus from getting on. Without permission, parents aren't even allowed on the bus without it being trespassing.

The cameras are key to keeping students safe, transportation officials say.

"We have two video techs at every single location," Armendariz says. "We review videos daily. They help with anything from misbehavior to being able to hold students accountable, sometimes parents' concerns, just a variety of reasons. I don't know that after having the cameras we would be able to operate without them."

District officials say there is a driver shortage in Wichita this year with only 440 bus drivers on the road. That puts the district about 30 drivers behind while still running at a 2-percent increase in operating costs.