It may be early In the school year, but Meghan Smith and Christina Chandler are looking to fix problems they are already seeing on the school buses.
"The first day or so they were complaining of some minor bullying, pushing and shoving around. A couple of scratches were found on them in a couple of cases," said Smith.
Smith and Chandler both have children at Beaufort Elementary School and say behavior on the bus quickly took a turn for the worse.
"Tina's son had red marks on his neck where he had been strangled at one point by one of the other children on the bus. He also had bruises on his chest where he had been pushed," said Smith. "I understand children will be children and there is going to be picking, but there is no reason for this level of violence."
The school investigated and took disciplinary action. There is now assigned seating on the bus. But these two moms want to make sure this kind of behavior doesn't happen again.
"Something needs to stop. Somebody has to stand up at some point and say this is enough," said Chandler.
That's why they've started a petition, trying to get the Beaufort County School District to install video cameras on the buses, hoping to deter bad behavior.
"Cameras don't lie," said Chandler. "You see exactly what happened. There's no he said she said, it's black and while, closed case. It would help."
So far, they've collected 300 signatures and are hoping to get 1,000 before presenting them to the school board next month.
School board chairman Fred Washington Jr. says they have looked at these cameras before but weren't able to take action. He says he's willing to revisit the issue.
Beaufort Elementary's principal says this is the only incident on the buses this year. She says they take these situations seriously and will not tolerate that kind of behavior. She says they have asked the teachers to reinforce the proper behaviors on the school bus.
School district officials say the cameras would cost anywhere between $230,000 and $257,000 to outfit all 150 buses in the county.
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