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Seneca may do audio recordings on buses

March 12, 2014 News Extra

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JACKSON TWP — The Seneca Valley School District already visually records students on school buses for security and other reasons, but the school board Monday night took the first step toward recording student conversations on buses.

District officials began looking into the possibility of recording audio on school buses after the state Legislature last month passed a law allowing the practice.

Jim Pearson, the district’s director of transportation, said at the meeting Monday night that the new initiative won’t cost the district any money, being that all of the video camera systems currently installed on buses have audio capabilities.

However, the district previously was forced to mute all of those video recordings being that it wasn’t yet legal to record student conversations. If given final approval, the changes will take place at the start of the next school year.

Superintendent Tracy Vitale said Tuesday that the district is committed to protecting students “not just in the classroom but during bus rides as well.”

“It is yet another proactive measure to deter negative behavior or to fact find should there be a report from one of our students,” Vitale said. “Parents and students will be notified before the fall when we expect to turn on the audio.”

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