|Updated: 9/13/2012 9:47 am
||Published: 9/12/2012 4:03 pm
On Monday, Tulsa Public Schools’ Public Information Officer Chris Payne sat down with FOX23 to discuss two recent attacks on students that have happened at bus stops.
Tulsa Police say the first happened when a student was attacked by a masked man at his bus stop two weeks ago near Ben Hill Park.
Last Friday, TPD officers say Curtis Monroe was one of several people who pried open the doors of a school bus and tried to attack students at bus stop near Woodrow and North Harvard. Police and school officials say both attacks were connected to previous fights between kids.
“I was terrified, terrified, there was nothing I could do but call the Board of Education,” Nicole Locket told FOX23 about the attack near Woodrow and North Harvard.
Tulsa Public Schools say they understand those concerns.
“This one is particularly disturbing because it involves people that don't belong on the bus hopping on and causing a disturbance,” Payne told FOX23.
Before the attack at the bus stop, TPS says the students were involved in a fight at McLain Junior High School. In the future, the district says students involved in a fight during the school-day will not be allowed to ride the same bus home.
“I agree with that 100 percent,” Lockett said, “Finally it takes this for something serious to happen, in order for them to do something.”
The district also had a supervisor at this stop this week and uniformed TPD officers, but parents like Nicole want more supervision when kids are riding the bus.
“When I was riding the bus they had aides on the bus. They're not putting aides on the bus anymore. They're not hiring any aides, and they need to hire more aides,” she said.
FOX23 asked permanent bus monitors for problem bus routes was something the district would implement. Payne said because of budget cuts, it is almost impossible to afford that.
“We're having issues just getting teachers in classrooms to keep class sizes down. Safety is, of course, important, but our primary objective is to educate to children.”
Payne did say the district would consider allowing volunteers to monitor bus routes where problems have persisted.
“I will volunteer if it will keep down the chaos and the mishaps,” Lockett told FOX23 Wednesday.
For now, Nicole is happy with what TPS has done, and what they have promised to do.
“My kids feel much safer, and I am satisfied with what they're doing so far,” she said.
TPS busses are equipped with cameras meant to capture these types of crimes, but FOX23 was told the camera on the bus at the center of Friday’s assault had a malfunctioning hard drive.