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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Parents Oppose Wicomico County School Bus GPS Units

SALISBURY, Md.- First it was cameras now it's Global Positioning System or GPS units.
Wicomico County school buses will soon have the school system keeping track of where they are.
Some of the biggest local bus contractors like Handy's Bus Service and Holloway Transit don't have a problem with the new addition but some parents Wednesday thought it is waste of money.
"Why do they need GPS systems?" said Debera Howard, "It's over kill."
The school said the point is to ensure child safety and accountability. But Howard said the money for those GPS units could be better spent.
"Help the children, to help the teachers, to help the students, as it is the teachers spent their own money for supplies," she said.
Howard's opinion was one that resonated with many other parents like Sherry Bryant who is a teacher herself but not in Wicomico County.
"Sometimes when they try to use a new a device or bring something new into a school system there is always something that gets cut," Bryant said, "And unfortunately it normally ends up being right directly related to the children in the classroom."
Other parents said since school busses already have cameras and two-way radios, why go overboard?
"I don't think the bus routes are that extensive that you would lose the school bus to where you would have to track it," Ginger Wade, who is also a teacher.
WBOC asked the county school system how much the units cost but a spokeswoman was not able to provide that information.
However, we were told the GPS units were bought with money from the school board's general operating budget. All school buses will have to have the units installed by July 1.

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