WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Some parents with children in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools system have growing concerns about bullying. Not only in their children’s schools, but also on the buses they ride to and from them.
“I’m a taxpayer and I feel like when I’m at work I need to be comfortable and know that my child’s [going to] be safe on the school bus,” said Tisha Wicker, mother of an 11-year-old middle school student.
Wicker tells FOX8 she and other parents have heard stories from their children, highlighting bullying and the way it’s done in this day and age.
“This middle school bus, I mean, I’m just, it’s just got me on the edge of my seat every day I’m a little bit terrified,” she said.
Wicker added that nowadays, children are not only subject to bullying on the buses, but other students take video of the incidents with their phones and share them through apps and over the internet. She added concerns that the bullying which takes place on the buses carries over into the schools.
“I just feel that every kid that attends a Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school, they need to feel comfortable riding that school bus,” she said. “They don’t need to feel bullied or anything like that. School should be a happy time and riding the bus should be a happy time.”
Wicker and other parents plan to address their concerns with the school board. However, instead of asking for ideas, they are coming prepared with one of their own.
“The behavior will change with having that extra set of eyes on there,” Wicker said.
Wicker said the solution may be to have adult monitors placed on the buses which have the greatest disciplinary issues. Not only would it allow the monitors to keep track of children causing the problems, but it would also help the bus drivers keep their attention where it needs to be.
“They’re driving the bus and getting kids to and from school, so they have to keep their eyes on the road,” she said.
The school system’s transportation department agrees.
“Oh yeah, we would be in favor of it,” said Darrell Taylor, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools transportation director. “We would just have to identify those buses that have more discipline problems than other buses.”
But, in order to get to that step, the school system would have to take its first ones.
“If that was your kid, you would want your kid to be safe on the school bus,” Wicker said.
That’s one of the arguments Wicker plans to use when she presents their idea to the school board at the next board meeting, which is scheduled for Nov. 15.