LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - In a few weeks, it'll be time to load your children on the bus and hope that precious cargo is safe. Ensuring your child is safe on the school bus is the message behind a billboard near the westbound lanes on the I-264 Watterson Expressway. You may have seen it as you approach I-65 and Preston Highway.
Teamsters Local 783, the union representing JCPS bus drivers, paid for the sign which reads “Help Stop School Bus Violence.” There's also an anonymous number to report bus violence to Local 783.
"It's got to the point now that it's getting out of hand. No one driving school bus should have to be afraid for their safety to take kids to and from school," said John Stovall, the president of Local 783.
Stovall said there were a record number of incident reports during the 2013-2014 school year.
"It was just at its worst around then and it's too much of a safety issue. We can't ignore it any longer," Stovall said.
While Stovall said he couldn't provide specific data to compare incidents during previous years, WAVE 3 News reported in May 2014 that off duty sworn law enforcement officers were on two Frost Middle School buses and Kammerer Middle School buses.
"Those numbers are with JCPS, but I'll tell you this - they put twelve police officers on there so that ya how bad it was," Stovall said.
The billboard is only part of the union's bold message. Local 783 is calling for the district to staff an additional six to eight bus monitors on specific school bus routes.
Stovall said school buses needing a monitor or police presence, include Myers, Frost, Western and Stuart Middle Schools.
"It's a small price to pay to prevent an accident on a major highway. The driver and bus monitor could build a relationship with students and the school and a lot of this could be resolved," Stovall said.
JCPS provided this statement in response to the billboard:
"The safety and security of our students remains our top priority. JCPS has taken multiple proactive measures to facilitate a safe environment in classroom setting and elsewhere. We will continue to work with stakeholders to ensure both students and staff are exposed to a safe and respectful atmosphere."
Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-07-31 01:12:13 GMT
The tattoo has not previously been seen widely by the public because cameras are not allowed inside Indiana courtrooms. The Indiana Office of the Courts released the photo on July 30 as part of evidence logged in by police and presented to the court by the Floyd County Prosecutor's Office.More >>
The tattoo has not previously been seen widely by the public because cameras are not allowed inside Indiana courtrooms. The Indiana Office of the Courts released the photo on July 30 as part of evidence logged in by police and presented to the court by the Floyd County Prosecutor's Office.