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NC5 Investigates: Stories of Abuse

Metro Schools Submit Action Plan to Mayor

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Mayor Karl Dean Mayor Karl Dean

The Metro School system now has a plan to keep special education students from being sexually assaulted on school buses.

It's a problem that was first exposed by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

The school board presented the plan to Mayor Karl Dean at City Hall Friday afternoon.

The five-page report is what Mayor Dean called for two weeks ago after hearing that Metro Police are investigating two more cases of assaults on special ed students.

This comes after NewsChannel 5 Investigates first reported how an 11-year old autistic girl and 9-year old autistic boy were both sexually assaulted on Metro school buses.

Meeting with the mayor, interim schools director Chris Henson laid out the district's plan that calls for improvements in four main areas.

The plan calls for more training for bus drivers in how to deal with student behavior problems and students with special needs.

The district also wants to improve communication between school administrators and bus drivers so that drivers are aware of potential problems with students.

The school system wants to install video cameras on all of its buses to serve both as a deterrent and to record any future problems.

And Metro Schools wants monitors, meaning adults other than the driver, to ride on all special ed buses.

Henson says, "Student safety is our priority and we're hoping that this will have a big impact on the safety of students on our buses."

And when asked for his reaction to the plan, Dean told NewsChannel 5, "It certainly shows a willingness to begin to take action this year which, I think, is important and it shows some thought about how we can improve going forward."

Henson says the district has taken the first step in implementing the plan by scheduling training for drivers. And he says the board will also the mayor a monthly update on their progress.

As far as when the cameras and monitors might be added, it's more a question of if, than when. The total price tag is more than $5 million.

And on top of the cost, the schools director says they've actually tried to hire more monitors, but no one wants the job.

Now, this isn't the first time we've heard of the need for more bus monitors in Metro.

A civil rights investigation of Metro's special ed program eight years ago called for more aides on the buses.

Watch more videos and follow the stories at NC5 Investigates: Stories of Abuse

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