SUGAR LAND – Buses in the Fort Bend Independent School District have looked the same for decades, but that potentially may be changing. However, the transformation has less to do with looks and more to do with a new layer of school security centered on monitoring kids to and from school,
“The system will use student’s existing ID badges to alert bus drivers if a student is boarding the wrong bus or getting off at the wrong stop,” said Mike Jones of FBISD’s transportation.
The proposed new safety system is part of $1.2 billion bond being pushed to a vote by the district next month.
The system will not only alert bus drivers and school officials but also parents, “It’s going to be a great tool for the piece of mind of parents,” said Karina Pichardo.
It was a theme heard from all parents KPRC 2 spoke with on Thursday afternoon. Some had initial skepticism after hearing of the proposal but it did not last long,
“How is it going to happen? How are we going to afford to do this?” But it was ultimately a good idea,” said Vivian Woolum.
The district earmarked $1 million out of the proposed bond for the new system impacting all riders. Officials say if approved, they plan to roll out the first stage in a few months.
“The system will be activated in phases beginning as early as August 2023 at the start of the next school year,” said Jones.
Greg Fremin of Sam Houston State University believes the initiative will help create safety,
“I think it’s something that school districts should embrace and parents should learn how to operate,” said Fremin.
He also believes it also will cut down on liability.
“The schools are being proactive. They are taking these countermeasures to do everything they can to protect the welfare of their student,” said Fremin.
The district also says the system will allow for parents to receive notifications regarding the status their child’s bus as well as its travels to and from school.