Hank Investigates: Revere school bus - WHDH-TV 7News Boston

Hank Investigates: Revere school bus

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Now a story you’ll see on just one station: Exclusive video obtained by investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan shows shocking school bus conditions in one local district. Experts say it’s unsafe and school officials are taking action.

You’re looking inside a school bus in Revere. Video – shot by a student – shows the chaos inside the crowded bus. Kids standing in the aisles and behind the seats – while the bus travels along its route.

Here, on another day -- another crowded ride.

You can see an entire row of middle school students standing – while the bus is moving.

At one point -- a fight even breaks out, with kids spilling over the seats.

Videos and still pictures show similar scenes – day after day – for nearly two weeks on bus rides to and from the Rumney Marsh Academy.

Mother:

“It’s definitely an accident waiting to happen.”

This mother and her son wanted their identities hidden, fearing school administrators might retaliate. The boy shot the video.

Hank:

“How do you feel on this bus?”

Student:

“Unsafe. Some kids have fallen before too they just don’t say anything.”

Federal guidelines state– and experts agree – safety on a school bus relies on students sitting completely within the confines of the seats – so if there’s an accident – students are better protected.

But if kids are standing in the aisles or crawling over seats like on this Revere bus -- and then there’s an accident --

Mother:

“It’s going to be tragic kids are going to be flying everywhere.”

We did our own surveillance of buses leaving the public middle school and routinely saw kids standing. We followed this bus for several minutes – and you can see kids clearly standing in the aisle. Even though -- it says right on the side of the bus - “no standees.” In fact in Massachusetts a school bus “operating with standees” can be fined five hundred dollars and if a school bus is “overcrowded” that’s a criminal offense.

The superintendent of Revere public schools insists the bus is NOT overcrowded. He says there’s plenty of room for students to sit safely. He blames the problem on kids misbehaving and the bus company not doing anything to stop it. In a statement he told us:

“There is a problem on the bus that should have been corrected long ago. It’s very disturbing. I’m so glad you contacted me so i can do something about it.”

This parent sure hopes something is done, that’s why her son took this video. She says each day he’s on the bus she worries.

Mother:

“There’s no price tag on a child. I think it’s extremely critical.”

Big changes are already underway in Revere. The superintendent’s now warning: If kids misbehave or get out of their seats, the bus will immediately pull over--until a staff member from the school arrives and addresses the problem. The bus company did not return our requests for comment.


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