Student and employee safety is the top priority of the Houston Independent School District. HISD’s efforts to protect students and staff include a comprehensive school bus safety and student discipline strategy. HISD officials are aware of the student discipline concerns raised by the Houston Educational Support Personnel union and the district takes these concerns seriously. District officials are reviewing the Student Code of Conduct to determine whether revisions are necessary. This review will include an evaluation of the union’s request to include a more specific mechanism for suspending bus riding privileges for students with ongoing disciplinary issues.
Steps HISD has taken to ensure bus safety include:
• All bus drivers this year received four hours of student management training.
• Every HISD bus is equipped with at least two security video cameras.
• HISD transportation administrators conduct monthly roundtable discussions with employees at each bus terminal to hear employees’ concerns and address them.
HISD bus drivers are asked to report all disciplinary issues to their supervisors. The supervisors then investigate the incident by reviewing videotape, usually within 24 hours of receiving the complaint. Based on the results of the video, either the school and/or HSID police are informed of the incident and given the opportunity to review the video. Appropriate action is then taken by the school or police.
The HISD transportation department is unaware of any unresolved issues regarding specific incidents brought forward by bus drivers. Transportation officials have asked union officials to provide a list of specific instances in which they feel appropriate action was not taken, but we have received no such list at this point. If such a list is provided, HISD will investigate thoroughly.