The following is the official policy of the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District with regard to the use of cameras on school buses for the purposes of surveillance for student safety. Student transportation is an extremely important part of school district operations. The District is the largest in land area in Montgomery County. Because of the geographical size of the District, many students spend a considerable amount of time on the bus. The surveillance cameras will allow the driver to devote greater concentration to operating the bus, rather than spending an unusual amount of time monitoring student behavior. The safety of bus passengers is of the utmost importance.
1. The use of hidden cameras on school buses for surveillance purposes is authorized and justified in order to provide the optimum safety of District students, whether the cameras might be on District-owned vehicles or those owned and operated by a contractor.
2. The known existence of the cameras is to serve as a deterrent to students who might otherwise demonstrate abnormal behavior that could jeopardize the safety of other students, and also to curb vandalism.
3. The videotapes made by the cameras will show the actual, irrefutable incident. The tapes would be reviewed two or more times by two or more District administrators before any contemplation of using the tapes as a basis for the discipline of students. Such videotapes shall only be used to augment a case for discipline, rather than serving as the sole body of evidence in such matters.
4. If there is a desire by the contractor to review any of such videotapes, authorization may be given by the Superintendent of Schools or his designee.
5. The use of the cameras is primarily for review of student behavior. Usage to review driver performance is not necessarily a goal of this program.
6. The District shall hold the contractor harmless from any liability by the District’s use of surveillance cameras on buses.
7. The contractor agrees to randomly rotate the location of cameras with the knowledge and consent of the District. The contractor will carry out such rotations with appropriate discretion.
Adopted June 29, 1993