Friday, February 12, 2010

Parents Concerned that School Bus Did Not Have Camera

CARBONDALE - A fight aboard a Carbondale Elementary School bus should have been caught on tape, and board members questioned Thursday why district-mandated cameras were not in place.

The school's transportation provider, JW Transit Inc., is contractually obligated to equip all buses with cameras, but there was no camera present on bus No. 6 the day two students started quarreling, said school Director Tracey Andrews.

When parents asked to check the recording from the bus, it was discovered that one was not available, she said.

She declined to name the students involved, or the parents who complained to her about the nonexistent tape.

She said she did not know anything about the severity of the fight.

"The parents didn't get into that part with me," she said.

Superintendent Dominick Famularo said the board will contact transportation contractor John Wansacz,, owner of JW Transit and a former transportation director, asking him to ensure that all vehicles are equipped with cameras, per his contract.

Transportation Director Kim Michalek said Mr. Wansacz is looking into replacing the bus with one that is equipped with a camera.

Mrs. Andrews said parents of the students involved met with Assistant Principal Joseph Golecki to discuss the fight. Attempts to reach Mr. Golecki were unsuccessful Thursday.

The board awarded Mr. Wansacz's company a five-year transportation contract in September at a total cost of $4.8 million.

The contract was originally awarded to Mr. Wansacz's company in June, while he was still district transportation director.

A competing bus company sued the district for awarding the contract to an employee. Mr. Wansacz resigned as transportation director, was again the low bidder and was awarded the contract.