LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. — Lancaster County School District in South Carolina is looking to implement a new system to keep track of students on its buses.
Starting in the 2019-20 school year, the district is hoping to start using a boarding pass system that would scan students in when they get on the bus.
"We really want to have more accountability for students getting on school buses,” said Bryan Vaughn, director of school safety and transportation. “We want to be able to make sure the kids that are getting on the buses belong in the right place."
Vaughn said the boarding pass system would focus on K-5 students who may not be as familiar with their bus or destination. The technology would provide more concrete data for parents and the district if there are questions about a student’s location.
"It gives us an investigative tool to say, okay, the child never entered the bus, or the child did get off the bus, he went to a friend's house,” Vaughn added.
The move to add this technology to bus routes comes a month after the district began installing stop arm cameras to crack down on drivers that illegally pass school buses stopped to release children.
Vaughn said he hears the program is working in the field, and the district has ordered additional cameras to be installed on other buses.
Shaun Bennett, a parent of children in the district, said the proactive measures are comforting to him.
“It’s kind of a relief because you know exactly where your child is going to be,” Bennett said.
Bennett said his children don’t usually ride the bus, but he might reconsider with the new technology being added.
“If they’re implementing this next year and get all the bugs worked out,” he said, “I will really consider putting my kids on the school bus.”