School District 54 (SD54) says bus runs are in danger of being cancelled because of rampant vandalism to buses.
In a notice sent to parents, the district said provincial Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement inspectors have found it to be in violation of regulations because of the high number of bus seats being slashed.
“Vandalism of seats on district buses can put buses out of commission while damages are repaired, risking cancellation of bus runs,” according to the notice issued by SD54 safety and transportation manager Cathy Whalen.
She also warned that students caught vandalizing district property could face significant penalties.
“Drivers have been instructed to do a thorough check of their buses twice a day, cameras will be monitored to find offenders, and invoices for damages (up to $1,000) will be issued to students found to be vandalizing seats,” the notice stated.
The district is asking parents to tell their children buses are “a privilege, not a right” and that vandalism of SD54 property is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
No buses have been taken out of commission but a couple have a “fairly significant amount of damage,” according to Dave Margerm, School District 54 secretary/treasurer.
“Even though most buses have video systems already, the district is upgrading cameras now to be included on all buses, and consequences may involve prohibiting the student caught vandalizing from accessing the bus and/or charging the student (family) with the associated cost to fix,” Margerm explained.
“Currently, vandalism has been increasing in general, within our buses and facilities,” he added.