Duneland to revise electronics use on buses

2013-05-07T16:04:00Z 2013-05-07T19:57:04Z Duneland to revise electronics use on busesHeather Augustyn Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
May 07, 2013 4:04 pm  • 

CHESTERTON | Jim Bonfield, director of transportation for the Duneland School Corp., spoke to the School Board on Monday about allowing bus drivers the ability to discern use of electronics like cellphones and tablets.

Bonfield said he had submitted a letter to the board citing “numerous problems” with the policy.

“We’re not running a country club on those buses," he said. "We are trying to get them from Point A to Point B and we need a tool for the drivers to say no phones on the bus.”

“If it is a rule, it is a rule," Sandra Hudson, a bus driver since 1984, said. "If it is up to the discretion of the driver, then we are the ones we have to deal with the parents who say that one driver allows cellphones and another doesn’t. My job is to drive those children to and from school safely.”

School Board Member John Marshal said the wording about discretion was put into policy for the long-term trips and so he proposed a change in wording.

Superintendent Dirk Baer suggested a “power off policy” and the board approved revisiting the wording of the policy, and Baer noted the discernment was a way to respect the authority of the transportation employees.

In other business, Chesterton High School Principal Jim Goetz reported that since the use of Breathalyzers at prom and senior banquet was conducted as a pilot program, he will report back to the board in June on its success.

He said June would be too late to note that policy change in the student handbook, so he would have students sign an addendum acknowledging use of the Breathalyzer at the start of the school year, if the board wanted to continue with the policy.

MS4 Operator Jennifer Gadzala, and Therese Davis, executive director of the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County, honored the Chesterton High School art program for winning the first annual rain barrel decorating competition and presented them with an award whose frame was made out of a recycled computer’s mother board.

Davis said a total of 18 schools submitted 25 barrels to the contest and the public voted for the winner at their recent Earth Day celebration.

The barrel was purchased by the school’s art teacher with funds going to the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County.

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