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Seneca Valley plans to equip entire bus fleet with video cameras

| Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, 6:04 p.m.

Seneca Valley School District will equip the rest of its school buses and vans with video cameras to keep an eye on students.

District spokeswoman Linda Andreassi said the school allocated $75,000 to buy and install 56 cameras from FamTec Surveillance of Norwich, N.Y.

“Obviously we want to have security equipment on all buses,” Andreassi said.

Jim Pearson, district transportation director, said the cameras will be installed on transportation vans and small 30-passenger buses that don't have the equipment. Most large buses are outfitted with video equipment, he said.

The Seneca Valley School Board approved the purchase at its meeting on Monday. The money comes from reserves, Andreassi said.

The purchase comes after the school board adopted a policy in May to allow video and audio recording equipment on school vehicles. A state law enacted in February permits audio recordings on school buses and other vehicles for disciplinary or security purposes.

Previously, only video recording was permitted; the audio function had to be deactivated, Pearson said.

The district expects to begin recording audio next school year to deter bad behavior or to use in an investigation, officials said.

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or rfarkas@tribweb.com.

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