Tonawanda News

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October 27, 2012

Bus contract takes center stage at City of Tonawanda board meeting

Rainbow asks city for pay increase amid kids' rampant misbehavior

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — She said the children have been extremely misbehaved on all three buses — one student punched another in the nose, kids are running up and down the aisles and children have welts on their heads from being hit with the seat belts. 

“It is worse than I have ever seen it,” Panaro said. 

And, understandably, parents are angry and worried. 

Meanwhile, Mullen Elementary has a teacher assistant acting as a monitor on each of their three buses, while Riverview currently has none. 

“If you are asking me personally, I would advocate for a monitor or supervision,” Panaro said. 

The board eventually made a motion to add a teacher assistant as a monitor on one Riverview Elementary bus after a lengthy discussion.

The monitor’s wages will be hourly and will depend on the step the teacher assistant is at. 

“We are looking at whether we can contractually move one over from Mullen, too, so there are two at each school,” Smilinich said. 

Board members also questioned Rainbow representatives on what had happened to cameras that were installed in the vehicles and could be used for supervision purposes.

Eisenman said the cameras weren’t equipped for the winter and were breaking easily, and the company hasn’t reinvested in the technology. 

According to Eisenman, the cameras “only had a 60 percent success rate.” But board members insisted that 60 percent is better than 0 percent. 

“We got a loss of service,” Casal said. “And yet you are asking to increase rates.” 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150.

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