Parents called on to help head off more bus wars
CedarBridge Academy teachers have begun an internal drive to stop students engaging in bus wars with rival schoolchildren.Principal Ernest Payette has already told his pupils there will be serious sanctions for anyone found to be involved in the pre-Hallowe'en bus battles.Conflicts between students travelling to and from school have turned into egg-fights and rock throwing, terrifying passengers and drivers and damaging buses.Mr. Payette met with members of the CedarBridge parent-teacher association late last night to ask for new ideas to solve the problems.He will also meet with leaders of the student government to ask for their input.And yesterday, Mr. Payette contacted the Public Transportation Board to ask for official confirmation should drivers vote to boycott CedarBridge.A petition is already circulating, with drivers saying they do not want to stop at the Prospect school.Mr. Payette told The Royal Gazette : "We are taking this issue very seriously indeed."We have put communications through to the PTB and I'm waiting for a response from them. We were unaware of the magnitude of the drivers' concerns until we read of the petition in The Royal Gazette ."We want to be supportive of the drivers but there has to be a middle ground where both parties are involved."The problem of egg-throwing on buses affects our school for two main reasons. Firstly, it is because of the size of our school population."Secondly, we are involved because the vast majority of our students are bussed in and out."We started an assembly process this morning to discuss this issue and we will be continuing to examine this matter with our students in daily assemblies."Our next plan, after meeting with the PTA, is to bring the student government in to find out exactly what the problems are and what can be done about them.'' Transport Minister Erwin Adderley said the fine details of his proposals to combat the fighting in the run-up to Hallowe'en would be unveiled later this week.But it is understood his plan will involve extra policing and parent peacekeeping patrols -- the same formula which kept peace last Hallowe'en.Mr. Adderley said last night: "We want to make sure that all the other participants are on board before revealing any of the details."Then we can be more specific about the plan -- but most of it was told in yesterday's Royal Gazette anyway.'' The bus drivers are calling for better protection and threatening to abandon services on Hallowe'en unless action is taken.Bermuda Industrial Union President Derrick Burgess said their petition began circulating on Monday.But it still had not been handed in late yesterday afternoon.PTB director Herman Basden said: "I have not seen the drivers' petition yet and we will act on it as soon as we see it.'' TRANSPORTATION TRA CRIME CRM
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