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Brevard County tackles violence on school buses

Gregory Ross and other members of the public spoke out against disciplinary changes.
Danielle Prieur
Gregory Ross and other members of the public spoke out against disciplinary changes in Brevard County Public Schools.

The Brevard County School Board met Tuesday to discuss stricter disciplinary procedures aboard school buses.

Students who assault peers or drivers will be removed from bus routes within 24 hours, and family members who enter buses to yell at students or drivers will be arrested.

The move comes as the board considers strengthening disciplinary procedures throughout the district, as it grapples with a teacher and bus driver shortage.

Anthony Colucci is the president of the Brevard Federation of Teachers. He says discipline is a problem in schools.

But he said sending drivers and teachers to professional development for behavioral management isn’t going to solve the problem.

“But make no mistake about it," said Colucci. "The issues our teachers are facing now are beyond classroom management. Even those with the best skills still struggle because of the level of student needs.”

Parent Gregory Ross says he’s worried that making disciplinary procedures stricter and cracking down on more kids won’t solve the problem either.

“Instead, you're going to push them out of the system and send them right over to the adult education system. That's, you understand, that's what funnels that right," said Ross. "That's where they're getting those kids, the very kids you want to now expel is what feeds that system. Okay, let's catch them sooner. Let's don't expel them. Let's work within the system.”

Back in December, the district notified families that law enforcement would play a more active role in student discipline issues in school.

Watch the full school board meeting.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.
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