Brick Schools Superintendent issues statement on bullying incident
The Acting Superintendent of the Brick Township School District has released a statement in response to the recent report of a parent calling for cameras on school buses after she said her child was punched and choked by another student.
Katie Zeoli said her 11-year old son was punched and choked in the back of a school bus while others cheered on yelling "fight, fight, fight" and the only reason it stopped was because the bus had stopped at her son's drop off point to walk home.
"The child said his reasoning for doing this to my son was because my son was talking to a girl he liked in the hallway about gym," Zeoli said.
Following the alleged incident, Zeoli said she reached out to the school's principal and Brick Township Mayor John Ducey to learn the consequences of the bullying incident, which reportedly was a 2.5 day suspension.
Mayor Ducey said that he met with the mom and "let her know that I would get her email request for cameras inside the buses to the Superintendent of Schools," adding that the Superintendent and the Board of Education would be able to address a possible change in policy.
Brick Township Acting Superintendent of Schools Sean Cranston responded to WOBM News request for comment Thursday evening in response to the recent bullying incident.
"Brick Township Public Schools continues to make school security and the safety of our students, staff, and community our highest priority. The district is constantly looking to better our protocols, procedures, policies, and technology," Cranston told WOBM News. "Given the most recent events, it is clear that we need to be progressive in our approach to this ever changing world."
Zeoli said that she has reached out to the 10th District Legislative Office and Assemblyman Greg McGuckin as she pushes for action to add interior and exterior cameras to all school buses.
“Buses are extremely small spaces with a captive audience and a bus driver whose focus is on the road. It should be mandatory that every school bus is Brick Township has both interior and exterior cameras installed in their buses. That would be about 90 buses in total," Zeoli said in her online petition.
The 10th Legislative District has been active in the past in terms of putting together school bus safety measures.
In January of 2017, a bill was introduced by Jersey Shore Senator Jim Holzapfel which allows buses to use video monitoring cameras to catch drivers trying to pass them on the road which puts kids at risk of being hit by you or another car.
"I wouldn't wish this on anyone, but if it was your child that gets killed...then all of the sudden everyone's going to ask, 'what can we do?' or 'why didn't we do it?'," Holzapfel told WOBM News in 2017.
He explained that if you do choose to break the law, fines of up to $500.00 and points off your license will head your way.
Previous reporting by Erin Vogt and Liz Jeressi was used in this article.
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