Funding for safety of students on RTA buses sparks conversations

DAYTON — With Dayton Public School students back in class, students are back to riding RTA buses. However, people who frequent the RTA buses have expressed concern that the Hub isn’t safe for students.

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There is a push for school resource officers along with Dayton Police Department to be placed at the Hub, but Dayton Public Schools refuses to place officers there unless RTA pays for it.

“When I was in high school, I had to ride to RTA to school. And so, I feel like it’s not a safe environment for them down there,” Shawna Hernandez, a parent of a DPS student said.

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Hernandez told News Center 7′s Kayla McDermott that if her children were assigned the RTA route, she wouldn’t feel comfortable allowing her children to take the bus.

According to DPS Interim Superintendent Dr. David Lawrence, the school district paid the cost of overtime for the officers that were stationed at the hub last year and it cost about $75,000 for the quarter.

In a board meeting Tuesday night, the school board agreed to not send officers back to the hub unless RTA reimburses them.

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RTA told McDermott that they were unaware of the agreement made by the school board.

“They’re processing information, and we are willing to have the conversation to talk about securing the space just not for free,” Lawrence said.

The consensus is mixed among parents, with some thinking that the students can handle themselves on the bus.

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“Well, they’re all old enough to look out for each other a call if there’s ever any issues,” Layton Ramsey said.

While other parents, like Hernandez, would feel better knowing people from the school were there with the students.

While the deal is not yet finalized, Lawrence is hoping to make a three-year deal with RTA regarding the school resource officers.

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