Tough code to curb violence
STUDENTS will have their bus passes revoked for up to three months if they start fights at the Lismore school bus interchange under a new code of conduct agreed on yesterday.
Representatives from schools, the Education Department, police, bus companies and Lismore City Council met with Lismore MP Thomas George yesterday at Trinity Catholic College to thrash out an agreement on how to tackle ongoing problems with violence at the interchange, which has already led to one student this year being hospitalised.
The meeting agreed to the beefed up code of conduct, along with a series of other measures, but stumbled on the issue of how to supervise the 2400 students that use the interchange – possibly the busiest in regional NSW – each day.
The meeting was told Lismore City Council was no longer able to deploy security guards to the interchange every school day, leaving two days a week when Trinity staff were left to try to supervise the students on their own.
However, the schools baulked at the idea of employing guards to patrol the interchange, saying they could not afford the $100 a week each the service was expected to cost them.
A suggestion from local police commander, Superintendent Bruce Lyons, that the schools start a roster to share the supervision role met asimilar reaction, with principals saying it would be difficult from an industrial standpoint.
The measures the schools did agree to, beyond the code of conduct changes, included teaching students how tobehave at the interchange, police patrolling the interchange when able, the use of loudspeaker messages to reinforce the penalties for misbehaviour, and the installation of CCTV cameras at the interchange.