Parents Push For Video Cameras In School Buses
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 7, 2003
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN--Rosemary and Vince Mutulo want video cameras installed on all buses that transport children with disabilities.
Because a tape recording is how they learned how their 9-year-old son, Jacob, was being treated by his bus driver. They hope such video recordings could prevent future incidents of abuse.
The Mutulos had been concerned about reports that Jacob, who has Down syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, was being disruptive on the school bus. So they put a voice-activated audio tape recorder in his backpack.
When Jacob got home on April 29, the parents listened to the tape. What Rosemary Mutulo heard made her sick to her stomach.
"I never, ever expected to hear what we heard on the tape," she said.
According to various news sources, at one point on the tape the driver, Brian Duchow, is heard stopping the bus. Then he apparently is heard moving toward Jacob, and slapping his clothing.
Duchow can then be heard threatening to break Jacob's arms and telling him, "I'm going to smack the living hell out of you."
Duchow, 28, was charged on Tuesday with felony abuse of a child and misdemeanor disorderly conduct. If convicted he could serve a maximum 6 1/2 year prison sentence.
The Mutulos appeared on national morning television news programs Wednesday, telling their story and encouraging lawmakers to make video cameras mandatory in such school buses.
"Child's parents want cameras on special ed buses to prevent abuse" (CNN.com)